environment

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Thanks to low crude-oil and natural-gas prices, every drilling rig in the San Juan Basin is sitting idle. The Farmington Daily-Times reports that for 20 months, energy companies in San Juan County, New Mexico, have been scrambling to survive, but the oil and gas downturn is the worst in more than a generation. The Daily-Times says energy-company officials believe even when prices rise again, it will be a long time before large-scale drilling can resume.

Six months remain of the Obama administration, and as the clock ticks down, anticipation and apprehension are growing around the possibility that the President will use his executive authority to name one or more new national monuments.

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The Centers for Disease Control is investigating the link between the Zika-related death of an elderly Utah resident in late June and a new case found in a member of the victim’s family. The CDC reports the deceased man, of Salt Lake County, had traveled to an area with Zika and had “uniquely high” amounts of the virus in his blood. However, the second person, who has completely recovered, did not travel to a Zika-infested area and reportedly did not have sex with anyone infected.

Austin Cope / KSJD

Over 1,000 people came to the Bluff Community Center in 100+ degree weather on Saturday to share their opinions on the proposed Bears Ears National Monument with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other officials from the departments of Interior and Agriculture. Secretary Jewell and the other officials spent very little time addressing the attendees, instead listening at length to people’s comments about the proposed monument and other options for conserving the area.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

All the Four Corners states are listed among the 10 states with the fastest-warming summers. That’s according to an analysis by Climate Central, an independent organization researching climate change. Its “States at Risk” project considers summer temperatures since 1970 to project future heat waves for many metro areas in the U.S.

Gail Binkly / KSJD

A vehicle-storage yard just across County Road 23 from the upscale Indian Camp Ranch subdivision does not need a high-impact permit. That was the unanimous recommendation of the Montezuma County Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday. Indian Camp owner Archie Hanson said he isn’t asking for the storage business to be shut down, only for the 10 to 20 cars to be moved so they aren’t visible from the subdivision’s “very, very expensive” entrance.


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Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz introduced the long-awaited Public Lands Initiative bill on Thursday.


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The first case of chronic wasting disease in deer in Southwest Colorado has been reported.

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A sizable crowd is expected for Saturday’s public meeting with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in Bluff, Utah.


Local legislators did not garner good grades from Conservation Colorado for their votes this year. On Thursday, the environmental nonprofit released its “2016 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard,” an annual look at how each legislator voted on key environmental and energy bills.


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