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AM News Brief: Defunding Transgender Research, Boy Scout Bankruptcy & Elk Mating Season

Elk_Male_in_the_Woods_(49191470922).jpg
Amaury Laporte
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Fall is a critical time of year for elk as their mating season runs from mid-August to mid-October. This story and more in Wednesday's news brief.

Wednesday Morning, Sept. 22, 2021

State

Five Utah Schools Hit ‘Test To Stay’ COVID-19 Levels

About a month into the school year, five Utah schools have reached the threshold to implement “Test to Stay.” That’s the requirement to test all students for COVID-19 if a certain number of students contract the virus over a 14-day period. While the rules are more lenient than last year, it’s still a heavy lift for schools. Despite rumblings on social media of parents opting out and still sending their kids to school, it hasn’t been an issue in the Davis and Tooele School Districts. Maggie Graul, who oversees K-12 COVID-19 testing for the Utah Department of Health, said it’s good news that the testing events so far have seen high levels of cooperation. Still, overall case counts are higher this year compared to last. The thresholds for “Test to Stay” are also higher while schools have fewer mitigation strategies in place. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Getting Ahead Of Growth On Public Lands

More than a dozen Moab-based conservation groups have sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management calling for urgent action around the rapid growth of non-motorized recreation and visitation on federal public lands in Utah. They're asking the agency to create a new working group to develop proactive management practices to address the issue. The letter was sent Tuesday and comes in the wake of a new report out of Utah State University commissioned by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. The report highlights the need for a proactive approach to planning for recreation growth on the Colorado Plateau. SUWA called the Bureau's current approach a reactive strategy that leads to proliferation of damaged areas. — Pamela McCall

Region/Nation

Lee Sponsors Bill To Defund Transgender Research For Minors

Sen. Mike Lee has introduced a bill to keep any federal funding from going to research into sex reassignment for minors. Lee said the effects of hormone therapy can’t be undone and called these types of studies harmful and irresponsible. A Utah state bill that would have limited transgender children’s access to gender affirming healthcare failed this past legislative session. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports treatment for transgender kids — including puberty blocking hormones which they say actually are reversible. — Elaine Clark

Boy Scout Bankruptcy Case

A Delaware judge has started a key hearing on a bankruptcy plan for the Boy Scouts of America. It could determine whether the Boy Scouts are able to emerge from bankruptcy later this year. The group sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 in the hopes of stopping an onslaught of lawsuits by men who said they were sexually abused as children. The judge convened the hearing Tuesday and is considering whether a disclosure statement outlining the BSA's reorganization plan contains sufficient information for abuse claimants and other creditors. — Associated Press

Elk Mating Season

Fall is a critical time of year for elk as their mating season runs from mid-August to mid-October. Bull elk compete by clashing their antlers against one another. But visitors to habitat areas are more likely to hear elk bugling than to see them. The loud call sounds like a high-pitch squeal, sometimes followed by low grunts. It's especially important to give elk plenty of space now. The animals have gored people who got too close during the rut. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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