(Francisco Kjolseth  | Tribune file photo) The Colorado River flows into Lake Powell near Hite Marina on Feb. 4, 2021.

Utah Senate backs new agency to battle neighboring states over Colorado River

By Brian Maffly | March 4, 2021, 12:12 a.m.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) A sunset along the shore of Willard Bay in January 2018. Willard Bay ranked as the third most-visited state park in 2020.

Utah’s state parks are drawing record crowds despite the pandemic. See which ones top the list.

By Brian Maffly | March 1, 2021, 3:08 p.m.

(Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)
Then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at a news conference at the Kanab Airport in May 2017. Standing with him were Rep. Chris Stewart and a group of county commissioners.

SUWA can sue over Zinke’s secret meetings with Utah county commissioners over monuments

By Brian Maffly | February 26, 2021, 3:18 p.m.

(Graeme Jennings | Pool via AP) Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., speaks during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Haaland vows to visit Utah before any moves are made on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase

By Brian Maffly | February 25, 2021, 3:12 p.m.

(Jim Watson | Pool via AP) Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M.,  delivers a gift to Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, before the start of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Sen. Mike Lee presses Interior nominee Deb Haaland on pending fate of Utah monuments

By Brian Maffly | February 24, 2021, 2:37 p.m.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jordan Clayton, supervisor with Utah Snow Survey for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shown with his dog Gus, at the Daniels Strawberry Snotel or snow telemetry network site, Feb. 3, 2021. The tall tower is equipped with wind, temperature, snow depth and solar radiation sensors. The brown tower, left, is a precipitation gage. All the sensors send information to the equipment shelter, right, where the data is uploaded to the NRCS. Snotels are located in often remote, high-elevation mountain watersheds and monitor snowpack, precipitation, soil moisture, temperature, and other climatic conditions affecting Utah's watersheds. Since roughly 95% of Utah's water supply comes from snowmelt, Snow Survey staff use Snotel data to forecast summer water supply conditions in the state's watersheds.

Why all that snow we’re shoveling may not rescue Utah from a bad water year

By Brian Maffly | February 22, 2021, 5:45 p.m.

(Tribune file photo)
Sprinklers cool down a runner at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City in 2017. Utahns rank among the highest per-capita water users in the nation.

We’re wasting too much water in Utah. Here are simple steps you can take to help.

By Brian Maffly | February 21, 2021, 3:11 p.m.

(Tribune file photo)
A tourist enjoys the view from Dead Horse Point State Park, one of 44 operated by the Utah Department of Natural Resources. A bill before the Legislature to restructure the department would break its Division of Parks and Recreation into two divisions and could prioritize motorized recreation in grant making.

Green groups breathe easier as Utah backs away from merging environment and natural resources agencies

By Brian Maffly | February 19, 2021, 2:18 p.m.

(Steve Griffin  |  Tribune file photo)  Mule deer stand in a sliver of morning sunshine as they graze in Emigration Canyon in 2018. Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would ban baiting in big game hunting.

Another argument for banning bait in hunting: It will slow disease spread in Utah deer

By Brian Maffly | February 17, 2021, 2:00 p.m.

(Francisco Kjolseth  |  Tribune file photo) Tom Kimbrough, a retired avalanche forecaster, is shown in 2002. He, too, was once caught in an avalanche in Wilson Glades.

‘Hemingway of the Wasatch’ recounts his close call with an avalanche at Wilson Glades

By Brian Maffly | February 15, 2021, 4:50 p.m.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune) This graphic shows the placement of the victims of the Mill Creek Canyon avalanche on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

In ‘heroic’ search, skiers in deadly Mill Creek avalanche dug out those they didn’t even know were on the mountain, too

By Brian Maffly | February 13, 2021, 2:34 a.m.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sign on a bridge on Interstate 80 in memory of the four Utahns killed in Saturday's avalanche in Mill Creek Canyon, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

Day of remembrance Sunday for those lost in Mill Creek avalanche

By Brian Maffly | February 12, 2021, 8:31 p.m.

Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune    10/23/2009
Coal truck leaves the coal-fired Hunter Power Plant just south of Castle Dale, Utah after making a delivery.  Much of the coal from Emery County's Lila Canyon mine is burned at Hunter and its sister Huntington plant. The Bureau of Land Management has approved a proposal to expand Lila Canyon's lease by 7 million tons, while shelving a proposal for a much larger coal lease to the mine's operator.

Utah’s most productive coal mine gets a life line from Trump’s federal land managers

By Brian Maffly | February 11, 2021, 7:46 p.m.

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Mule deer stand in a sliver of morning sunshine as they graze in Emigration Canyon east of Salt Lake City in 2018. Utah hunters' increasing use of trail cameras and apples to bait big game has drawn fire from some hunters who see such practices as cheating and disruptive to wildlife's natural behavior. Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, has introduced legislation that would ban these practices.

