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AM News Brief: Fire Restrictions, Utah State Flag & Record Park Visitation

Utah State Parks Veterans.utah.gov.jpeg
veterans.utah.gov
National and state parks are seeing record visitation this year, and some states in the region are charging double to out-of-state visitors at certain parks. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, June 15, 2021

State

Utah Housing Advocates Brace For End Of Eviction Moratorium

A federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire at the end of June. Housing advocates are worried that could put thousands of Utahns at risk of losing their homes, but they say assistance is available. Christina Oliver with the Utah Department of Workforce Services said there is about $180 million available for rental assistance, as well as additional money for things like utilities, food and healthcare. She said if people are running into financial difficulties, it’s important for them to not panic — instead, they should contact their landlord and look into rental assistance proactively. The first place people should go to see what resources are available is rentrelief.utah.gov, or call 211 to find services available in their area. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Looking Into The Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women Problem In Utah

Utah State Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, is pushing for the state to fund a study of missing and murdered indigenous women. Those incidents are significantly underreported, according to a report by the Urban Indian Health Institute. The state report would cost $50,000 to $100,000 and be conducted by a Native-led academic team. Romero said she’s also working to launch a five stop listening tour with native tribes this summer about the issue. — Sonja Hutson

Fire Restrictions Starting On BLM Lands

Starting Wednesday at midnight, the Bureau of Land Management will implement additional fire restrictions in parts of Utah. It applies to public land in Juab, Millard, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne and Piute counties. That means no campfires, smoking, fireworks or exploding targets will be allowed in these areas. All motorcycles, chainsaws and ATVs must also have working spark plugs. The same fire restrictions will begin on Friday for all remaining BLM lands in Utah. Restrictions for public land in Washington, Kane, Garfield, Iron and Beaver counties started in May. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Utah’s State Flag Task Force To Hold First Meeting

Utah’s State Flag Task Force will have its first meeting Wednesday. Their goal is to design a flag that is more simple than the current one and a better representation of Utah’s past and its future. The task force was created during the 2021 General Session. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox will lead the group and be joined by members of the state Legislature. The public is encouraged to join in on the process. Wednesday’s meeting is at 4 p.m. at the state capitol. — Emily Means

Region/Nation

National And State Parks Dealing With Record Visitation

National and state parks are seeing record visitation this year. Some even have hours-long lines to get in. Idaho wants its residents to have more of a chance to get in, so it’s charging out-of-staters double in certain parks. Craig Quintana with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation said Idaho is not alone in charging outsiders more, though. “It varies from just a $5 fee that’s tacked onto registrations in Washington, to higher fees that accrue per day at Nevada and Utah and Montana and Wyoming,” he said. Quintana says the extra fees aim to give locals an advantage, even if it aggravates others. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West Bureau