Commissioner’s Report 34

5-20-17

Media Frenzy

Just an FYI but it has been a media storm for me lately: a radio interview on KOAL with Delynn Fielding, CNN with John Sutter, County Seat with Chad Booth, and Heart of Utah with Randy Johnson. It’s been interesting ride.

Potential Flooding

I have been impressed by how the county pulls together to make sure that we are covered and protected, especially with the snowpack we received over the winter with the potential to overflow and runoff from the reservoirs.

We met at Huntington Plant with representatives from Rocky Mountain Power, Huntington-Cleveland Irrigation Company, Emery Water Conservancy District and Huntington City. It was good to listen, talk, and work together to make sure that all needs were being met so flooding would be mitigated. It was mentioned that the website from the EWCD is the envy of the state. Go to ewcd.org to see more.

Also, Green River has been meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation to urge them to increase flow so the Green River won’t flood later this year. In our initial meeting with the Bureau in Price, they seemed to care more about fish than people, property, and livelihoods. However, in the second meeting with them in Vernal, they seemed to change their tune and their perspective 180 degrees. The commission, along with other groups, sent them a letter stating that we didn’t want to see over 30,000 cfs in the Green River. They have already increased the release of water from the Flaming Gorge Dam. So far the river is high but hopefully, with the current release, it won’t flood.

Africanized Bees (AKA Killer Bees)

Click here for more information

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has detected Africanized Honey Bees in our county.

You should alway be careful around bees, but Africanized Bees are aggressive. If you notice strange behavior in any bees please let us know.

UDAF said that they would help with education on Africanized Bees if needed. Our EMS and Fire District have been contacted to make sure that if there is an attack, they are prepared and can respond accordingly.

Part of the attached report says that “Africanized honey bee stings are not more painful or venomous than European honey bee stings: but the sheer number of potential stings from an aggressive colony can be of medical concern. Children, the elderly, and those with disabilities are at highest risk of suffering multiple stings because of their inability to escape an attack quickly. Leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure vehicle or “bee proof” building. If you are in an area that you cannot escape, cover your head and run away from the bees. Keep moving away from the bees until they stop stinging – this may be as far as a quarter mile. Do not hide under porches or other exposed areas to get away from stinging bees. Do not try to escape by jumping into a swimming pool because the bees will hover above the water longer than you can hold your breath.”

Medical Marijuana

Senator Hinkins referred me to the organizers of a Medical Cannabis Research Congress held at the State Capitol. Earlier in the year, the state passed a bill sponsored by Representative Brad Daw and Senator Evan Vickers to research medical marijuana.

I am reminded of a story about George Washington Carver, who was one of our great scientists, and he often prayed, addressing God as “Mr. Creator.”

One night he walked out into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make the universe?” He listened, and this is what he heard: “Little man, that question is too big for you. Try another!”

The next night he walked into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make man [meaning, the human race]?” He listened and he heard this: “Little man, that question is still too big for you. Try another!”

The third night he went into the woods and prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did you make the peanut?” This is what he heard: “Little man, that question is just your size. You listen and I will teach you.” And you may know that George Washington Carver invented some three hundred ways to use the peanut.

I believe that God put things on this world for our use. Marijuana is one of them and I think that it can be done right. I am glad that Utah has decided to review and research options for medical marijuana.

I was skeptical going into this meeting thinking this would be a coalition advocating for medical marijuana without extensive research or sound science. Representative Daw said that we will work through it with science through medicine and regulations. He also said he felt that there are three components to it for Utah:

  1. Research
  2. State Regulations
  3. Policy

One of the concerns I had was the evolution from medical to recreational marijuana. Representative Daw said he shared my concern and that is why he wants to do it right, to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Folium Biosciences was one of the businesses in attendance that presented and shared information. They have been able to extract the psychoactive chemical, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), from the medicinal portion, CBD (Cannabidiol). They are located in La Junta, CO and are going to work with the state of Utah on continued research. One of the things that this company does is research and grow industrial hemp. Hemp that has no cannabinol properties but is used for its fiber and seeds. Click on the image to the right for more information.

I am curious to see where this goes. I am glad to be involved in working towards a positive solution on the medical marijuana debate.

Let me know your thoughts. Remember to be part of the solution.

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