News Brief: OHVs, Rural Healthcare & Conservation Funds | KUER 90.1

News Brief: OHVs, Rural Healthcare & Conservation Funds

Dec 10, 2019

Tuesday evening, December 10, 2019

SOUTHERN UTAH

Expanding Health Care In Remote Hildale

When the Creek Valley Health Clinic celebrates its grand opening on Dec. 18, it will become the first local healthcare provider in a decade to serve residents of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. The nonprofit medical clinic is also an official “community health center” — part of a federal program from the Health Resources and Services Administration designed to bring health care to underserved areas. Read the full storyDavid Fuchs, St. George

STATE

Licensing Out-Of-State Off-Highway Vehicles

Starting Jan. 1, people with vehicles registered as “Off-Highway” or “OHVs” in other states will have to get a non-resident user permit to operate it in Utah. In the past, there have been agreements between Utah and certain other states to honor out-of-state OHV registrations. The Legislature removed this option in the last legislative session. OHVs like ATVs, Jeeps and dirtbikes are specifically registered for off-roading on certain trails and public lands. Fees go to things like funding trail construction and maintenance, as well as OHV education and enforcement. — Caroline Ballard

NATION

Utah Representatives On Impeachment

Utah Republican Congressman John Curtis says he will vote against the articles of impeachment brought forth by House Democrats. In a video statement to his constituents, Stewart said he has a high bar for impeachment. He said he was surprised by the two articles — obstruction of justice and abuse of power — and that neither charge rises to the level of impeachment. — Caroline Ballard

Democratic Utah Congressman Ben McAdams says he doesn’t know how he’ll vote on articles of impeachment unveiled Tuesday and reportedly is part of a group of vulnerable Democrats who are suggesting the House of Representatives censure President Donald Trump rather than impeach him. Politico reports a group of roughly 10 Democratic representatives from districts that Trump won in 2016 are floating the longshot idea in order to avoid a Senate trial. A spokeswoman for McAdams was unable to confirm that the congressman is part of that group, but McAdams said in a statement that he will “take the necessary time to review all the evidence and documents in advance of the final articles being referred to the full House.” — Sonja Hutson

Utah Reps. Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop have yet to make any public statements regarding impeachment or respond to KUER’s requests for comment. Read the full story

Local Utah Officials Urge Protection Of Conservation Fund

Officials from Alta, Moab and Park City are urging members of Congress to pass legislation that would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It receives $900 million in royalties from offshore drilling each year. But Congress is set to divert around half of that to other uses in 2020. The money goes toward creating and improving federal lands, state parks and local recreation projects. Eleven local officials from Utah signed a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to make sure no money is diverted from the fund in the future. Utah Congressman Ben McAdams is a co-sponsor of that bill. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Retired BLM Officials Criticize Agency’s Relocation

A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is criticizing the agency’s planned relocation to the West. They are urging lawmakers in Washington this week to defund the move. The BLM says its planned relocation of more than 150 top employees out West will bring regulators closer to the lands they manage. But the former BLM officials believe the move will dismantle the agency and result in brain drain. Read the full storyNate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Updated 9:25 a.m. MST, 12/11/19: An earlier version of this story mispelled Rep. John Curtis' name.