Dan Bammes

Reporter / Morning Edition Host

Dan Bammes has deep Utah roots.  He’s a descendant of Utah’s early Pioneers and he grew up in Utah County, where he began his radio career in 1974.  He has a degree in broadcasting from BYU and extensive experience as a reporter, newscaster, news director and wire service bureau chief.  As KUER’s energy, environment and public lands reporter, he travels frequently to connect with issues and stories in rural communities.  He’s also an adjunct instructor in the Communication Department at the University of Utah.  Dan has three grown children and a teenage grandson.

Pages

Politics
9:40 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Utah Priorities Project: Higher Education

Old Main at Utah State University
Utah State University

Higher education dropped out of the Utah Foundation’s survey of voter concerns over the past couple of election cycles, but it turned up again in its 2012 poll.  It’s risen to the 6th position in the ranking of top ten issues identified by the Utah Priorities Project.

Read more
Politics
9:19 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Utah Priorities Project: Environment

Winter cold air inversions trap pollution in the valleys of northern Utah.
Erik Crossman - University of Utah

Concern about the environment moved up a notch this year in the Utah Foundation’s survey of issues important to voters.  And while there are many aspects of that issue to look at, voters insist air pollution is at the top of their environmental agenda

Read more
Politics
9:29 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Utah Priorities Project: Partisan Politics

Democrats and Republicans in the Utah Senate
Dan Bammes

The increasing polarization of the political process in Utah and across the nation is the next issue identified by the Utah Foundation as part of its Utah Priorities Project.  In their open-ended survey, voters ranked partisan politics the 8th most important concern.

A former president who also served for many years in Congress once said, “Truth is the glue that holds government together.  Compromise is the oil that makes government go.”  Over the past several years, it has seemed at times that government was pretty low on that oil -- about ready to seize up.

Read more
Politics
9:44 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Utah Priorities Project: Poverty

Utah's poverty rate has been climbing even as Utah's job numbers recovered.
Utah Foundation

In the second part of KUER’s series The Utah Priorities Project, Utah Foundation researchers take a look at poverty in Utah.  It’s an issue that is new to the list of top ten issues identified by voters in a statewide survey, coming in at #9. 

The recession is partly to blame for the number of people in Utah living in poverty. That total is significantly lower than the nation as a whole, but people living below the federal standard for poverty has continued to grow even as the state’s employment numbers have recovered over the past two years.

Read more
Politics
9:46 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Utah Priorities Project: Immigration

The Utah Foundation's Utah Priorities Project is looking at the top issues identified by voters in this campaign.
Utah Foundation

The non-partisan Utah Foundation surveys voters every election cycle to find out what issues concern them most.  It's called the Utah Priorities Project, and KUER is presenting a series of programs examining these issues with the help of Foundation researchers.

Talk to the candidates and they'll have a list of issues that they say their constituents respond to.  But Utah Foundation President Steve Kroes says the Utah Priorities Project lets voters set their own agenda.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
3:45 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Smoke Pushes Air Pollution Levels

Utah Dept. of Health

Smoke from distant wildfires has pushed air pollution levels well above federal health standards in Utah this week.  Fine particulate pollution (PM 2.5) topped 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air on Tuesday afternoon.  Schools aren't required to keep kids indoors during recess until that level reaches 90.  But Doctor Michell Hofmann, a pediatrician at the University of Utah School of Medicine says school administrators and coaches need to think about how many days kids have been breathing bad air as well as just how bad it might be on a given day.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
2:01 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Petition Asks Governor to End Push to Control Federal Land

Activists deliver a petition with more than 5,000 signatures to Governor Gary Hebert's office in the Utah State Capitol
Dan Bammes

A petition with more than five thousand signatures demanding an end to Utah's attempt to take control of federal lands was delivered Wednesday to Governor Gary Herbert's office.  The effort was led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and supported by activists like Dwight Butler of Wasatch Touring.  He says the federal government is taking good care of its land right now.

"The state of Utah, there's a good chance, would develop it, or sell parcels off, or divide it up," he told KUER.  "I think it's the best protection we have right now and we should keep it that way."

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
2:06 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

U Professor Optimistic about America's Rivers

The head of the University of Utah's environmental and sustainability studies program says he's optimistic about the future of rivers across America.  In his new book River Republic, Professor Dan McCool argues this is happening because Americans are learning the value of their rivers, not for irrigation or hydropower or transportation, but for their own sake.  He spoke with KUER's Dan Bammes. Information about River Republic on Columbia University Press website.

Environment & Public Lands
7:40 am
Mon August 27, 2012

BLM Addresses Conflict on Movie Shoot

Professor Valley outside Moab, Utah
Brad Weis, Moab Internet

Utah spends millions of dollars promoting the state as a location for movies and commercials, and offers significant tax breaks to production companies when they come here.  A recent confrontation outside Moab caused some worry about the state's reputation as a prime spot for shooting movies.

