Brian Maffly, Salt Lake Tribune

Brian Maffly

Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City, UT, United States

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  • Salt Lake Tribune
  • Popular Resistance

Recent articles by Brian:

Criticism high, bidding low for Utah’s biggest oil, gas lease sale since the Bush years. Sensitive areas near Canyonlands auctioned.

Critics have been saying it for months. Under President Donald Trump, Utah’s scenic public lands are being sold off to the highest bidder. → Read More

The fragile artifacts of John Wesley Powell’s famed expedition to Utah will be on display, but just for one day

Earlier this year, University of Utah geology professor Marjorie Chan was giving a speech at Illinois State University when she told her host, Dave Malone, about her interest in Western Americana and her desire to visit area antique shops. → Read More

Why is the Great Salt Lake half red and half blue?

A railroad causeway built in 1959 cut Utah’s Great Salt Lake into two very different lakes, ecologically speaking, as seen in this striking drone footage posted by ABC News on Wednesday. The water north of the causeway is a deep red, reflecting its highly saline chemistry. → Read More

Utah copes with drying streams, dying animals as drought tightens its grip — with no relief in sight

After one of the hottest and driest summers on record, Utah’s water supplies are so low that agricultural water deliveries have been cut short, stream gauges need to be repositioned to measure paltry flows, young deer and elk are dying and ranchers are liquidating their herds. → Read More

Why is Emigration Creek — a historic Utah waterway — dry? Blame runs from climate change to drought to development to water-sucking wells.

The creek winding down Emigration Canyon once sustained Mormon pioneers’ inaugural crops planted in the summer of 1847 and helped water the Intermountain West’s first major settlement for decades. → Read More

Is Utah coal bound for Baja California? Officials strike a deal with the Mexican state, where a port could ship it overseas.

The West’s coal country has long sought to offset declining domestic coal consumption through exports to Pacific Rim countries. But politically liberal West Coast cities and states have gotten in the way, obstructing proposals for new coal-handling terminals. → Read More

What the new plans mean for mining, grazing, recreation and artifacts in Grand Staircase and Bears Ears

Mining and drilling would not be allowed in the 1 million acres remaining in Grand Staircase, along with 210,000 acres removed from the monument. That would leave nearly 700,000 acres stripped from the monument open to mining for coal, tar sands and other minerals and drilling for oil and gas — with some stipulations to protect nonmineral resources. The Bureau of Land Management’s preferred… → Read More

Stay out of Utah Lake, health officials warn, as algal danger spreads

Utah Lake has become one big, toxic bowl of cyanobacteria soup. → Read More

You may have to reserve a time to see Delicate Arch, but is such a system really the best way to rescue Arches from adventure-killing congestion?

You may not need a reservation to tour Arches National Park — yet — but visitors should resign themselves to advance planning if they want to experience the southern Utah park’s sandstone wonders without being stuck in their cars. → Read More

Want to get cash for killing a coyote? Utah’s bounty program now requires more info to fight fraud.

A West Jordan couple provided Utah wildlife officials with 237 coyote scalps over the past couple of years, cashing in each one for $50 under a bounty program targeting the pesky predator. → Read More

San Juan County judge rejects delay in felony gate-closing case, but moves activists’ May 23 trial to Price

A Utah judge has cleared the way to try Rose Chilcoat and husband Mark Franklin later this month on criminal charges of trying to kill cattle in San Juan County, rejecting defense motions that attacked the basis for a prosecution that Chilcoat’s supporters say is politically motivated. → Read More

Feds grant Utah’s largest coal producer a royalty discount worth up to $19 million for mining hard-to-reach deposits

Utah’s largest coal mine is getting a fee discount worth up to $19 million after the Bureau of Land Management authorized a royalty reduction in recognition of unspecified difficulties the company faces in extracting certain deposits of coal. → Read More

May is Utah’s Month of the Bird, Gov. Gary Herbert declares

May is for the birds, according to a declaration issued Monday by Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert. → Read More

Did San Juan County officials orchestrate charges against public-lands activist over closing corral gate?

San Juan County prosecutors last week offered to dismiss felony charges against a conservation advocate accused of trying to kill cattle, but then withdrew the deal unless the activist’s husband admitted guilt. → Read More

How San Juan County turned closing a corral gate into felony charges

On April Fool’s Day last year, Mark Franklin closed a gate to Zane Odell’s corral on Lime Ridge, a windy rise between the small southeast Utah towns of Bluff and Mexican Hat. → Read More

Feds approve master plan for Utah’s Alta Ski Resort calling for controversial upgrades

A small tram, capable of moving 150 skiers an hour to the top of one of the Central Wasatch’s highest peaks, could be in store for Alta Ski Area under a master plan approved this week by the U.S. Forest Service. → Read More

Feds announce new meetings on the future of Utah’s redrawn national monuments

More than three months after President Donald Trump ordered the reduction of Utah’s two large national monuments, the Interior Department has scheduled meetings in the state to gather public feedback on how the redrawn monuments will be managed. → Read More

Ute Tribe takes U.S. government to court over ‘theft’ of land and water in historic Uncompahgre

More than a century ago, the U.S. government made several promises to the Ute Indian Tribe when it evicted the Uncompahgre and White River bands from fertile homelands in Colorado in a largely failed effort to resettle tribal members to Utah’s Uinta Basin, though the arid land was ill-suited for farming. → Read More

Outside the public eye, feds poised to grant millions of dollars in tax royalty relief to struggling Utah coal mines

Utah’s largest coal producer is seeking a tax royalty reduction potentially worth millions of dollars on what it owes for federal coal leases mined at the Sufco Mine outside Salina, yet virtually no information is publicly available regarding the request. → Read More

Study: Halting federal public-lands leases for oil, gas and coal — including in Utah — would reduce climate-changing emissions

In the final years of the Obama administration, climate activists rallied hard against new leasing of federal oil, gas and coal reserves, arguing that leaving those resources on U.S. public lands undeveloped would reduce carbon emissions and slow planetary warming. → Read More