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AM News Brief: Jet Fuel Shortages, US Mining Law & Changes To Horse Adoption Program

photo of horses
Nate Hegyi
The Bureau of Land Management has announced additional steps to secure the health and safety of adopted wild horses and burros. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, July 27, 2021

Northern Utah

New Virtual Elementary School

Salt Lake City School District is launching a new virtual elementary school this fall for grades K-6. Kenneth Limb, principal of the new school, said there was a lot of feedback from the community about wanting to continue online remote learning. As new COVID-19 cases have spiked recently and the vaccine remains unavailable for children under 12, some parents are weighing the option of continuing online schooling. Read the full story.Ivana Martinez

Inmate Vaccination Event

There will be a mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic for new inmates at the Utah State Prison Tuesday morning. The Department of Corrections and NOMI Health plan on vaccinating around 100 inmates at the Draper prison. Fourteen people have died at the facility due to the coronavirus and there have been nearly 1,800 cases there. Cases throughout Utah have been spiking in recent weeks and the seven day average of new daily cases stands at 646 — about 100 more than the state was seeing this time a year ago. — Elaine Clark


BLM Makes Changes To Horse Adoption Program

The Bureau of Land Management has announced additional steps to secure the health and safety of adopted wild horses and burros. Among the measures, the BLM said it will begin to make more compliance visits post-adoption. It said it will also bring more scrutiny to potential adopters and increase warnings to sale barns about the risks of illegally selling the animals. The BLM pays adopters $1,000 to take wild horses the agency rounds up, with the stated intention of giving the animals a good home. Critics take issue with the program. The Animal Wellness Action Program claims buyers are pocketing the money, holding the horses for a short period, and then selling them to buyers who kill them. — Pamela McCall

Reconsidering U.S. Mining Law

House Democrats from some Western states are preparing to push for changes to a longstanding law governing mining on federally-owned lands. A report published Monday by the Government Accountability Office shows the U.S. does not typically collect royalties on gold, copper and other minerals. House Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva said the mining industry should pay at least as much as oil and gas companies. They typically pay royalties of 12.5% on resources extracted from federal lands. Past efforts to significantly change the government’s 1872 mining law have failed. — Associated Press

Jet Fuel Shortage Impacts Region

The U.S. is facing a jet fuel shortage this summer, and it’s hitting the Mountain West especially hard. There are reports of day-long delays for passengers in Montana, and political leaders in Nevada warn it could impact cargo delivery planes in Reno. Aerial firefighting companies like Montana’s Neptune Aviation are also concerned. Spokesperson Kevin Condit said supplies are tightening but airports are in constant communication to ensure firefighting planes and helicopters get the fuel they need. The U.S. Forest Service said the shortage hasn’t had a widespread impact on aerial firefighting efforts so far. The region is facing one of the most severe and widespread wildfires seasons in recent years. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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