Judy Fahys | KUER 90.1

Judy Fahys

Reporter

Judy Fahys is KUER's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.

Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.

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Map of the Dollar Ridge Fire evacuation zones east of Strawberry Reservoir in Duschene County.
Judy Fahys / KUER

A state investigator for the Dollar Ridge Fire says it’s still not clear how Utah’s largest wildland blaze this year started or who started it.

Bill Barron sits in his office.
Judy Fahys / KUER News

Updated at 2:30 p.m. MST 7/19/18

 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution Thursday that condemns carbon taxes as detrimental to the U.S. economy.

A photo of firefighters taking a water break at the Dollar Ridge Fire east of Strawberry Reservoir in Utah.
Courtesy/Dollar Ridge Fire Team

Expenses are piling up for fighting the recent wildfires in Utah.

 

Aerial map showing the stretch of highway near carbonville utah
Utah DEQ

Updated 4:40 p.m. MST 7/13/18

Traffic was detoured Friday on Route 6 for most of the day after a double tanker crashed and spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil onto the roadway and into the Price River in Carbon County.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

A Utahn who joined a 2016 standoff at a wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon is relieved by President Trump’s decision to pardon two ranchers whose case sparked anti-government protests.

Aerial view of St. George, Utahl.
iStock.com/alpenarts


Brooks Kelly stopped at a display of smart sprinkler-system controllers.

"This 6-station timer — it's got a rebate," said Kelly, who works the plumbing aisle at the St. George Home Depot. "You buy it [and the] Washington County water district gives a $99 credit to your water bill. So, this is free."

A screen shot from the EPA's AirNow web page showing elevated levels of pollution in much of Utah.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/AirNow

Smoke from the Dollar Ridge wildfire in eastern Utah spread throughout northern and central Utah on Friday and raised particulate pollution.

 

Wildfire near the Strawberry Reservoir has so far burned 74 square miles.  A change in weather patterns carried the smoke to places as far away as Brigham City and Tooele. Air-quality monitors measured elevated pollution throughout northern and central areas of the state.

Utah Fire Info

This post was updated at 6:45 a.m. 7/10/18

 

Fifty-five large wildfires are burning nationwide, and they've scorched more than 1,766 square miles of forest and range in a dozen states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

 

 

Cory Maylett/Wikimedia Commons

Drought has settled Sanpete County, and last week conditions in central Utah reached the worst official category possible: "exceptional drought."

Fireworks behind a tree.
iStock.com/Justin Bartels

New statewide restrictions on fireworks means a much smaller window for setting off the colorful explosives this July Fourth and Pioneer Day.

 

BLM land outside of Goblin Valley State Park in Emery County, Utah.
Claire Jones

Updated 5:40 p.m. MT 

 

A congressional subcommittee last week overstated the support that environmental groups have for a public lands bill pushed by Utah Congressman John Curtis that aims to conserve a large swath of the San Rafael Swell.

BLM land outside of Goblin Valley State Park in Emery County, Utah.
Claire Jones

A congressional panel took up legislation Thursday to protect more public land in the San Rafael Swell.

Garrett via Wikimedia Commons

People know they can help clear the Salt Lake Valley’s air by hopping onto TRAX trains.

What they might not know is how an air-quality monitor mounted on the roof of a train car is also helping solve the valley’s pollution puzzle.

Courtesy: Colton Hoyt

A Canadian mining company’s recently filed claims to mine in what was once protected public land has triggered new legal questions this week over the Trump administration’s downsizing of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

 

Environmental groups said Wednesday they might be heading to court to block plans by Vancouver-based Glacier Lake Resources.

 

Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz/WikiMediaCommons

State environmental officials on Tuesday announced how they plan to spend Utah’s share of a $15.7 billion national settlement from the Volkswagen emissions-tampering scandal.

 

Salt Lake County

The new Inland Port Authority board cut short its first meeting on Monday after questions arose about its authority to make any decisions for the time being.

Judy Fahys / KUER

The Great Salt Lake is vast — around 1,700 square miles of state and federal public lands.

Andrew J. Russell/via Wikimedia Commons

The Golden Spike National Historic Site is the centerpiece of legislation making its way through Congress this week.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop wants to give the landmark a new designation under his bill. It would become the “Golden Spike National Historical Park,” and it would become part of a new transcontinental railroad network across the country. 

Jordan Clayton/USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Utah received a little more than two-thirds of the snow and rain normally expected from October through May, which could mean more water restrictions in the southern part of the state if it's a dry summer.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Willow Pond is like a lot of community fishing holes. It’s in a suburban park beyond the soccer fields and a baseball diamond.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought has spread across the state, but conditions in southeastern Utah are dire and deepening.

istock.com/ikick

Bikes are off limits in the nation's 100 million acres of wilderness. But a few members of Congress want that to change.

Courtesy/The Nature Conservancy

Conservationists from around the country are opposing congressional legislation to allow a four-lane highway through a desert tortoise preserve in fast-growing southwestern Utah.

Judy Fahys / KUER

Rowdy Muir started fighting fires on the front lines when he was 27.

Rawpixel/iStockphoto

You’ve probably heard about the GDP or those “best places to live” rankings. The Family Prosperity Index also factors in family life as a measure of well-being. And the latest rankings show Mountain West states doing pretty well.

 

Judy Fahys/KUER News

The governors of neighboring Western states shared a stage Tuesday to talk about energy. Utah Republican Gary Herbert and Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper agreed about many issues — until they were asked afterward about the Trump administration. That's when it became clear they have contrasting views on how the federal government is listening to the states.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

The 100 Deadliest Days for car and truck crashes starts Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. It’s when fatalities spike the tally, leading to more than 1,400 deaths in the Mountain West.

Screenshot/Jordan for Governor Campaign

A record number of Native Americans are running for political office this year nationally and in the Mountain West.

Jcomp/iStockPhoto

The country's first free-range parenting law goes into effect in Utah May 8. But people in other states are already warming to the idea.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration’s plans to cut red tape on environmental projects is getting predictably mixed reviews.

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