‘We’ve taken a little bit of the hunt out of hunting’: Utah lawmaker seeks to ban baiting, trail cameras

By Brian Maffly | February 11, 2021, 2:34 p.m.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Search and Rescue members await the Utah Department of Public Safety heli team to arrive in Mill Creek Canyon on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, to recover the bodies of four skiers died in an avalanche.

Skier ‘grabbed a tree and held on for dear life’: How his quick actions saved two lives in Mill Creek avalanche

By Brian Maffly | February 10, 2021, 12:25 a.m.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Search and Rescue members watch as a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter lands, carrying the belongings and the body of one of four people who died in an avalanche in Mill Creek Canyon Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

Crews recover bodies of Utah skiers killed in avalanche; dangerous conditions will persist, expert says

By Norma Gonzalez | Brian Maffly | February 9, 2021, 4:10 p.m.

(Courtesy of Stadler Rail) This image shows what a cog railway might look like in Little Cottonwood Canyon. A $1 billion proposal to run such a line from La Caille restaurant to Alta Ski Resort is being considered among traffic-solution options by the Central Wasatch Commission, a canyon planning board.

A rail line may soon head to Alta. Here’s what it might look like.

By Brian Maffly | February 8, 2021, 1:00 p.m.

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Utah legislative leaders on Thursday unveiled plans for a new $9 million state agency to advance Utah’s claims to the Colorado River in hopes of wrangling more of the river’s water. Environmentalists characterized the proposed river commission as a “shadowy new government agency” aimed at promoting the Lake Powell pipeline and other big water diversions. Lake Powell is shown in 2016.

Proposed river authority would assert Utah’s claims to the Colorado’s dwindling water

By Brian Maffly | February 5, 2021, 1:30 a.m.

(Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) Fourmile Canyon/Last Chance Road, also known as K7300 in Kane County, is one of 15 "bellwether" routes at issue in a three-weeklong trial in U.S. District Court in 2020. Judge Clark Waddoups is expected to render decisions this year that will guide resolution to Utah's claims to 12,500 other routes crossing public lands, but a recent appeals court ruling could enable wilderness advocates to intervene in these lawsuits and drag the proceedings out for years.

Utah’s 10-year battle over disputed roads crisscrossing public lands likely just got a lot longer

By Brian Maffly | February 1, 2021, 1:00 p.m.

(Keith Johnson | Tribune file photo) This Jan. 21, 2014, file photo shows the Stericycle plant in North Salt Lake that incinerated hazardous medical waste and racked up multiple violations of clean air laws and regulations. It has now agreed to pay $2.6 million to resolve a case brought by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Medical waste incinerator agrees to pay $2.6M to resolve alleged clean air violations

By Brian Maffly | January 30, 2021, 11:12 p.m.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) This file photo shows equipment in the oil fields southeast of Vernal, Feb. 7, 2012. The new Biden administration has announced a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, potentially slowing down further development in Utah’s Uinta Basin.

President Joe Biden halts federal oil and gas leasing to review the program

By Brian Maffly | January 27, 2021, 11:28 p.m.

(Brian Maffly | Tribune file photo) The operators of this shuttered coal-cleaning plant in Wellington have walked away from the 30-acre facility, Utah regulators say, after numerous unabated violations, including the sale of 4,000 tons of coal waste that wound up paving a parking lot. Now the state is sticking four corporate officers each with $2.3 million penalties as leverage to get them to clean up the site.

Utah sticks coal executives with $2.3 million fines for mess created by failed plant

By Brian Maffly | January 26, 2021, 1:14 p.m.

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Comb Ridge in Bears Ears National Monument is seen in this file photo. President Joe Biden has initiated a 60-day review of Bears Ears and also of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Former President Donald Trump slashed the size of both monuments and Biden is considering enlarging them.

President Joe Biden’s order to review Utah monuments leaves options open, but expansion all but certain

By Brian Maffly | Zak Podmore | January 25, 2021, 3:19 p.m.

(Rick Bowmer | AP file photo) In this July 13, 2015, file photo, Melanie Martin of the Tar Sands Resistance Movement, looks over the Book Cliffs, in eastern Utah. Development of the country's first tar sands mine is one of a number of battle fronts across the West between preservationists and the energy industry.

Utah cries foul over moratorium on oil and gas leasing and drilling

By Brian Maffly | January 23, 2021, 1:17 a.m.

(Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo) This Jan. 6, 2015, file photo shows the Salt Lake Valley and Oquirrh Mountains looking southwest from the Gateway mall as an inversion and smog begin building. The Department of Environmental Quality, which monitors air quality, along with water and waste management in the state, would be merged with the Department of Natural Resources under legislation being drafted in coordination with the new Spencer Cox administration.

Does a plan to merge Utah’s environment and natural resources agencies signal a waning commitment to clean air, water in Utah?

By Brian Maffly | January 22, 2021, 12:55 a.m.