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(Christie Hemm Klok | The New York Times) The Kayenta Solar Plant on the Navajo Reservation in Kayenta, Ariz. on Jan. 21, 2020. President Joe Biden will announce a suite of executive actions on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to combat climate change, two people familiar with his plans said, including a ban on new oil and gas drilling on federal land.

Biden to announce halting new oil and gas drilling leases on federal land

By Lisa Friedman | The New York Times | January 26, 2021, 5:30 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.

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 | January 25, 2021, 3:19 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.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A storm brought about 3 inches of snow to Salt Lake City, photographed Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.

Saturday’s snowstorm brings out the skiers, as well as the traffic jams and avalanche warnings

By Eric Walden | January 24, 2021, 10:08 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.

(Evan Vucci | AP) President Joe Biden waits to sign his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. An order starting the restoration of original boundaries to Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument were expected to be among the initial orders signed.

President Joe Biden starts process to restore Utah’s national monuments

By Brian Maffly | Zak Podmore | Taylor Stevens | January 22, 2021, 12:54 a.m.

(Tom Wharton | Tribune file photo) Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is pictured in the July 26, 2017 file photo.

Feds approve highway across Washington County’s Red Cliffs conservation area

By Brian Maffly | January 15, 2021, 10:35 p.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.

(John Roark | The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file) In this June 11, 2020 file photo Wynn Whitmeyer of the Idaho Falls Fire Department uses a drip can to ignite cheat grass and tumbleweeds during a controlled burn east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Environmentalists have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S government to block plans to build up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks they claim would violate the Endangered Species Act in a misguided effort to slow the advance of wildfires in six Western states.

Environmentalists move toward lawsuit over fuel break plan

By Scott Sonner | The Associated Press | January 14, 2021, 5:26 p.m.

(Courtesy photo by Ray Bloxham, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) An energy company plans to drill for helium on this site in the newly designated Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness. A federal judge has rejected environmentalists' bid to block the Bureau of Land Management from approving the Bowknot helium project, proposed by Twin Bridges Resources.

Judge rejects last-ditch move to block helium drilling in Utah wilderness

By Brian Maffly | January 14, 2021, 2:53 a.m.

(Courtesy photo by Natural Resources Conservation Service) This basin in Utah’s Long Valley near Orderville would be inundated by a proposed dam impounding the Virgin River's water. The project is supposed to benefit alfalfa growers, but critics contend that is a subterfuge to win big federal subsidies and that its real aim is store water to feed growth in the St. George area.

Conservation groups seek federal probe of Virgin River reservoir proposal

By Brian Maffly | January 13, 2021, 4:01 p.m.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) The Bears Ears buttes in Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County are seen in this April 24, 2019 file photo. Grand County's governing commission has joined neighboring San Juan County in supporting an expansion of the monument boundaries to their original size, as designated by former President Barack Obama before President Trump moved to shrink them.

Utah’s Grand County asks President-elect Joe Biden to restore Bears Ears monument borders

By Zak Podmore | January 22, 2021, 12:57 a.m.

FILE - This May 28, 2013 file photo shows a on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature photographers hoping to explore the colorful, contoured landscape of the hugely popular trail in the U.S. Southwest will now have a better chance at landing one of the elusive permits after the U.S. government Monday, Jan. 11,2021 tripled the number of daily visitors allowed. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

Trump administration triples daily number of hikers allowed at fragile rock formation in southern Utah

By Brady McCombs | The Associated Press | January 12, 2021, 1:06 a.m.

(Leah Millis | The Casper Star-Tribune via AP, file) In this March 5, 2013, file photo, Trinidad Drilling rigs stand near Highway 59 outside Douglas, Wyo. In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. That stands to undercut President-elect Joe Biden's plans to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change.

Oil companies lock in drilling, challenging Biden on climate

By Matthew Brown and Cathy Bussewitz | The Associated Press | January 11, 2021, 8:09 p.m.