Back in July, Jerry Bruckhheimer's production company was in southern Utah, shooting scenes for the upcoming Lone Ranger movie starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
3:35 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

FWS Report Sets Guidelines for Protecting Sage Grouse

Male sage grouse strutting on their nesting ground in Morgan County, Utah
Dan Bammes

Utah and several other western states are working on plans to protect the sage grouse, with the goal of keeping the birds off the federal endangered species list.  Those plans have to be acceptable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and it's just issued a draft report that could give the states some guidance.  Noreen Walsh, the deputy administrator for the Fish and Wildlife Service's Mountain Prairie Region, says it addresses the different circumstances such as energy development, predators and urban growth that threaten the sage grouse population across its 11-state range.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
9:35 am
Tue August 21, 2012

International Visitors Look at Moab Tailings Cleanup

The old Atlas uranium mill site next to the Colorado River in Moab, Utah
Alicia Geesman

Millions of people across the West depend on the Colorado River for drinking water and irrigation, and that's what's made cleaning up the site of an old uranium mill in southern Utah a high-priority project.  Many other countries have the same concern.  Their representatives got a close-up look last week at how the United States is handling that project. 

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
7:40 am
Mon August 20, 2012

New Photo Book Seeks to Protect Wasatch Mountains

Photo from Utah's Wasatch Range - Four Season Refuge by Howie Garber
Howie Garber

Howie Garber came to Utah to go to medical school and worked as an emergency room physician after he graduated from medical school in 1980.  Through the years, he's taken thousands of photographs of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake County, and this month he's publishing many of them in a new book, Utah's Wasatch Range -- Four Season Refuge.  Though the pictures are stunning, it's more than just a coffee table book.

Read more
Business & Labor
6:40 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Union Labor Leader Dies in Motorcycle Accident

Utah AFL-CIO President Jim Judd addresses delegates at the state Democratic Party convention.
Utah AFL-CIO

Jim Judd was a firefighter who worked his way up through his union to become the head of the state's largest labor organization, the Utah AFL-CIO.  He died Friday morning from the injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident in Missoula, Montana.

He was also vice-chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.  State Senator Karen Mayne says he was someone legislators from both parties could trust.

"He had good skills of figuring things out and networking, and negotiating and making everyone feel part of the movement and part of whatever committee he was on," Mayne told KUER.

Read more
Religion
5:23 am
Wed August 15, 2012

New LDS Temple Reflects Brigham City History

LDS temple in Brigham City, Utah
Dan Bammes

Brigham City's Main Street is shaded by dozens of huge sycamore trees that are close to a century old.  But as you approach 300 South and Main, the trees suddenly open up to reveal a spectacular three-story white building with towers on either end -- and a statue of Moroni on the tallest one.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
1:23 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Assessment of Red Butte Oil Spill Challenged

Monday, August 13th is the deadline for public comments on the Utah Division of Water Quality's assessments of the crude oil spill in Red Butte Creek.  The spill occurred two years ago when an electrical short-circuit burned a hole in the pipeline carrying crude oil and spilled more than 50,000 gallons into the creek.

Read more
Religion
9:50 am
Mon August 13, 2012

LDS Volunteers Join Navy Humanitarian Mission

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy is wrapping up a four-month tour through Southeast Asia called Pacific Partnership.  Among the 1200 military and civilians aboard the ship there are eight volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They include Nate Leishman, the church's manager of humanitarian disaster response, who says the opportunity to participate began several years ago when the Navy called to say the church could add volunteers to the humanitarian supplies it had donated on previous missions.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
7:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Salt Lake County Updating Canyon Plans

Big Cottonwood Canyon
Dan Bammes

Salt Lake County will be asking for public input on new general plans for Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood and Parley's Canyons at an open house scheduled for Thursday afternoon August 9th at the Millcreek Community Center.  The county plans deal primarily with private property in those canyons.  Rolen Yoshinaga, the head of the county's Planning and Development Services Division says the goal is to keep the plans governing those canyons are kept up-to-date.  He spoke with KUER's Dan Bammes.

Environment & Public Lands
1:24 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

EnergySolutions Executive Appointed to State Radiation Board

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Dan Shrum, a senior vice-president of EnergySolutions, to the state's new Radiation Control Board.  EnergySolutions runs a mile-square landfill in Tooele County for low-level radioactive waste.  The law authorizing the board requires an industry representative to be on it.  Company spokesperson Mark Walker says Shrum is the right guy.

"He's a very fair and balanced man, has been involved in environmental issues his entire career, not only in Utah but around the country" Walker tells KUER.  "And there's absolutely no conflict of interest."

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
1:42 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Could Utah and Nevada Go to Court over Great Basin Water?

Snake Valley on the Utah-Nevada state line
Dan Bammes

The director of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Pat Mulroy, is threatening to take the state of Utah to the U.S. Supreme Court over an agreement to allocate groundwater in the Snake Valley on the Utah-Nevada state line.  The statement was made in an e-mail to members of SNWA's board of directors.  The agreement was required by federal law before a pipeline could be built carrying water from the Great Basin to Las Vegas.  

