Brian Maffly, Salt Lake Tribune

Brian Maffly

Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City, UT, United States

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Recent:
  • Salt Lake Tribune
Past:
  • Popular Resistance

Recent articles by Brian:

Frustrated tribal leaders wonder if Bears Ears is a national monument in name only

Nine months after President Barack Obama enshrined the 1.3 million acres encircling Utah’s Bears Ears Buttes as a protected landscape, federal agencies have done little to manage the lands as outlined in the monument proclamation. → Read More

Leaked memo: Zinke wants smaller monuments, but how small?

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke clearly has his sights on trimming national monuments in southern Utah, but his official report to President Donald Trump is so short on specifics it remains unclear where any “revised” boundaries to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante would fall. → Read More

Utah quietly tells feds: Trim Bears Ears monument by 90 percent

If maps Utah has submitted to the Interior Department are a guide, Bears Ears National Monument will be drastically cut in size. → Read More

Feds get just $15K for auction of controversial oil and gas leases on sage grouse habitat

The Bureau of Land Management’s attempt on Tuesday to auction nine parcels in Utah’s West Desert for oil and gas development was a bust, with just three parcels attracting the minimum bid of $2 an acre, netting the federal agency a grand total of $14,837. → Read More

Panguitch's water supply tainted with E. coli in wake of Brian Head fire

Two years ago, leaders of Utah’s Garfield County put the U.S. Forest Service on notice that overgrown timberlands on the Markagunt Plateau posed a dire threat to the town of Panguitch. → Read More

Feds set to ‘lop and scatter’ trees near Price to improve sage grouse habitat

The Bureau of Land Management is poised to begin thinning pinyon and juniper trees over a large area in the coal-mining country west of Price. → Read More

Federal agency over Utah’s public lands quietly 'streamlines' its environmental reviews

In another nod to the needs of the oil and gas industry, the U.S. Department of Interior has instructed its agencies to “streamline” environment reviews and impose severe time and page limits on critical decision-making documents. → Read More

BLM to auction oil and gas leases next to Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument and in San Rafael Swell

Federal land managers are moving forward with a proposed sale of controversial oil and gas leases in Utah’s San Rafael Swell and on the doorstep of Dinosaur National Monument, the agency announced Friday. → Read More

Utah’s Zion National Park testing electric buses to cut down on noise, pollution in crowded park

There’s a new bus in Utah’s Zion National Park, a state-of-the-art, electric-battery-powered people-mover that is auditioning as a possible replacement to the old propane-fueled buses. The park’s 20-vehicle fleet, which is credited with saving Zion Canyon from traffic gridlock, is on its last wheels, yet no funding has been set aside to replace it. In the interim, park officials and Zion’s… → Read More

Crews try to restore badly scorched portions of Brian Head

It is raining straw over Utah’s Markagunt Plateau this week as helicopter crews drop mulch on the worst burn spots from the Brian Head fire → Read More

Rainbow trout’s days are numbered on select national forest streams

The Dixie National Forest is poised to wipe out a sport fishery on two streams to restore native trout to parts of the Paunsaugunt Plateau → Read More

New report faults controversial BLM agent for mishandling evidence

While Dan Love was in charge of Bureau of Land Management law enforcement for Utah, rare items known as moqui marbles appeared all over the agency’s Salt Lake City headquarters, apparently as gifts and office decor → Read More

A top interior official calls for ending bans on selling, euthanizing wild horses

A senior Interior Department official called Wednesday for killing healthy horses and burros to rein in runaway costs associated with managing growing wild herds roaming the West’s public rangelands. The 73,000 animals, not counting this year’s foal crop, are now triple what these lands can support, according to Aurelia Skipwith, deputy assistant secretary of Interior for fish, wildlife and… → Read More

With redraw of Bears Ears, Grand Staircase looming, Utah State University study says national monuments are neither economic ‘boon nor bane’

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s will issue recommendations this week for large national monuments that will reverberate across Utah, where residents remain divided over the new Bears Ears and the 21-year-old Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Zinke has signaled he will urge major reductions to the two Utah monuments, which state and county leaders say strangle local economies and… → Read More

Utah State University hosts wild horse summit, but excludes key advocates and the public

Critics of a national conference on wild horses, opening this week in Salt Lake City, assert its state organizers have closed the event to the public and excluded key figures in the horse-advocacy community. Utah State University is hosting the three-day event starting Tuesday in an effort to provide participants “with the best available science, to help them make informed decisions about the… → Read More

Firm wants to burn methane leaking from Utah coal mine — creating credits to sell to carbon-emitting companies

Coal and trona mines are a big source of methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas. Long after land that has been mined is restored, heat-trapping methane can still leak into the atmosphere. Now a Colorado business is developing a plan to make money by burning methane that would otherwise seep out of Utah’s recently retired West Ridge coal mine near East Carbon. Flaring the gas creates an… → Read More

National Park Service reverses ban on bottled water

Americans pitch at least 50 billion plastic water bottles into the trash each year, generating one of the largest streams of avoidable consumer waste. The National Park Service did its part to reduce that stream with a 2011 policy allowing local park officials to ban sales of bottled water, but on Wednesday the agency unexpectedly reversed that policy, effectively ending bottle bans at several… → Read More

7 Utah counties exploring experimental nuclear power from ‘molten salt’

Imagine generating nuclear power that can’t be turned into weapons, doesn’t pose a risk of meltdown or radiation release nor produce high-level radioactive waste that could contaminate the environment for millennia. And to sweeten the deal, medical isotopes could be harvested from a process. Such technology, using thorium instead of uranium as a core fuel, is proven to some extent and Utah is… → Read More

Utah TV recyclers indicted for mishandling tons of hazardous glass

The feds finally indict Anthony Stoddard, the TV recycler who illegally stockpiled millions of pounds of broken cathode-ray tubes, considered hazardous waste, in numerous Utah locations, leaving major headaches for the state and his landlords. His company Stone Castle Recycling abandoned sites in Cedar City, St. George and Clearfield. We have lots of file art. → Read More

Utah's RS2477 road lawsuits get a reprieve from high court

In a pivotal ruling for Utah’s legal battle to control thousands of routes crossing federal land, a divided Utah Supreme Court has held that these road claims have not run out of time under an ... → Read More