Voices from the Bears Ears Debate

Jul 21, 2016
Austin Cope / KSJD

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's visit to Bluff brought over 1,000 people from all over the county, state, and country. My editor and I got to the Bluff Community Center early, registered as members of the media, and found a seat near the front of the room.

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.

Dennis Skley / Creative Commons

The Democratic challenger for Colorado’s Third Congressional District seat, Gail Schwartz, met with about 30 supporters Wednesday in Cortez. Schwartz, a former state senator from Crested Butte, said a key way she differs from incumbent Scott Tipton of Cortez is regarding public-lands management. She said federal public lands should remain with the United States government rather than being transferred to the states. Schwartz said sportspersons are supporting her because she doesn’t want to “sell off” the lands.

Dennis Skley / Creative Commons

No recount is expected in a narrow Dolores County primary race between incumbent Commissioner Ernie Williams and challenger John Trocheck, both Democrats. Williams bested Trocheck by two votes, 88 to 86, in the June 28th balloting. County Clerk and Recorder LaRita Randolph says there were no provisional votes and she waited the full eight days to make sure none came in from overseas military personnel. A recount is required only if the difference is smaller than one-half of one percent, which is not the case here. Randolph says she has not seen such a close race in recent years.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

David Goehring / Creative Commons

A nonprofit watchdog group is calling for a full accounting of money spent by the state of Utah on a lawsuit seeking the transfer of federal public lands. The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability sent a letter Wednesday to the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, a legislative group that in December voted to move forward with the lawsuit, projected to cost $14 million. The Commission has hired a New Orleans law firm to work on the case.

Montezuma County Website

The Montezuma County commissioners are concerned that their constituents aren’t being kept informed about county decisions and issues. To help remedy the situation, the commissioners will hold a town-hall meeting on Monday, July 18th, at 7 p.m. in the county annex. There will be no agenda, but the commissioners will answer questions and hear concerns.

Creative Commons / Wikimedia

The boundaries of the county-commission districts in San Juan County, Utah, which have been found unconstitutional, will not be redrawn in time for the 2016 election, but a federal judge has laid out a timeline for new districts to be created.

Chris Phan / Creative Commons