Council asking state to OK hunting ban in most of Centerville

Jul 20 2012 - 6:28am

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CENTERVILLE -- The Legacy Parkway is one step closer to officially being in a no-hunting zone and just awaits approval by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Board.

Because of safety concerns listed by police, the Centerville City Council is recommending to the Wildlife Regional Advisory Council that hunting be banned within city limits, with the exception of the area west of the vacated Denver & Rio Grande Railroad line, which includes Farmington Bay, a popular area for duck hunting.

That announcement came during Tuesday's city council meeting.

The advisory committee to the Division of Wildlife Resources Board could hear the city's recommendation at its August meeting, said Phil Douglas, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation manager for the Northern Region.

"We get these requests from municipalities more and more," Douglass said of what is an open process to the public. "Many municipalities already have similar bans in place."

The division regulates fishing and hunting in the state and encourages the public to engage in it.

"Hunting is a safe activity," Douglass said.

That being said, Douglass added, public safety is the division's No. 1 priority.

"We certainly would not counter public safety issues," he said, "but we hate to see a reduction in hunting areas."

The city council took the action based on complaints received by police about people hunting near the frequently used Legacy Parkway trail, said Centerville Police Lt. Paul Child.

"We have been evaluating (instituting a ban) for several months," he said. "All the property owners (in the area) are in support of banning hunting."

The city already has laws against discharging a firearm in the city, Child said, but the state's hunting laws trump the city ordinance on the condition the firearm is discharged "in the process of hunting."

For that reason, the recommended citywide ban on hunting has to meet with the approval of the state before taking effect.

But officials are hopeful the state will give the citywide hunting ban its support. Throughout the process, the city has been consulting with state officials about putting together its hunting-ban proclamation.

"We're not a rural community, so to speak. It just makes sense," Child said.

With the Legacy Parkway, the Legacy Parkway trail and all the new development taking place in the city, Child said, it is "prudent" for the city to be designated as no hunting.

"It's just not conducive anymore. At one time it was. Now we have changed. We have developed. It's just not a good mix anymore," he said.

The city has not heard from many hunters, Child said. And the prime area for hunting within the city -- the area west of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad line -- will still be open to hunting, he said.

The proclamation approved by the council Tuesday eliminates confusion by defining where hunting is to be banned, and where it would be allowed, within Centerville.

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