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Brian Maffly

Environment reporter, Health, education and environment

801-257-8713, bmaffly@sltrib.com


  • President Donald Trump holds up a pen he used to sign one of various bills in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, March 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Utah guv hails President Trump’s repeal of BLM land-planning reforms
    Gov. Gary Herbert met briefly Monday with President Donald Trump at the White House during the signing of a bill repealing federal-land planning refor...
    Updated Mar 27 2017 11:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, in partner ship with Westminster College scientists, is conducting research on the Great Salt Lakeís Gunnison Island to determine the impact of low lake levels on the pelicans that nest there. This March researchers installed cameras around the island to observe the birdsí breeding and nesting behavior and to see whether coyotes and foxes have gained access. Gunnison Island: Scientists pay rare visit to desolate Great Salt Lake breeding ground for pelicans
    Gunnison Island, Box Elder County >> Unless you count migratory birds as company, the loneliest places in Utah are the tiny salt-encrusted islan...
    Updated Mar 26 2017 09:50 am   |     |   Share

  • |  courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources  Utah conservation officers confiscated these deer antlers Feb. 7 after catching some gathering them in violation of an emergency closing the entire state to antler gathering until April 1. The agency has so far cited 26 people for violating the order imposed to avoid disturbance to big game during a harsh winter. Horns of a dilemma: Utah wildlife officers continue crackdown on antler gathering
    Cedar City resident Wyatt Herbaugh kept an eye on a mule deer for much of the winter, coveting its prodigious rack of horns. He hoped to find the six-...
    Updated Mar 22 2017 11:20 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy of Save Our Canyons Bonanza Flats near the Wasatch Crest’s Guardsman Pass would be preserved under a $38 million deal reached by Park City leaders with the 1,350-acre parcel’s owner. This land was to become a 260-unit luxury destination, but the city, Summit County and nine non-profit groups have joined forces to acquire the land for public enjoyment and habitat conservation. As clock winds down on Bonanza Flats, will Salt Lake help pay for conservation deal?
    Midway resident Jonathan Clegg, whose Wasatch County roots reach back generations, came to the town council last week asking for money to help Park Ci...
    Updated Mar 21 2017 08:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • Zach Schierl  |  National Park Service Up to 5,000 stars visible from Utah’s Cedar Breaks National Monument, as seen in this night-time photo shot from Point Supreme Overlook last summer. The monument on Saturday celebrates its recent designation as a Dark Sky Park. See the stars at Cedar Breaks, Utah’s newest dark-sky park
    From the rim of Cedar Breaks National Monument on clear, moon-less nights, around 5,000 stars can be seen above this deep-red geological amphitheater....
    Updated Mar 16 2017 11:41 am   |     |   Share

  • (Photo by Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune)    Trucks line up to receive coal at Sufco Mine in Emery Friday June 3, 2011.  Coal has been mined continuously from the SUFCO mine since 1941. Zinke finalizes Greens Hollow coal lease, would secure Utah’s oldest mine
    Federal officials have finalized a 55 million-ton coal lease in a deal that ensures continued operations of Utah’s oldest and most productive coal min...
    Updated Mar 16 2017 08:56 am   |     |   Share

  • (Brian Maffly  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    At least 200 Garfield County residents gathered outside county offices in Panguitch Monday to speak for and against a resolution calling for the downsizing of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Garfield votes for a smaller Grand Staircase despite divided constituency
    Panguitch • Supporters and detractors of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument faced off Monday inside and outside the Garfield County Courthous...
    Updated Mar 14 2017 09:44 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Representative Mike Noel, R-Kanab, works on the House floor at the Utah Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Prepping to gain control of thousands of acres of public land, Utah lawmakers create ‘Department of Land Management’
    Public land ranchers won’t have to worry about their grazing fees skyrocketing or their allotments being sold to developers — if and when Utah gains t...
    Updated Mar 11 2017 12:38 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Supporters of Bears Ears National Monument gather to protest movement by republicans at the Utah Capitol to move HCR11 and HCR12, resolutions asking President Donald Trump to erase the Bears Ears and alter Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, directly to the House floor for debate on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Utah lawmakers take aim at Bears Ears, ask for Trump’s help
    The Utah Legislature’s first order of business this session was to pass resolutions targeting the state’s two massive national monuments. HCR11 calls...
    Updated Mar 10 2017 11:29 am   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Luke Henry, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.  BLM proposes oil and gas leases on two parcels along the Kolob Terrace Road overlooking North Creek just west of Zion National Park. These parcels would be only the public lands in Washington County leased for energy development. Park service, local governments decry oil and gas leasing near Zion
    Oil and gas leasing in Washington County could threaten water supplies and impair the values that make Zion National Park one of the crown jewels of t...
    Updated Mar 10 2017 04:00 pm   |     |   Share

