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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The nasty strain of E. coli that’s sickening people across the U.S. has turned up in Idaho and Montana, and health officials remain on alert.

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National Park Week is an annual celebration of what many people call America’s best idea, beginning with a fare-free day, April 21.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

A new report from the American Thoracic Society shows how tightening federal air-pollution standards would pay off in better health and longer lives.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought has basically divided the Mountain West into two separate regions this year.

Storms kept Idaho, Montana and Wyoming wet over the winter, and the national Drought Monitor shows no drought in those states.

JUDY FAHYS/KUER News

The latest battle over Utah’s shrunken national monuments has been playing out this week in rural communities. 

Judy Fahys/KUER News

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he’s putting new limits on which scientific studies can be factored into the nation’s environmental laws and policies. He told the conservative web site, The Daily Caller, last week that he wants more “transparency” in scientific research.

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The U.S. Interior Department still doesn’t have a top lawyer, even though Interior Secretary Zinke put forward Ryan Nelson’s name last summer.

U.S Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, says it’s time for the Senate to confirm Nelson for the post.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

The Bureau of Land Management held an online auction Tuesday for oil and gas leases in southeastern Utah. Conservation groups and Native Americans protested drilling in places that are also rich with cultural meaning.

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Medical help can be hours away for overdose victims in the rural Mountain West. That’s one reason why it’s been so important for Utah and neighboring states to allow pharmacies to dispense the antidote, naloxone.

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A trio of lawmakers from both parties proposed a bill that would have made Utah the first state in the nation to enact a carbon tax.

Courtesy / Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.

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Federal employees who are using social media to vent about the nation’s Tweeter-in-Chief and other political candidates are getting some fresh advice: Watch it!

Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature have taken a first step towards renaming hundreds of miles of scenic roads after President Donald Trump.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Potential energy resources were a big reason behind shrinking two national monuments in Utah, according to a New York Times article on Friday.

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The fight for state control of federal lands may be headed to court soon. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes wants to take on the federal law that limits states’ control.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Climate change may be a slow-moving threat, but a measure to recognize it shot through the Utah House Monday in flash, in minutes and without controversy.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Ranchers in 16 western states will see their federal grazing fees go down next week. That’s good for ranchers whose costs have risen, but environmentalists say Americans are being cheated.

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President Donald Trump is considering easing restrictions so that teachers can be armed to prevent school shootings. It’s a idea that already has traction in several Mountain West states, including Utah.

A fierce debate is taking place across the country right now: What to do about immigrants who came here illegally as children. Up until recently, they qualified for a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects them from deportation. But the Trump administration rescinded that Obama-era rule and Congress is debating what will take its place.  

We talked to three people affected by that debate right here in the Mountain West.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

GoogleEarth

Utah lawmakers seem ready to waive the fee for inspecting EnergySolutions radioactive landfill. A bill to do that — at the top of the list of legislation that Senators could vote on this week — would have taxpayers covering inspection fees for one of the state’s most generous campaign donors, EnergySolutions.

Courtesy: Elizabeth Hansen

High-school students have been pushing Utah lawmakers for climate action in Utah for more than a year. And, on Thursday, a legislative panel voted to advance a climate-change resolution they helped to draft.

Utah State House of Representatives

A new lawmaker joined the Utah House of Representatives Wednesday, St. George attorney Travis Seegmiller.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

It sounded sometimes like Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, was teaching a Climate Change 101 workshop on Tuesday. He asked members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee to focus on a few trends.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

An unlikely coalition came together behind air-quality legislation Tuesday, as some of Utah's petroleum industry joined environmental and health advocates in helping advance two bills.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah could be headed to battle against California over coal.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attacked critics of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah. He called them “angry people” and “nefarious.”

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Utah homeowners and industry have been looking for a way for years to make rooftop solar costs more predictable. Lawmakers are advancing legislation that provides stability that balances the impacts of a rapidly growing industry.

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Utah lawmakers have been pushing agencies to rely more and more on user fees instead of taxes. They say it’s only fair. But a bill backed by a Salt Lake City radioactive waste company would reverse that policy, shifting the cost of companies’ user fees to taxpayers.

Judy Fahys/KUER

WASHINGTON — The changes proposed for what used to be the Bears Ears National Monument continue to divide Native Americans.

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The first Outdoor Retailer Show opens Thursday to a jam-packed Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Its new home follows a major falling out between outdoor industry groups and the state of Utah, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

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