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AM News Brief: Fewer Deer Tags, Census Delays & Rescinding A COVID-19 Treatment Recommendation

Photo of two mule deer.
U.S. National Park Service
Utah wildlife officials are recommending reducing deer permits by more than 9,000 for the 2020 deer hunting season. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, March 31, 2020


Another 125 Bills Get Governor’s Signature

Governor Gary Herbert signed another 125 bills Monday, including funding for treatment of people in mental health crises, a bill to control the cost of insulin and legislation banning children under 12 from being prosecuted for minor crimes.Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Rescinding COVID-19 Drug Recommendation

The Utah Medical Association rescinded a recommendation it made last week that doctors could treat COVID-19 patients with malaria drugs. The about-face followed pushback by a group of infectious disease doctors. Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko says the state did not intend to recommend use of the drugs but rather dosage amounts if a medical provider and patient decides to use them. — Diane Maggipinto

Fewer Deer Tags This Year

Utah wildlife officials are recommending reducing deer permits by more than 9,000 for the 2020 deer hunting season. The state’s Division of Wildlife Resources says deer population statewide decreased by 51,000 because of a heavy winter last year and a drought in 2018. The department is also suggesting a decrease in permits to hunt cow elk and antlerless deer. — Jessica Lowell

Southern Utah

Can Tribal Police Enforce Navajo Nation Curfew?

The Navajo Nation is imposing a night-time curfew on all residents in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. It’s part of a public health order that restricts gatherings to five people or less, and limits grocery stores to 10 shoppers at a time. President Jonathan Nez said this will help control the spread of COVID-19 on the reservation. But Navajo Police Chief Philip Francisco said the Nation’s Attorney General still needs to clarify the legality of enforcing the curfew. Until then, he says his officers will be focusing on education. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.


Hunting & Fishing

Montana, Idaho, and Colorado are all under stay at home in place orders. But good news for any hunters and anglers out there. All three states’ fish and wildlife agencies say you can continue those activities. Counties have the right to enforce stricter regulations. That’s playing out elsewhere in the Mountain West. For example, residents in Summit County, Utah who are under a countywide stay at home are allowed to fish and hunt — but not outside of county borders. — Kamila Kudelska, Mountain West News Bureau

Prescribed Burn Near Grand Canyon

Forest officials plan to use prescribed fire to help restore an area north of Grand Canyon National Park. A section of the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona, about 45 miles south of Utah's border, is targeted for vegetation management to span more than 43 square miles. Managers say they would use a combination of controlled wildfire, intentional burns and mechanical thinning of flora. The public comment period is open now for the swath of forest adjacent to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. — Diane Maggipinto


Census Delay

All field operations for the U.S. Census Bureau have been delayed until April 15. This includes counting people experiencing homelessness which was supposed to start in Salt Lake City Monday. It will also delay counting of hard to reach homes in rural parts of Utah. Since mailers for the census went out, nearly 40% of Utahns have responded, almost all on the internet. Davis County leads the way with almost half of its residents responding so far. Meanwhile Rich County has the lowest response rate. — Ross Terrell

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