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PM News Brief: Missing Zion hiker, ferrets released in Wyoming & Navajo coal mine

Photo of Zion National Park entrance.
The area around the east entrance of Zion National Park is closed as officials search for a missing hiker. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, Oct. 1, 2021

Southern Utah

Search For Missing Hiker In Zion National Park 

The area around the east entrance of Zion National Park is closed as officials search for a missing hiker. John Fiske Burg, 79, was last seen on Tuesday leaving his hotel in Kanab. He told the group of hikers he was with that he was heading to the park that morning. His vehicle was found at Canyon Overlook Trailhead. That trail and nearby Pine Creek Canyon are closed for search and rescue operations. Park officials are asking the public to contact the National Park Service Tip Line with information related to Burg. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Northern Utah

University Of Utah Researchers Studying Minerals Near Uinta Basin 

Coal has historically been an important resource and economic driver in northeastern Utah. Now, researchers at the University of Utah are looking into alternative uses for it. They are hoping to find and transform raw resources near the Uinta Basin into materials for electronics and renewable energy products. The Department of Energy awarded them $1.5 million for the project. It’s part of a nationwide effort to produce critical materials in coal and power plant communities so the country won’t be as reliant on foreign imports of rare earth elements. Researchers said this could diversify Utah’s production and manufacturing industries. Read the full story.Lexi Peery


Navajo Nation Taking Over Operation Of Coal Mine

A Navajo Nation company took over the operation Friday of a coal mine it owns in northwestern New Mexico. The Navajo Transitional Energy Company has owned the mine near Farmington since 2013, but it has contracted with the North American Coal Corporation to run it. Chief executive Clark Moseley said the Navajo company will retain the nearly 400 employees — about 85% are Native American. The mine feeds the adjacent Four Corners Power Plant. — Associated Press

30 Ferrets Released Into The Wild In Wyoming

The ivory-billed woodpecker and Bachman’s warbler were among the 23 species declared extinct this week. In our region, there was some good news for one species in the midst of recovery as wildlife officials in Wyoming recently released 30 black-footed ferrets into the wild. The small mammal was thought to be globally extinct until a ranch dog near Meeteetse, Wyoming encountered one 40 years ago. Since then, recovery efforts have included captive breeding in northern Colorado. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau  

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