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
2:06 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

New Federal Rule Allows Killing Airport's Prairie Dogs

A prairie dog tunnel next to a runway light at the Parowan airport
Alicia Geesman

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow the city of Parowan to kill the prairie dogs that have been digging tunnels under the runway and causing other damage at its airport.  Utah prairie dogs are protected under the Endangered Species Act, but the agency issued a new rule yesterday that allows killing the animals where they pose a safety risk.  Parowan City Manager Shayne Scott thinks the new rule will help bring business back to the airport.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
1:39 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Story in the Sediment: Fewer Wildfires in the Past

Mitch Power, assistant professor of geology and curator of the Garrett Herbarium at the Natural History Museum of Utah
University of Utah

A geologist from the Natural History Museum of Utah has been studying the charcoal found in lakebed sediments around the world.  Mitchell Power has discovered that the number of wildfires dropped significantly from about 1400 AD until about 1800.  That corresponds with the so-called "Little Ice Age," when tree rings and other evidence shows global temperatures were considerably cooler than they are today.

Read more
Healthcare
9:53 am
Tue July 31, 2012

The Future of Medicaid in Utah - Part 2: The Spenddown

Bobbi Mathews with a photo of her daughter Katie
Dan Bammes

Utah lawmakers will decide in their next legislative session whether or not to expand Medicaid under the guidelines outlined in the Affordable Care Act.  Unlike Medicare, which is a federal program for the elderly, Medicaid is a partnership with states that provides a healthcare safety net for those in need.

But qualifying for Medicaid is not automatic.  The income and eligibility requirements are complex and the state employs dozens of people to help make those determinations.

Read more
Religion
3:17 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Sunstone Documentary Looks at First Mormon Candidate

Filmmaker Adam Christing
Dan Bammes

This year's Sunstone Symposium is underway at the University of Utah, drawing scholars of Mormonism from inside and outside the LDS church.  It includes lots of presentations on political topics because of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.  While he's the first Mormon to win a major party nomination, he's certainly not the first to run.

Read more
Religion
5:29 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Pioneer Day: Stripling Warriors

More than two thousand young men dressed as "stripling warriors" marched in the Bountiful Handcart Days Parade.
Dan Bammes

Cory Hanks, the president of the Bountiful South Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came up with a plan to recreate the story of Helaman and his two thousand stripling warriors in Friday's parade.  For years, Hanks has been playing the character of Helaman, a military leader in the Book of Mormon's account of the long wars between the Nephites and Lamanites.  In the story, Helaman led two thousand young warriors who had never fought before, but who had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

Read more
Education
3:11 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Peter Cooke: Income Tax Should Fund Public Schools

Peter Cooke, Democratic candidate for governor of Utah
Dan Bammes

The Democratic candidate for governor of Utah is promising to increase the share of Utah's state revenue spent on public schools, even if he has to change the state constitution to do it.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
3:32 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

BLM Delays Decision On Alton Coal Mine

The Coal Hollow strip mine near Alton, UT
Alicia Geesman

The Bureau of Land Management was expected to issue a decision this fall on whether to allow Alton  Coal Development LLC to expand its strip mine in Kane County.  But it's now decided to issue a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project.  That won't come out until early next year, and it will be followed by another six-week period for public comment.  Keith Rigtrup, who has supervised the process for the BLM since it was first proposed in 2006, says they got a lot of feedback on the draft EIS.

Read more
Religion
2:42 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Church Asks Members to "Sustain" MTC Project

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asking their members in the Pleasant View neighborhood of Provo to "sustain" a decision to build a nine-story addition to the Missionary Training Center there.

Lorie Johnson, who's been part of the group opposing the project, says the local stake president told members in a sacrament meeting on July 1st that top church leaders considered this an "ecclesiastical decision."

Read more
Politics
3:14 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Republican Leaders Critical of Health Care Ruling

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Utah Education Network

Republican leaders in Utah were uniformly critical of Thursday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it threatens the nation's economic recovery and could sharpen the partisan divide.  

In his monthly news conference on KUED, Utah Governor Gary Herbert said, "This has divided the country terribly and taken our eye off the ball on economic recovery.  I do believe, if you want to repeal Obamacare, you need to repeal Obama."

Read more
Politics
10:13 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Utah’s Immigration Law Still in Limbo After Supreme Court Decision

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff at the Capitol Monday.
Dan Bammes

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on Arizona’s immigration law, but the implementation of Utah’s similar “show me your papers” legislation - HB 497 -  is still awaiting a federal court decision.  The law gives police officers authority to check suspects’ immigration status, but immigrant advocates say the US District Court in Utah needs to consider racial profiling arguments that were not heard by the Supreme Court.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
12:29 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Land Swap Proposed in Skull Valley

Areas highlighted in blue are currently private land. Areas highlighted in yellow are public land proposed for exchange.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is asking for public comment on a proposed land swap in the Skull Valley area of Utah's West Desert.   It would trade about 14,000 acres, mostly near the town of Terra, for a similar acreage of private land in and around the Onaqui Mountains east of Dugway. 

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance supports the trade.  Field Director Ray Bloxham says this is an unspoiled area of the state.

Read more

Pages