(Francisco Kjolseth  |  Tribune file photo) This Tribune file photo from 2017 shows crews moving coal at the Levan transfer facility along Interstate 15, south of Nephi, where a steady flow of trucks unload it before it is transferred to train cars bound for export terminals in California. Utah has joined industry lawsuits seeking to invalidate a coal ban enacted by the city of Richmond, a key port city where Utah coal is shipped to Japan.

Utah is suing a California city over its coal ban

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

(Francisco Kjolseth  | The Salt Lake Tribune) Limited snowfall has led to a diminished snowpack as low accumulations can be seen at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon where south facing slopes are showing bare spots. Already in the grip of a stubborn drought, Utah is facing a bleak water year with snow accumulations in Big Cottonwood Canyon and across the state far below normal. A hydrological monitoring station at Brighton measured just five inches of water in the snowpack, nearly half what would normally be there at the start of the new year.

As drought continues, Utah’s water outlook gets bleaker

By Brian Maffly | January 12, 2021, 2:30 a.m.

(Courtesy of the Ken Sleight Collection) Ken Sleight and Tim DeChristopher met while DeChristopher was being tried for protesting oil leases near Arches National Park in 2010.

New film chronicles environmental ‘outlaw’ Ken Sleight’s fight to restore Glen Canyon

By Zak Podmore | January 10, 2021, 8:48 p.m.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) In this Aug. 14, 2020, file photo, a hiker can be seen approaching Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. A state lawmaker from Orem has opened a bill that would give state monument protection and resources to the popular spot, which recently was granted a county conservation easement — a move that is being challenged by a developer's lawsuit.

Lawmaker seeks to make Provo Canyon’s Bridal Veil Falls a state monument

By Leia Larsen | January 9, 2021, 8:23 p.m.

(Courtesy photo by Utah Rivers Council) This land slated for a future subdivision in St. George is among the supposed alfalfa fields to be irrigated by water from the proposed Cove Reservoir far upstream on the Virgin River in Kane County. Project critics contend the dam proponents have deliberately mischaracterized the reservoir’s purpose to win huge federal subsidies intended to support agriculture.

Utah’s Cove Reservoir was proposed under false pretenses to win federal subsidy, critics allege

By Brian Maffly | January 7, 2021, 4:19 p.m.

(Nick Cote | The New York Times) The Grand Valley Ditch, running through Grand Junction, Colo., diverts water from the Colorado River to irrigate farms, on Oct. 28, 2020. Investor interest in the Colorado River could redefine century-old rules for who controls one of the most valuable economic resources in the United States.

Wall Street eyes billions in the Colorado River’s Water

By Ben Ryder Howe | The New York Times | January 4, 2021, 5:20 p.m.

(Tribune file photo)
In this June 20, 2012, photo, Chad Landress, a biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, holds a June sucker in Utah.

How a once-endangered fish is bouncing back and why it’s good news for Utah Lake

By Brian Maffly | January 4, 2021, 2:00 p.m.

(Courtesy of Tomoyo Tamayama) Activists pose for a photo before their visit to a Japan Atomic Energy Agency site in southern Japan that plans to ship radioactive material to Utah for processing. Tomoyo Tamayama (below)  researched the legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation in two postgraduate programs.

Activists in Japan rally against plans to export radioactive material to Utah

By Zak Podmore | January 4, 2021, 1:00 p.m.

(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune) Ella Sorensen, manager of Audubon’s Gillmor Sanctuary on the Great Salt Lake's South Shore on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. A new donation of land helps ensure the long-term preservation of the delta used by millions of migratory birds.

This gift means the Great Salt Lake’s bird sanctuary is now larger and better protected

By Brian Maffly | December 31, 2020, 6:14 p.m.

(Zak Podmore | The Salt Lake Tribune) Looking west from a parcel of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) that was recently leased to an oil and gas company in San Juan County. Four parcels that sold in an October lease sale overlapped with the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, which President-elect Joe Biden has promised to restore. December 16, 2020.

Utah criticized for selling oil and gas leases in the original Bears Ears monument

By Zak Podmore | December 26, 2020, 1:00 p.m.