Judy Fahys | KUER 90.1

Judy Fahys

Reporter

Judy 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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Saturday was Earth Day and Utahns joined the March for Science taking place at more than 600 locations worldwide. They celebrated science at five Utah marches and also denounced anti-science policies and politicians.

It wasn’t too hard for M.C. Denni Cawley to get the Salt Lake City crowd going.

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“My sign is a very pun-y sign that says ‘cell – c-e-l-l – e-brate science’,” she says, crafting her message with multi-colored markers and representations of both plant and animal cells.

Scientists and their supporters are gathering worldwide for 530 satellite marches. Five of them are planned in Utah.

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Susan Lee has always been the kind of person to bike to her kids’ soccer games, hike the Grand Canyon with them or ride 500 miles for charity. So, the diagnosis nearly three years ago was shocking. She had a lung cancer.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Utah Avalanche Forecast Center

Utah sees an average of four avalanche deaths a year.

But this winter’s tally bucked the odds. It was the state’s first snow season in 26 years that no one died in an avalanche.

Judy Fahys

Solar-power is booming, creating jobs nationwide, and Utah’s part of the trend.

Last month the Solar Foundation announced another year of robust growth.

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If you’re hitting the trails anytime soon, maps can help guide you, and federal land agencies have posted dozens of them online that you can take wherever you go.

Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage gathered for separate rallies Tuesday night at the state Capitol. Both sides said fundamental values are at stake. 

Mark Lawrence says supporters of same-sex marriage believe in the same family values as opponents. Lawrence is founder of Restore Our Humanity, and that group brought the lawsuit that overturned Utah’s Amendment 3 that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He told those at an anti-

  discrimination rally that prejudice against gays and lesbians is no way to give children a healthy, loving start.

Lawmakers have been talking for weeks about how to spend taxpayer dollars. Now they are drawing up priority lists in hopes of snagging some of the state’s $5 billion budget for their favorite projects.

KUER News File

Federal regulators have a special category for “Hazardous Air Pollutants.” And, when scientists at the Division of Air Quality went looking a few years ago, they found a few of those 180 pollutants at elevated levels in the Salt Lake Valley.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

  

A state lawmaker says wilderness advocates are waging a war of attrition in the wildlands fight.

Kathleen Clarke leads Utah’s public lands policy office. Her job includes guiding the state’s legal battle over 12,000 roads in rural Utah. The state is fighting the federal government to prevent federal wilderness designation on the land those roads cross. She told legislative budget-makers Thursday some of her agency’s budget will help pay for 200 crucial interviews that need to be done in the next two years.

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San Juan County leaders have been asking for over a decade for more access into Recapture Canyon just east of Blanding. On Monday, federal land managers gave them an answer, when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke weighed in.

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Two small beaver dams lie at the heart of a quarrel in Draper. County flood officials are ordering residents to take them down. But the homeowners say the dams protect the wildlife and value of their homes.

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Royal DeLegge can list all kinds of ways that global warming is expected to affect the local environment and public health.

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A new state law allows cooking with wood, even when winter smog makes northern Utah’s air unhealthy. Now new scientific data shows that wood-burning turns out to be a bigger part of the problem than anyone realized.

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The snowpack is near normal in a few places and lagging in southeastern Utah. But most drainages are way above average. It’s the first time in 6 years that water managers are worrying about too much water instead of a shortage.

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Water experts say it’s time for new thinking on the West’s old attitudes about water, as climate change and population growth drive the discussion about the West’s water future.

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The state of Utah and Pacificorp have been quarreling with the federal Environmental Protection Agency over what’s called the Regional Haze Rule, a decades-long effort to clear the vistas around Utah’s national parks.

Then the EPA decided last year that cleaning up southern Utah’s air would mean the company would need to install new, pollution-control equipment on two coal-fired plants in Emery County.

Now Congress is stepping into the fight

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The Utah Air Quality Board, hasn’t asked for a veto in a decade -- until now.

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Utah legislators delivered some big messages on public lands during this year’s 45 days of lawmaking. But air-quality and other environmental concerns saw only modest gains – along with some setbacks.

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Senators cleared the way Wednesday for Utah to become the toughest state in the nation when it comes to driving under the influence. They passed a bill, HB155, to lower the state’s blood-alcohol limit to .05 -- the lowest DUI threshold in the nation.

Utah Department of Transportation

Lawmakers finalized an incentive Wednesday for Utah’s refineries to bring cleaner “Tier 3” gasoline to the state.

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The proper use of drugs was at the heart of two bills advanced by Utah senators. Lawmakers had held up both bills until Tuesday to make sure there was money to fund the programs.

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Utah Governor Gary Herbert and outdoor-industry leaders met to work out their differences last month during a conference call. If they pulled it off, a big trade show would stay in Salt Lake City. Instead, a 20-year relationship seems headed towards divorce, but is there any chance to save this rocky marriage?

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A Utah House panel killed a resolution on climate change Monday. But supporters were pleased despite its defeat.

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State lawmakers are pausing legal efforts to gain control of federal lands in Utah. They’re pushing for a political solution instead.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

A week’s passed since the Outdoor Retailers trade show announced it’s leaving Salt Lake City after being here two decades. And there are hints the show is trying to leave Utah even before its three-convention contract is up.

Judy Fahys

The protest surrounding the exit of the Outdoor Recreation trade show expanded this week, as local Democrats took the state’s GOP leaders to task outside the Salt Palace Convention Center. They criticized Utah’s Republican leaders for the huge trade show’s decision to leave Salt Lake City when its contract runs out next year.

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Almost all the tables were taken Friday at the Toasters Deli facing the Salt Palace Convention Center. But this is almost empty compared to days when the Outdoor Retailer trade show is underway across the street.

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The announcement came after a tense conference call Thursday between Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and outdoor company leaders.

“It’s too bad,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association. “We still think that Utah has an opportunity to choose a different path.”

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