  • ( Rick Egan   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    The sun sets behind Factory Butte, near Hanksville, Utah, Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Utah asks court to reject BLM travel plan settlement
    State officials and several Utah counties are pushing to scuttle a proposed settlement between the Bureau of Land Management and environmentalists ove...
    Updated Mar 07 2017 10:54 pm   |     |   Share

  • San Juan County sheriff investigating phony Bears Ears fliers
    Someone is again posting phony information about Bears Ears National Monument around San Juan County, and it’s worth $500 to the local sheriff to find...
    Updated Mar 07 2017 02:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Duck hunters at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Friday October 18, 2013. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke repeals lead ban on ammo and tackle
    Among his first official acts as interior secretary, Ryan Zinke this week repealed a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle in national wildlife re...
    Updated Mar 03 2017 11:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Division of Wildlife Rescources members weigh one of 50  mountain goats transported captured in the Tushar Mountains east of Beaver, Utah on Tuesday September 3, 2013. Biologists transported some to the La Sal Mountains where a herd was established over the objections of the U.S. Forest Service. Judge rejects suit over La Sal goat introduction
    A federal judge refused to order the removal of mountain goats in Utah’s La Sal Mountains on Thursday, saying it is too early for the courts to interf...
    Updated Mar 02 2017 09:04 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Kathy Stephenson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Farm co-manager, Tony Jacobsen, left, and Nina Brownell prep the soil for planting at the farm for Hells Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. National monument helped us blossom, says renowned Utah restauraunt
    A few years after the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996, Blake Spalding and Jen Castle set up a restaurant in the ran...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 05:56 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Gavin Noyes, left, executive director of Utah Dine Bikeyah, speaks in opposition HCR24, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, at right, during the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. HCR24 encourages state acquisition of the Bears Ears National Monument. Utah lawmakers seek to purchase Bears Ears land, take over management from feds
    Utah lawmakers are pursuing another piece of legislation targeting Bears Ears National Monument, this time proposing the state take over these archaeo...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 06:01 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy of Needles Outpost Tracey Napoleone and Gary Knecht ran The Needles Outpost near† Canyonlands National Park for for nearly 20 years before the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration evicted them last year, citing a string of confrontations with visitors. Now SITLA intends to auction this 640-acre section, which abuts the new Bears Ears National Monument. State to sell Needles Outpost land, bidding starts at $1 million
    Soon after Tracey Napoleone and Gary Knecht bought the Needles Outpost in 1997, things starting going wrong. The trailer hook-ups didn’t work, the bui...
    Updated Feb 27 2017 04:04 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, speaks on HCR001S01 concurrent resolution to secure the perpetual health and vitality of Utah’s public lands and its status as a premier public lands state during a House Natural Resources committee hearing at the Utah Capitol on Friday, February 24, 2017. Resolutions push to wrest public lands from ‘broken’ fed control
    Utah lawmakers appear to be renewing a long-standing threat to sue the federal government to take ownership of 31 million acres of public land. A res...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 05:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • Bill that would keep Utah counties from regulating oil and gas gets pulled
    Under pressure from Utah cities and counties, the oil and gas industry has asked the Legislature to withdraw a bill that would constrain local governm...
    Updated Feb 23 2017 06:54 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)    Wild horses in the Onaqui wild horse herd, about 60 miles southwest of Tooele near Simpson Springs, Thursday June 5, 2014. Utah lawmakers set out to wrangle wild horses from BLM’s control – and possibly slaughter them for meat
    Federal management of wild horses has been a dismal failure, resulting in ecological and economic havoc on Utah’s public ranges, according to new legi...
    Updated Feb 23 2017 11:36 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks during the town-hall meeting in Brighton High School Thursday February 9, 2017. Chaffetz probes Bryce Canyon tweet welcoming Bears Ears
    Washington • The day after President Barack Obama named Bears Ears National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park tweeted out its exuberant support and...
    Updated Feb 21 2017 11:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • Proposal to create Utah state park at historic Hole-in-the-Rock gaining traction
    Nearly a century and a half ago, Mormon pioneers cut a trail through a natural cleft in the north wall of Glen Canyon, using shovels, picks and dynami...
    Updated Feb 20 2017 09:48 am   |     |   Share

