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PM News Brief: Millions of fish stocked, Colorado River conference & bidding process for The Point

Colorado River in Utah aerial view
marekuliasz/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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iStockphoto
A big conference about the shrinking Colorado River began Tuesday in Las Vegas. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Dec. 14, 2021

State

Gov. Spencer Cox receives report on Utah’s land, water and air quality

Utah State University researchers delivered a report to Gov. Spencer Cox Tuesday outlining challenges facing the state’s land, water and air quality — and possible solutions. The report found efforts to reduce the pollutant that causes winter smog have been successful in Cache Valley and could be replicated on the Wasatch Front. It also said Utah’s long-term drought has allowed invasive grasses to spread in forests and increased wildfire risk. The drought is expected to continue and the state will continue to have less water available. Read the full story. Sonja Hutson 

Utah wildlife officials stock nearly 10 million fish in 2021

This year, Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources stocked more than 9.6 million fish in bodies of water across the state. That’s up compared to last year but down compared to 2019. Wildlife officials said Tuesday they were proactive in changing fish stock to help more of them survive the drought. Officials said in 2019 they began stocking fewer, but larger fish to increase their survival rate. This year, decisions on where to put the animals were made based on water levels. The fish were put into 615 different water bodies. DWR says the practice of stocking fish dates back to the late 1800s. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

The Point launches bidding process to hire developers

Utah officials behind “The Point” announced Tuesday they’re launching the bidding process to hire developers. The Point is the 600 acres of state-owned land in Draper that houses the soon-to-be-relocated state prison. It’s seen as one of the biggest development opportunities in Utah. Initial plans for the site envision it as a dense, live-work space divided into distinct neighborhoods and business centers. Officials said the bidding process will be open and transparent. Developers will submit proposals and will be evaluated based on how they meet the project’s vision. Final selection is expected in the summer of 2022. — Jon Reed

Provo-based IsoTruss receives grant from EPA

A small business in Provo has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop environmentally sustainable technology. IsoTruss will receive up to $100,000. It currently makes reinforced materials for telecommunication towers that are more resilient to natural disasters like earthquakes. The funding is part of the Small Business Innovation Research Program’s annual competition to create new technology. In this first phase, companies have to show their proof of concept. If they complete that, they can apply for phase two funding of up to $400,000. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Conference on shrinking Colorado River kicks off in Las Vegas

A big conference about the shrinking Colorado River began Tuesday in Las Vegas. State officials from Utah to New Mexico to Wyoming all agreed — the Colorado River is in dire straits. Opening remarks at the conference focused on severe drought that’s helping bring the nation’s biggest reservoirs to their lowest levels on record. There were also calls for more collaboration between states and tribes along the river. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau 

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