From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 28 - October 4, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Citizen Asks Commissioners To Discontinue Use Of Mag

by Tiffany Turner

Doug Vickrey, a rancher in Boulder, recently had his road magged (the stuff you’ve seen applied to numerous county roads this summer to keep the dust down and the road together)to help keep maintenance down for county employees and the quality of the road at a higher standard than simply blading it several times a year.

When Vickrey approached the commissioners at their Oct. 1 meeting, he had anything but praise for the work that had been done. With pictures in hand, Vickrey explained to the commissioners that he had seen a marked amount of corrosion on the cattle guards in the area since the magging had taken place and the corroded metal was only within the areas that the mag was applied.

“We’d all like to drive on a road like that, myself included,” Vickrey said. “But there is corrosion where the mag was applied and my biggest concern is we use this road a lot.”

Vickrey said after watching the affects the mag was having on the visible metal, he feared an increase in the corrosion to his vehicles and machinery. Ed Fick, somewhat of an expert in the field, explained to Vickrey and the commission that yes, fresh mag will accelerate the corrosion, but it does not corrode what water wouldn’t; it would simply do it faster.

Fick also explained that most vehicles and machinery now come with protecting agents that, unless the seal has been broken, will keep the mag (which is essentially a salt by-product) from corroding the metal. The cattle guards, he explained, are unprotected metal and he would also need to know how old the cattle guards are, because that would change the amount of corrosion done by the mag.

In addition, Fick advised Vickrey that, when driving down a freshly magged road, he should wash his bumpers with a soap so that the electrolysis could not take place, and he should allow a sprinkler to cleanse the undercarriage to ensure no mag is left on the bottom of it.

“It will accelerate the corrosion that is going to happen,” he said. “Anywhere you have bare metal, you’ll have corrosion, period. It’s that simple.” Vickrey, although understanding the perks of magging other roads, requested that the county discontinue use of the material until a less corrosive product is available.

“The silver-bullet product isn’t out there yet,” Fick said.

The county agreed to refrain from magging the road but warned Vickrey that it may mean a bumpier road and more dust.

“If it weren’t for mag we wouldn’t be able to breathe in this county,” Commissioner John Linn said in reference to the dust.

“It’s kind of a trade-off,” Bill Cramer said, adding that there would be a continuing discussion as time progresses.

Vickrey also spoke to the commission about a blind turn near his home that needed to be rid of some willows in order to make it safer. Butch Penton with Road and Bridge offered to mow the area, but Vickrey stated the willows needed to be completely removed.

“The mower is ugly when its done and the second thing is, in my mind, those willows come back thicker and with a vengeance,” he said.

The commission agreed to look at the area and see what was feasible.

In other county news:

• Hoback Ranches residents still searching for a place to park this winter. The board approached the commission about plowing part of the way in and allowing people to park within the ranches.

Permission was needed since it would mix snowmobile and automobile traffic.

“Its not a convenience; it’s a public safety issue,” Cramer said.

The commission informed the board that it was their decision since the county was not responsible for their roads, but they would back them since parking on the highway was not safe.

The commission also offered to take a letter to senators with them pleading for the homeowners in the ranches to have parking access in the Forest Service acreage nearby.

“I think we need to start this paper trail,” Linn said.

• Local writer Cat Urbigkit brought her first draft of the “State of the County” before the commissioners. It was agreed that changes and suggestions would be submitted to Urbigkit by next Monday to begin the redraft.

“I think we’re getting a great product here,” Commissioner Joel Bousman said. “I like what I am seeing.”

• Planning and Zoning met with the commission and had all items brought to them from the August meeting approved. These items include a rezone from agricultural to light industrial for 3.4 acres near Daniel that is currently being used for that purpose and has very little agricultural value (and was a non-conforming parcel), a zone change from A-1 to RR 20 for 29.3 acres of a 76.8 acre tract along US 191 that is split by the highway, a variance for the Big Piney/Marbleton Airport for the height of a new hangar that would be able to house G5 airplanes (currently they have to fly to Salt Lake City because of their susceptibility to hail damage) and a conditional use permit to the Town of Pinedale for their town shop and animal control area on several restrictions, including dogs being muzzled at all times they are outside.

• Planning and Zoning also brought forth change of zoning for two parcels in the Hoback Ranches that never had to go through the planning and zoning commission because it was a final plat. The change was approved, as it would improve the two adjoining lots’ buildability.

• Class II road committee met with the council to determine what would be done when signatures were unable to be obtained from homeowners on Class II road application roads. The commission advised them to speak to a lawyer.

• Rio Verde presented a $1.2 million change order for the Horse Creek project as details and extent of the work has changed as they have gotten into the project and found items they were originally unaware of. The original plans called for $3.8 million.

• Eric Peterson of the University of Wyoming spoke to the commissioners in regard to keeping the extension office open. The commission signed that they would pay half the salary of the coordinator. “We just need a copy signed and sent to Laramie,” Peterson said.

The council also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the university stating that they wished to keep the Extension program.

• Mayor of La Barge Dennis Hacklin spoke to the commissioners about the water problems they are having in the town of La Barge. Unfortunately, the commissioners said, they are mandated to only serve Sublette County and could not be of any service.

“We wish you all the luck,” Cramer said. “Don’t give up.”

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002-2007 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203