Correction: In some instances in the below story, the EPA was credited by the author to be the agency overseeing the Endangered Species designation of the Greater-Sage Grouse. This has been changed, and corrected.
A lobbyist for Utah energy interests has recommended that the state defend itself from the Greater Sage-Grouse.
The Greater Sage-Grouse, a bird species native to Utah and much of the West, has often been characterized by conservationists as a species in danger. A century ago, millions of these ornate birds roamed America’s sagebrush. Today, it’s estimated that there are only a few hundred thousand left.
The Sage-Grouse’s dwindling numbers have provoked the question of species protection in recent years. To date, the bird is not an endangered species, but that could change in 2015, when the federal government plans to reassess the well-being of the species.
But according to Utah energy lobbyist Jeff Hartley, the state should be prepared to fight a legal battle with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the Greater Sage-Grouse. What’s Hartley’s suggestion to the Utah legislature? Speaking to the Executive Appropriations Committee last week, he told members to brace themselves for the coming battle with the federal government.
Dr. Randall Irmis speaks at a press conference at the Natural History Museum of Utah on November 6, 2013. Irmis and his team announced the discovery of a previously unknown dinosaur species. A skeletal model of the dinosaur stands behind Irmis.
Former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina was in Utah last week trying to garner support for policies tackling climate change.
Former congressman Bob Inglis heads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a campaign he started in 2012. According to its website, the initiative strives to address climate change and environmental issues by, quote, “embracing solutions that are true to conservative principles,” unquote.
Local religious leaders staged a demonstration outside the Governor’s mansion on Wednesday. They gathered to convince Governor Gary Herbert to endorse Medicaid expansion in Utah. Next year, states have the option to expand Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act. For his part, the governor has said he doesn’t plan to make a decision until next year.
Wednesday marked the fiftieth anniversary of King’s historic speech and the March on Washington, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement in America. To commemorate the anniversary, Governor Gary Herbert ordered bells across the state to ring at 1 p.m. mountain time.
Federal and local officials met in Draper on Friday to celebrate the completion of a new light rail line there. The new TRAX line will connect Draper to Salt Lake City and other areas in the region. The project was the final step in a broader effort by UTA to improve public transportation by 2015. The program, called Frontlines 2015, finished two years early and three hundred million dollars under budget. It was a star-studded event in Draper on Friday. Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Orrin Hatch, and new United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx were all present for the opening of Draper’s new TRAX line.
Wednesday was National Navajo Code Talker Day. It’s a day commemorating the role of Navajo code talkers who used their native language to transmit secret information during World War II. Today, many American Indian languages are dying out. To help remedy this problem, some Shoshone students are using a new kind of code—video game programming code—to help save their language and promote their culture.
The Tooele City Council decided to table an ordinance regulating the use of e-cigarettes on Wednesday. The ordinance sought to “mirror” Utah’s policies already in place concerning e-cigarettes. In Utah, it is illegal to smoke – or “vape” – e-cigarettes in public places.
E-cigarettes are a fairly new innovation, and little is known about the long-term health effects.
Protesters from the “Restore the Fourth” movement gathered in downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday. The group, which began as an online community, is dedicated to preserving Fourth Amendment rights, particularly in light of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations about the government’s handling of cell phone metadata.
“Restore the Fourth” supporters met outside the Scott Matheson Courthouse for what they called “1984 Day.” The day was named after George Orwell’s classic novel, often cited as a warning of state surveillance run amuck.
The aviation program at Utah State University is getting a big upgrade to their training facilities.
USU Aviation Technology has acquired a new jet flight simulator. The simulator is a replica of the Bombardier CRJ 700 cockpit, and it will be used to prepare pilots for commercial jet flying.
According to its website, manufacturer Paradigm Shift Solutions says the simulator includes over 24,000 airports and the ability to “create and save very realistic training scenarios that can be performed time after time.”