Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. Our news partners include: The Herald Journal.

Katie Peikes / UPR

For the last two years, several groups worked on making the Highline Trail — a trail at the mouth of the north side of Logan Canyon — available for public use. They saw the completion of their efforts as the trail officially opened on Thursday.  


Author Kitson Jazynka is trying to make the odd more appealing. She recently wrote a book for National Geographic Kids called, “125 Wacky Roadside Attractions.” 

It includes things like a giant eyeball sculpture, a tunnel of love and museum of Pez memorabilia.

Nick Herrmann

For thirty years, volunteers from businesses, schools and church groups have been taking children with disabilities fishing. UPR’s Nick Herrmann spent the day at Salem Pond watching and recording as state wildlife workers taught more than a thousand youth with special needs the art of baiting and catching fish.

Matheson To Lead Diplomacy Committee

May 26, 2016

  Former Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson joins former Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., on the Utah Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He said that the group’s aims of fostering diplomacy and encouraging economic cooperation helped convince him to sign on.


According to the Bureau of Land Management, there are over sixty-seven thousand wild horses on public land in the west, and the BLM estimates that the number will double in just four more years. Wednesday, Utah Representative Chris Stewart insisted, the crisis requires a bi-partisan solution, and right away.

Utah Makes Deeper Cuts to Medicaid Expansion

May 25, 2016

Utah health officials are getting criticism for a proposal to widen the state's health-care coverage gap beyond what the Legislature recently passed.

Conservation Group Introduces Pro-Public Land Billboard Campaign

May 25, 2016
Aaron Weiss


A conservation group has announced billboards are being placed in several states to highlight the consequences of state efforts to seize public lands. Organizers claim a Utah Office of Tourism campaign touts the state’s public lands without mentioning what could happen to those lands without federal funding.  

UPIN Asks: What is Utah culture?

May 24, 2016

What is Utah culture? Is it still primarily associated with our religious beginnings? Or has our culture evolved to include diverse outdoor recreation - snow-capped mountains and red rock canyons? Or is it defined by an entirely different variable? We want to hear from all past, present or future Utahns (or is it Utahans? Tell us!) within the sight or sound of our words - what is contemporary Utah to you?

Click here to tell UPR about your Utah culture.

St. George Public Transit Seeks Public Opinion

May 24, 2016
SunTran / SubChat

Officials at the Saint George public transit system, called SunTran, are considering changing up their bus routes.  

In a few weeks, Utah’s Federal District Court will begin deliberations on the White Mesa uranium mill, and whether it threatens the health of the local Ute Mountain Ute community. 

The lawsuit was filed by the Grand Canyon Trust on behalf of the Utes who live at White Mesa, south of Blanding.

Utah Safe Haven Law Strong After 15 Years

May 24, 2016

In 2001, an important question was raised in the Utah Legislature: what to do about Utah’s abandoned newborns. Salt Lake City Democratic state Rep. Patrice Arent was one of the principal architects of Utah’s Safe Haven Law.

protectourwinters.org/azletter/ / Protect Our Winters


A few of Utah’s neighbors are cracking down on the state’s polluted air that’s seeping into their backyards.

Lawsuit Challenges Utah Pornography Declaration

May 23, 2016

A legal challenge has been filed against Governor Gary Herbert’s declaration of pornography as a public health crisis. If the lawsuit were to succeed, tech companies would be required to sell their products with filters already installed. Attorney Chris Sevier, one of the plaintiffs, said that current legislation puts an undue burden on those seeking to avoid pornographic materials.


The state of Utah is facing some water challenges. Utah is the second driest state in the nation and consumes the most water per capita. The population is also predicted to double by the year 2060, according the Governor’s Office. To help meet current and future needs, the Utah Division of Water Resources has launched a campaign called “H2Oath: Utah’s Water-wise Pledge.” The program encourages Utahns to actively participate in water conservation.


Within Zion National Park, there is a small, little known creature named the ringtail. It is related to the raccoon and is completely nocturnal. With big eyes, bigger ears, and a black and white striped tail, they seem like a fairy tale critter. However, they are very real, albeit elusive and extremely smart. 

SR-30 Roadway Under Consideration

May 20, 2016

Northern Utah government and transportation officials are gathering public comment to determine what changes are needed to improve the Valley View Highway. The state road provides a direct connection for travelers from Cache Valley to I-15.

Interior Department Hosts Coal Hearing In SLC

May 20, 2016

On Thursday, the Department of Interior held a public hearing in Salt Lake City to hear from Utahns regarding reforms to coal mine leasing on federal lands. The hearing featured testimony from those both for and against the proposed reforms. Environmental groups claim that the current rules benefit mining companies at the public’s expense while coal supporters insist that a moratorium on new leases will negatively impact the economy.

youtube.com / Sutherland Institute

With help from the organization Sutherland Institute, members of two chapters of the Navajo Nation have released a video in opposition to a plan that asks President Obama to use the U.S. Antiquities Act to declare 1.9 million acres of tribal area lands as a national  monument.


Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature has approved a resolution declaring opposition to a possible national monument in the Bears Ears area of southeastern Utah. 


Utah’s national parks can expect plenty of visitors with summer approaching. However, last week’s incident involving a Yellowstone tourist who put a bison calf into his car has raised concerns over contact between humans and park animals.

Vulture Extinction Could Cause Trouble For Ecosystem

May 18, 2016
Evan Buechley

Utah’s native turkey vulture is considered abundant in cities along the Wasatch Front but the vast majority of vultures are either critically endangered or near threatened.


Public outcry has led to recent changes in how businesses treat animals. Companies like Sea World have been forced to change their policies. 


  Residents in southwestern Utah are standing watch over some of the area’s most ancient rock art sites. The “Petroglyph Patrol” volunteers will be at various archeological sites on days with heavy visitor traffic to prevent vandalism or looting of these areas. 

The Social Side of Coal Politics

May 16, 2016

A group of environmental advocates are urging the U.S. Department of Interior to make major reforms in its coal mine leasing process. The per acre rental rate and the royalty for federal coal mining have gone unchanged for several decades.

Aimee Cobabe

A ruptured water line is said to have caused a small landslide Monday morning in Logan.

According to Logan City officials, the break flooded several backyards in Logan. Mud and debris destroyed a backyard and porch and home owners in the neighborhood were evacuated.