  • |  courtesy of Paul Fife  Shed elk antlers gathered in southern Utah are leaned against a tree. Utah wildlife officials have closed the entire state to antler gathering until April 1 because mule and deer elk are facing the toughest winter in years. The closure is needed to minimize stress to these animals as they fight for survival in deep snows blanketing the northern part of the state. Utah closed to antler gathering until April
    Paul Fife takes March off every year to roam Utah in search of antlers shed by big game over winter. This is when bull elk begin dropping their bony h...
    Updated Mar 22 2017 08:24 pm   |     |   Share

  • Escalante business owners rebel against anti-monument resolution
    Garfield County commissioners have hit the pause button on a proposed resolution targeting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument after dozen...
    Updated Feb 15 2017 09:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin / The Salt Lake Tribune)    Skis, boots, biddings bikes and snow shoes were just a few of the items available available testing during the Outdoor Retailer demo day at Solitude in Salt Lake City Monday January 9, 2017. Outdoor industry execs ramp up rhetoric, send ultimatum to Utah governor
    Leading U.S. outdoor retailers are again threatening to pull their twice-a-year trade show out of Salt Lake City, this time in an ultimatum to Utah Go...
    Updated Feb 18 2017 12:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Hiker takes a compass bearing before walking across part of Cedar Mesa in San Juan County.  Prominent Bears Ears formation visible in the distance. The area is included for a proposed Bears Ears National Monument. Utah groups pushing greater local control of public lands, wildlife seeking $4 million in state money
    Utah lawmakers are again considering several requests to fund legal and lobbying efforts directed at gaining greater state control over public lands a...
    Updated Feb 15 2017 02:16 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Bureau of Land Management special agent Dan Love was among the federal agents and archaelogists to search and remove artifacts in raids in Blanding in 2009. An unnamed BLM agent holding the same supervisory position with the agency was named Monday in a Department of Interior Office of Inspector General’s Monday that citing ethics violations. A lawsuit involving American Indian artifacts, alleged excessive force and a Utahn’s suicide has hit another wall
    A three-judge panel on Monday upheld the dismissal of a Utah family’s lawsuit against a Bureau of Land Management agent blamed for the suicide of Blan...
    Updated Feb 13 2017 11:44 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Brian Maffly  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Cody Draper, right, Shane Hughes, middle, and Matt Gunn, left, push to the summit of Grandeur Peak on Saturday for the annual Running Up For Air 24-hour endurance challenge. The event raises money for Breathe Utah and awareness about the Wasatch Front’s poor air quality. The 125-participant race is staged out of Mill Creek Canyon’s Church Fork picnic area, where runners do repeated 5.8-mile trips up and down the peak overlooking Salt Lake City. Marathoners take to Utah’s Grandeur Peak in search of frigid challenge, clean air
    It may be the dead of winter, but the summit of Grandeur Peak, the 8,299-foot-high promontory on the south side of Parleys Canyon, was a busy place Sa...
    Updated Feb 11 2017 09:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Luke Henry, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.  BLM proposes oil and gas leases on two parcels along the Kolob Terrace Road overlooking North Creek just west of Zion National Park. These parcels would be only the public lands in Washington County leased for energy development. BLM delays oil-drilling leases near Zion National Park amid concerns about tourism, groundwater
    The Bureau of Land Management is giving the public another month to weigh in on a controversial proposal to issue oil and gas leases west of Zion Cany...
    Updated Feb 16 2017 10:20 am   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    A group of spirited two and three year-old mares nip at each other as they spend time in the BLM pens awaiting adoption. The Bureau of Land Management holds a wild horse adoption Saturday, January 24, 2009, in Delta. Beaver County, horse advocates sue the BLM in legal tug-of-war over Utah’s wild horses
    Wranglers for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management completed a roundup of 655 wild horses from Utah’s West Desert in late January, but the agency’s deci...
    Updated Feb 10 2017 03:16 pm   |     |   Share