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PM News Brief: White Sands Campground, Iron County Resolution & Navajo Lake Treatment

A photo of Navajo Lake.
Cassi Gurell
Utah’s wildlife officials want to restore the trout fishery at Navajo Lake in Kane County. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Aug. 24, 2021

Northern Utah

Brigham Young University Students React To Speech From Church Official 

A top leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed Brigham Young University’s mission to stand for the faith’s fundamental teachings, which includes the Church’s stance against same-sex marriage. Jeffrey R. Holland told BYU faculty and staff, Church leaders “unequivocally” love LGBTQ members. But he said empathy shouldn’t be confused with advocacy. Madi Hawes, co-founder of BYUQ, a student group that advocates for queer people on campus, said Holland’s remarks were a gut punch. BYU also announced a new Office of Belonging on Monday. It’s goal is to “combat prejudice of any kind.” Read the full story.Lexi Peery

Utah House Democrats Praise Salt Lake City Mayor

Utah House Democrats from Salt Lake City are praising mayor Erin Mendenhall for requiring masks in schools. Tuesday marked the first day of class for kids in the district. Mendenhall issued the mandate for Salt Lake City K-12 students last week amid the recent spike in COVID cases due to the Delta variant. Eight legislators signed onto the statement saying she is acting in the best interest of students. Mendenhall announced the order after the Salt Lake County Council voted down a school mask mandate earlier in August. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

White Sands Campground Closes In Little Sahara Recreation Area

The White Sands Campground in the Little Sahara Recreation Area has been closed until further notice. The Bureau of Land Management issued the safety closure Monday due to significant damage from flooding. The order is effective immediately. The campground will remain shut down until repairs can be made. Three other locations in the recreation area — Oasis, Jericho and Sand Mountain — are still open. The bureau said people riding OHVs in the area should be careful since there are extra hazards like washouts because of the flooding. — Ross Terrell

Iron County Passes Resolution Against Pandemic Related Orders

The Iron County Commission passed a resolution Monday establishing a policy against pandemic related lockdowns and mask mandates. Washington County leaders unanimously voted on a similar statement earlier this month. These resolutions encourage individuals to make their own health decisions when it comes to COVID-19 and other ailments. The director of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department approved of both pieces of legislation, saying people should be engaged in their own health care. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Rotenone Treatment Proposed For Navajo Lake

Utah’s wildlife officials want to restore the trout fishery at Navajo Lake in Kane County. But to do that, they need to treat the water with rotenone, a naturally occurring toxin for fish, to eliminate the Chub population. The substance isn’t dangerous to people. Officials are proposing a rotenone treatment for mid-October. They say the lake is being overrun by chubs — which are outcompeting the trout. Wildlife officials want to meet with the public and explain the process before using the substance in the lake. The public meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Duck Creek Village Fire station. — Ross Terrell

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