Public Lands | KUER 90.1

Public Lands

Photo of Gilgal Sculpture garden.
sporst / Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday morning, July 7, 2020

Photo of the wave.
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday morning, June 16, 2020

Photo of Sean Reyes.
Brian Grimmett / KUER

Thursday morning, June 4, 2020

Photo of a crowded sidewalk
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MOAB — As Arches and Canyonlands national parks prepare to reopen this weekend, Gov. Gary Herbert has rejected a request from Grand County officials to limit overnight lodging. 

A helicopter flies over red and white canyons
Washington County Sheriff Search and Rescue Facebook page

ST. GEORGE — In the eight years Sgt. Darrell Cashin has worked search and rescue, Sunday was the busiest day he’s ever had on the job.

A jagged series of red and white cliffs runs toward the horizon.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — When Bryce Canyon National Park opened Wednesday morning, there were cars waiting outside the gate.

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
Erik Neumann

Wednesday morning, May 6, 2020

A vista looking out over a dirt road, rows of pine trees and white canyon walls.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Best Friends Animal Society is the new owner of roughly 1,600 acres of former state trust lands outside of Kanab.

The eroded spires and red and white canyon walls of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Courtesy of National Park Service

ST. GEORGE — Bryce Canyon National Park closed indefinitely to the public on Tuesday afternoon, National Park Service officials announced in a statement.

The sun sets on a red and white banded canyon wall, as a river runs along the valley floor below.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Zion National Park closed indefinitely on Friday in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

An empty road approaches a park entrance booth, which is out of sight. A rocky ridge rises up in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks closed indefinitely on Saturday, following calls from local governments and public health departments to temporarily shut down the parks to visitors due to coronavirus concerns. 

Photo of park entrance.
Claire Jones / KUER

The Interior Department has announced it’s temporarily waiving entrance fees for recreation areas, national monuments and national parks. Secretary David Bernhardt said he wanted to make it easier for people to recreate on public lands.

Picture of a woman holding a sign that reads "keep public lands in public hands"
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Support for the land transfer movement, which promotes shifting federal public land to state control, has flagged in recent years. 

Photo of the truck at the mine
Peabody Energy

The Trump administration controversially reopened public lands to new coal leases on Wednesday, saying the move won’t significantly impact the environment — a finding conservation groups call laughable. 

Photo of a glass of red wine
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday evening, Feb. 25, 2020

Photo of a lake surrounded by red rock
Courtesy of the National Park Service

ST. GEORGE — Warming temperatures are causing diminishing flows for the Colorado River, according to a new study published Thursday. 

Photo of bikers on the Slick Rock trail
Wikimedia Commons

Updated 1:21 p.m. MT 2/19/20

MOAB — The Sand Flats recreation area is home to two of Moab’s main attractions: the world-famous Slickrock Bike Trail and the Hell’s Revenge Jeep Trail. Together, they draw thousands of visitors here every year, contributing millions of dollars to the local economy.

A sandy two-track road cuts through stands of pinyon pine and juniper trees.
David Fuchs / KUER

Listen to this story in this KUER news brief.

ST. GEORGE — Lawyers representing the state of Utah and Kane County made their closing arguments in the so-called “bellwether roads” case on Wednesday.

Photo of two people looking out at a vista.
Bureau of Land Management

Listen to this story here.

After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Updated 11:33 a.m. MST 2/15/2020

The recently released management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, already slammed by tribes and environmentalists, may also violate federal law, according to a new law review article by two University of Utah researchers. 

A field of sagebrush glows in the morning light. A mesa rises in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Listen to the story here.

KANAB — As the debate over public lands management intensifies under the Trump administration, Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears have become household names. 

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

Photo of a cow grazing.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

Photo of cattle grazing.
Courtesy of Utah Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

C Sequanna/National Park Service

Tuesday morning, December 24, 2019

Photo of a drilling rig on Bureau of Land Management lands in Wyoming.
Bureau of Land Management

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

Image of separate photos of Mitt Romney and Rob Bishop cropped together.
KUER file

Call it the Red Rock Rumble. 

Utah Republicans Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Rob Bishop introduced legislation this week to designate 289,000 acres in an Illinois national forest as wilderness. It’s Republicans’ latest retort to an ongoing effort to create new wilderness areas in Utah state.

Photo of jeep offroading in Utah.
Bureau of Land Management Utah / flickr

Tuesday evening, December 10, 2019

Photo of the Bureau of Land Management's Salt Lake field office.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is in Washington, D.C., this week criticizing the agency’s planned relocation out West.

A parking lot is lined with several of Zion National Park's iconic natural-gas-powered busses. The canyon walls rise up in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Along with other U.S. Department of Interior agencies, Zion National Park will send three of its rangers south next year to support law enforcement efforts at national parks and monuments along the U.S. - Mexico border. 

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