An Outstanding Feature

Employees of the Ashley National Forest (the Ashley) are working on a forest plan revision, and as part of that process they’ve been inventorying and evaluating areas for potential addition to the national wilderness preservation system.

Ever since I was a child I’ve felt passionate about wild places, and I get involved in efforts to protect them whenever I can. So when the Ashley recently invited people to comment on their current process I took that opportunity.

I commented about the process in general, and about specific areas in the Uinta Mountains – and I also commented about areas in the southern part of the Ashley (the South Ashley), which includes places like Indian Canyon, Anthro Mountain, and the Avintaquin area.

People don’t seem to know, or care, as much about the South Ashley as they do the Uintas. While the Uintas certainly are amazing, I think the South Ashley also has its own merits and also deserves protection.

In evaluating areas on the forest for wilderness characteristics one of the things the Ashley’s team looked for was “outstanding landscape features.” They concluded that several of the areas they evaluated, including the South Ashley’s Wire Fence area, don’t have any outstanding landscape features.

I traveled to the Wire Fence area a few years ago while looking at places that would’ve been impacted by a plan the Ashley had at the time to develop several hundred new oil wells (shortly before the crash in the oil market took away the incentive for that). While there I came across a feature I thought was pretty outstanding.

This past January I traveled back to the area and skied to the location of the feature. I’ll let you, dear reader, look at the photographs I took and see if you think it’s outstanding. I hope you do.


The journey begins


Tracks of rabbits and other animals


Ah, sagebrush!


Rodent tracks, with tail marks


I love this view; the Forest Service had planned to put a road through the middle of it


Rugged skiing


I see the shapes of a duck and goat in the snow


Note the rabbit tracks in the foreground and the ice in the upper left background


Boxelder leaves


Boxelder trees


The ski parking lot 🙂


It sure feels like an outstanding feature when you’re next to it


Note two birds in the treetops


I felt like I was looking at some kind of temple



Some of the icicles were so delicate



This makes me imagine a group of ice angels huddled together


Another ice angel?


Looking back from the ice flow; the Forest Service wanted to put an oil well here



The hot water in the thermos warmed me up


I think these cliffs are another outstanding feature


Heading back

4 thoughts on “An Outstanding Feature

  1. This area is in the backyard of the Mini-ranches where I lived when we first met. Some residents explored Sowers Canyon on ATV’s. Indain Canyon is amazing all by itself and I wish I had gotten off into more of its side canyons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike, This ice flow is pretty close to where you lived. It’s too bad we didn’t know about it when you lived in the Basin because it would be fun to see it with you and Ann. There are a lot of side Canyons in Indian Canyon and I’m hoping to explore more of them. I’ll try to post some photos when I do.


  3. At one time a friend back east talked to me about hosting an outdoor painting week and I told her about Indian Canyon being close by and very scenic, but it didn’t happen, obviously. I recently set aside a photo of an old settlers log cabin and an out building to possibly paint a studio study. It’s winter and a cliff behind is snow covered. It is on the left as you head toward Price and you probably remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sheer wonderment of this land. Thanks for posting all those amazing pics. I never cease wondering at and questioning why Mother Nature does what she does (and so well!). Great blog! We seem to be the lonely wonderers around these parts of Maine. Most folks are marsh land and estuary people. We have visited a few Land Trust Reservations on the coast line and are learning about the effects of sea level risings in the area. Easily, it can be seen that many natural and man made areas along the coast will see a 4 ft. rise sooner than 2030. For now, we are reveling in the clean air that has been brought about by the huge decrease in automobile use and air traffic. Amazing, We do NOT want to return to the old normal. Thanks again, llok forward to ZOOMING or Skyping soon! Ann

    Liked by 1 person

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