The Utah Legislature appropriated two million dollars to try to avoid an endangered species listing for the greater sage grouse. The consulting firm hired to do that presented its report to the legislature today on its work so far.
Environmental officials have confirmed that levels of toxic algae are elevated at Utah Lake. But they say ordinary activities are fine as long as people steer clear of the bright blue-ish green blooms.
Water tests came back on Thursday showing some of the pond scum on Utah Lake has reached worrisome levels. Environmental officials tested the blue green algae near the Lindon Marina on Monday, after they heard that a dog that had been playing in it died Sunday.
Nine Mile Canyon near Price is famous around the world for its rock art, which dates back a thousand years or more. Federal land managers want some guidance on how to manage the area so the public can enjoy it.
The Bureau of Land Management is starting work on an environmental assessment for Nine Mile Canyon. There are as many as 100-thousand Native American rock art images on the canyon walls, but it’s also close to some of Utah’s most productive oil and gas fields.
The report is the third in a series of studies looking at the impacts population growth will have on Utah. It looked at the challenges Utah’s water supply could be facing and came with several recommendations, including moving away from funding water agencies with property taxes, and toward funding them with increased water rates.
State lawmakers hosted a freewheeling discussion Wednesday on the impact of federal land ownership and policies on Utahns. But their hearing focused almost exclusively on criticizing the federal government.
For more than two years state lawmakers have had an eye on transferring the control of federal lands to Utah. On Wednesday, a House-Senate panel heard more than a dozen witnesses describe their frustrations with feds.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he has a promise from the Obama administration – there won’t be a new national monument appearing suddenly on the map of Southern Utah.
Governor Herbert was in Washington DC last week and spoke with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. He told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED that Jewell promised there would be no designation of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument without some advance notice.
Tuesday's Morgan County Council meeting has been getting national attention because of a land-use planning question that could impact the sage grouse. But the council may put off a vote on the issue to allow for further study.
At the last meeting two weeks ago, the Morgan County council split 3 to 3 on the question of whether to change the land use designation on a 27-hundred acre parcel near East Canyon Reservoir. The area includes a sage grouse lek, where the birds mate and nest in the spring.
Ranchers throughout Utah feared at the beginning of this summer that the drought would be sticking around. But a remarkably wet August has transformed the landscape.
Parts of Northern Utah received almost 4 times as much water as the 30-year average. And, in southern parts of the state, the skies blessed the parched landscape with up to twice as much rain as usual.
Thursday the University of Utah became the first organization in the state to be recognized by the Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge. A recently completed project cut energy consumption by more than 40 percent in the Dumke Health Professions Education Building. It houses the Departments of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Neurobiology and Anatomy with classrooms and labs. Myron Willson is the director of the Sustainability Resource Center at the U.
The Wilderness Act turns 50 on Wednesday, and the anniversary has some Utahns thinking about the value of wild places
Congress created the formal system for protecting the nation’s wild places. It’s designated more than 107 million acres as wilderness. In Utah, 1.1 million acres of federal land has earned wilderness protection so far.
UPDATE: The council vote Tuesday evening was 3 to 3, which means the change for the 27-hundred acre parcel did NOT pass. The property owners plan to try again to win approval for the change at the next council meeting in two weeks. They’re hoping all seven members of the council will be present for that meeting and that will break the tie.
The Morgan County Council will look at a change in its master land use plan on Tuesday that could impact the future of the sage grouse in Utah.
The Utah Public Service Commission rejected on Friday a request from Rocky Mountain Power to institute a metering fee of more than four dollars a month on customers who generate their own power trough solar panels. Commission officials ruled that the private power provider did not present enough evidence to prove the proposed fee was just and reasonable. Matt Pacenza is a policy director with Heal Utah, one of several groups opposing the fee. He says Rocky Mountain Power officials didn’t present a convincing case for the fee.
Eagle Mountain City officials voted Tuesday to approve Rocky Mountain Power's bid to purchase its municipal power company. But it will be up to voters to make a final decision in November.
