Activists Unite To Stop Drilling

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by Jim Keyworth

roundup staff reporter

About 200 Star Valley and Diamond Point Shadows residents gathered Wednesday in the engine bay of the Diamond Star Fire Department to further organize their opposition to a Town of Payson plan to drill 21 exploratory wells near Mayfield Canyon.

The proposal is based on an analysis of the area by a geologist retained by the town. He has identified a large multi-faulted block of fractured granite below the Little Diamond Rim that may produce water from a previously untapped source 500 to 1,000 feet deep.

The town hopes to develop from four to eight production wells, and use the other wells for monitoring. The closest well would be about a half a mile from the northern boundary of Diamond Point Shadows, and residents are concerned that private wells will be depleted by the town project.

Attendees were encouraged to sign a petition asking the Payson Ranger District to abandon all consultation, agreements or negotiations with the Town of Payson to drill wells near the two communities because of the environmental impact drilling and water lines would have on "the fragile ecology system in the areas designated ..."

Sample letters to District Ranger Ed Armenta and elected officials also were available, as were canisters for donations. By the end of the evening they were stuffed with $5s, $10s, $20s and even some $50s.

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