Firefighters are still trying to contain three fires started in south eastern Utah last week. The Rock Creek Fire near Price, the Lackey Fan Fire near La Sal and the Dark Canyon Fire west of Monticello all began when a storm rolled through southeast Utah late last week.The Lackey Fan Fire is the biggest of the three having already burned about 900 acres with a crew of over 300 firefighters battling the blaze. The fire is currently burning in the opposite direction of La Sal and crews aren’t planning evacuations at this time. Jason Johnson is the information officer for the Rock Creek Fire.
Rural counties in Utah will get less money this year from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, or PILT. The federal government provides the funding to counties with large areas of public land. Garfield County has more than two million acres of federal land, but this year it will get just over $800,000 dollars from the PILT program.
County Commissioner Leland Pollock says providing services on federal land is a burden on local taxpayers.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covers 1.9 million acres of Kane and Garfield Counties. It’s not the easiest place to visit, but there’s an effort underway to improve access along one of its most popular roads.
State officials re-launched the Utah Clean Air Partnership or UCAIR today as a non-profit entity with a a new board of directors.
Governor Gary Herbert gathered many new members of the UCAIR board in West Valley City on Tuesday to announce changes to the organization. Until now, UCAIR had been a state-run organization dedicated to improving the state’s air quality. Governor Herbert says reorganizing the day-to-day management of UCAIR was always a goal.
City planners, designers and developers from across the country are in Salt Lake City through Saturday to discuss how to build more walkable, transit-oriented and sustainable neighborhoods. The Congress for the New Urbanism brought its annual convention to Salt Lake City this year.
The New Urbanism philosophy harkens back neighborhoods designed before the automobile existed. The pedestrian-centered balance of jobs, housing and transportation is intended to rein in urban sprawl and relieve traffic congestion.
Seven environmental groups are telling the Bureau of Land Management they plan to sue the agency over its leasing plan for oil shale and tar sands. They say the agency didn’t consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the possible impact on endangered species.
Attorney Steve Bloch with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says the 60-day notice is required before the suit can be filed in federal court.
The two biggest reservoirs on the Colorado River, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are both under 50-percent of their capacity. Delegates from the federal government, seven Western states, Native American tribes and environmentalists will have that in mind as they meet this week in San Diego to discuss the future of the river.
Activists are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to halt Utah’s efforts to seize control of federal land in the state. Educators, parents and students gathered at Liberty Park this morning to ask state lawmakers to find realistic solutions to funding education and stop taking aim at public lands.
Ethan Lake is a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City. He says the state is blessed with a beautiful natural environment.