Eagle Mountain is projected to be among the fastest growing areas in the state over the coming decades. That’s one of the reasons City Councilor Tom Westmoreland thinks the city should get out of the power business.
Six counties in eastern Utah have formed a coalition to plan and build infrastructure projects such as roads and rail lines. The Grand County Council will decide this afternoon whether to join the group.
Grand County is the last to consider joining what’s called the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition. It was formed earlier this year and already includes Daggett, Uintah, Duchesne, Carbon, Emery and San Juan counties.
Landowners won a decision from the Morgan County Planning Commission Thursday night. Conservation groups had asked them to protect a nesting area for the greater sage grouse. But it appears a compromise is already in the works.
The group of about 50 landowners wants to develop a new resort community near East Canyon Reservoir. They were asking the Morgan County Planning Commission to change the designation of their property on the county’s master land use plan from “Natural Resources and Recreation” to “Master Planned Community.”
Conservationists say a change in Morgan County’s master land use plan could have a big impact on the future of the greater sage grouse in Utah. A potential resort development is the subject of a hearing planned for Thursday evening.
The Davis County community of Clinton has been working all week to get rid of the drinking-water contamination that was caused when someone illegally connected the secondary water supply to culinary water pipes. By Monday, all water advisories were lifted and the city continued investigating the problem's cause.
Five members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are hoping to persuade President Obama not to create a huge new national monument in southern Utah, while other members of Congress are urging him to act.
Utah’s business community is launching a new initiative this week focusing on water. Business leaders say protecting current water supplies and developing new ones is essential if the state is going to continue to operate smoothly and to grow.
A crane lifts a sailboat out of the Great Salt Lake Marina this week. Drought has dropped the lake level about 5 feet, leaving boat keels stuck in the mud and unable to get in and out of the marina. Scientists don't think the lake levels will be rebounding anytime soon.
Drought is shrinking the Great Salt Lake. So, boat owners enlisted a big crane this week to haul their boats out of the water.
Brad Silver’s bonds with the Great Salt Lake go deep. His family actually built the Great Salt Lake Marina in the 1960s, and his bedroom was a boat here when he was a teen. He can’t recall the last time the lake was this low -- he was just a tot. But lately the bottom of his sailboat’s been digging into the floor of the harbor where so many family adventures began.
Two wildflowers that grow only where there are oil shale or tar sands will stay off the federal endangered species list for now. Instead, an agreement has been worked out to protect some of the areas where they grow in eastern Utah.
The two species are Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue, two small flowers related to snapdragons. They grow in eastern Utah and western Colorado where oil shale or tar sands are close to the surface.
Hearings in downtown Salt Lake City this week put Utah at the center of a national controversy over solar power.
Electric companies in 43 states allow homes with solar panels to put unused electricity back on the power grid. Utah is one of those states. But it is deciding on becoming one of the first states to charge solar customers a monthly service fee.
Utah's forested mountains are the starting points for 70 percent of the water that serves Utahns. A new U.S. Forest Service plan for including groundwater in decision-making nationwide has been panned by the State Water Development Commission.
The U.S. Forest Service says it wants to do a better job safeguarding the nation’s groundwater. But its initiative to protect that vital resource is coming under attack in Utah and elsewhere. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.
Rocky Mountain Power subsidizes new solar power installations through its Blue Sky program. But it’s also insisting it needs additional money from residential customers who have solar panels on their homes.
The Utah Public Service Commission is preparing for a hearing next week on Rocky Mountain Power’s request for residential solar power users to pay four dollars and 65 cents a month to connect their homes to the grid.
Washington County Water Conservancy District is concerned that unauthorized users are jumping their place in line and taking water they need for their reservoirs. Sand Hollow Reservoir is one of the district's storage sites.
A drought in southwestern Utah means there’s not enough water to fulfill the needs of all property owners in the area. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports on the priority list that’s leaving some Washington County water users dry this year.