Dear Editor:

The statement by Manti-La Sal National Forest range program manager in your paper (Nov. 22-28, “Forest service revising management plan”) that grazing “helps our watershed” contradicts over 20 years of research done by the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service’s research in the Manti-La Sal National Forest clearly demonstrated that runoff of water in the forest is significantly reduced by tall native grasses.

Our local watershed is primarily not covered by native grasses due to many years of overgrazing. Our local forest has areas of bluegrass (poa pratensis) that is grazed down to less than an inch in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The Manti-La Sal National Forest current criteria for grazing limits guarantees that rains in the fall, winter and spring will primarily run off, and not percolate, into the Glen Canyon aquifer.

The new forest plan needs to restrict or remove all grazing from the west side of La Sal Mountains above Moab. The new forest plan needs to at least allow for taller grass in to fall to allow for more percolation into our aquifer.

Grazing a watershed that supports over 8,000 people and millions of dollars of business in the Moab area is suicidal.

Bill love