Energy & Environment

Lynn Kitchen / NCRS

Utah’s warm, dry winter means a measly snowmelt, and water-watchers are already writing off this water year as one of the state’s driest ever even though it’s just halfway over.

Most years, the dogs splashing in Parley’s Creek would find the water here cold and swift with spring snowmelt. But the stream’s running at about one-third of normal for this time of year, and that’s as good as it’s going to get. Forecasters say there’s no more runoff to look forward to.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Leaders of an ATV ride into a closed canyon last year asked a court to dismiss the charges against them. But a federal judge ruled Wednesday that the trial will go forward.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman and three others behind last May’s Recapture Canyon protest ride declined to comment after Wednesday’s court hearing.

Nicole Nixon

Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker came together with public utilities and infrastructure experts on Wednesday to discuss planning and building in a way that conserves land, water and natural resources along the Wasatch front.

James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

The West used to solve its water troubles with dams. But now Dan Beard, a man who used to lead the nation’s dam-building agency, wants to shutter it.

Beard once oversaw the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s vast water network in the West, and he helped Congress decide on one billion dollars worth of finishing touches for the Central Utah Project.

Courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library

The University of Utah has unveiled a new online dashboard that will display the energy production of solar panels on the J. Willard Marriott Library. 

Utah Division of Natural Resources and FrogWatch

The season to spot frogs and toads has arrived, and Hogle Zoo is part of a nationwide, citizen-science effort to monitor them in Utah.

The zoo’s Suzanne Zgraggen, coordinator for FrogWatch USA in Utah, teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads.

Courtesy: Brenda Norrell / Earthcycles

 The West lost an important anti-nuclear activist last week, when Margene Bullcreek was laid to rest on the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation.

snowbirdphoto / Flickr Creative Commons

  Utah’s second annual Outdoor Recreation Summit gets underway in Salt Lake City Tuesday. The daylong meeting is aimed at bringing together communities that have been at odds in the past.

EMDOT/ FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

State Senators are expected to take up a bill later this week to merge the agencies that oversee radiation and waste disposal. Doctors and other medical professionals are criticizing the move.

Whittney Evans

The American Society of Engineers has given Utah’s public infrastructure a C+. The group’s 2015 report card shows the state could better prepare for earthquakes and climate change.

Health officials in Salt Lake County probably won’t know until Saturday what’s causing an oily sheen on  Mill Creek.

utahlake.gov

The Utah Lake Commission announced this week it has reached the halfway mark in its massive carp removal project. It’s part of an overall effort to restore the Endangered June Sucker, which is native to the lake.

Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf / USFWS

Federal Wildlife officials confirmed Wednesday that a gray wolf shot by a hunter in Utah was the same wolf seen in the Grand Canyon area last year.

Wikipedia IC Bus CE-Series

Utah lawmakers discussed a bill Monday to fund new cleaner school buses, but they put off a vote because of questions about what might happen to the old buses.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah planners have unveiled a blueprint for the future of the central Wasatch Mountains. From resort expansion to new public lands, a lot of competing interests have had to come together, and now they’re looking to the public for feedback.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced an executive order Tuesday aimed at increasing energy efficiency at city facilities.

Image courtesy Navitus Sustainable Industries

A new company has a proposal to turn Sandy city's household trash into electric energy. If approved, it would be the first facility of its kind in Utah. The Department of Environmental Quality is holding a hearing Thursday evening in Sandy to discuss the proposal.

Judy Fahys/KUER

 A former top lands leader says America’s latest Sagebrush Rebellion is a danger to the nation's public-lands heritage. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, speaking at the Outdoor Retailers trade show in Salt Lake City Thursday, urged the industry to fight back.

Courtesy: / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  Fishers and farmers have been working together more than a decade to make life better for Bonneville cutthroat trout on the upper Bear River. Funding from the Farm Bill passed by Congress last year will help that collaboration continue.

Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

  The Colorado River is often called the lifeblood of the West, and now a new study shows just how economically vital the river is to the seven states that rely on it.

Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

15 to 20 percent of urban trees in Utah are Ash Trees, and according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, they are all in danger of an insect infestation.  

David Lewis / Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Water levels in the Great Salt Lake have dropped close to record low, prompting the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council to talk about how that low water affects everyone and everything that depends on the lake.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Biologists at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have confirmed the existence of quagga mussels at Deer Creek Reservoir.

Courtesy: / Kennecott Utah Copper web page

Utah’s near the top of the nation’s list for toxic releases once again, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

File: Lopi

National and local wood burning advocates are pushing back on the Utah Division of Air Quality’s proposed ban on any solid fuel burning between November 1st and March 15th. 

Credit:Flickr Creative Commons

The Salt Lake County Health Department has voted to expand its authority by further restricting burning of wood, charcoal and pellets in stoves and fireplaces.

Courtesy: / Hawkwatch International

Many Americans know the success story about the recovery of bald eagles. But few realize their cousins, the golden eagles, are in trouble.

File: Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is asking people with backyard poultry to monitor their flock particularly closely due to the threat of two strains of bird influenza virus. H-P-A-I, the acronym for highly pathogenic avian influenza has been reported in California, Washington and Oregon. 

Judy Fahys/KUER

More than a dozen water managers met at the National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City Tuesday to hear from forecasters, and many left cautiously optimistic about 2015 even though the past three years have been drier than normal in Utah.

Dmitri / Flickr Creative Commons

The end of December may have been bitterly cold, but last year was surprisingly warm overall in Utah, continuing a trend that began three years ago.

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