The spectacular Perseid Meteor shower lightens the night skies each August.  This is the view from Valley of the Gods.  Photo courtesy Terrence Huge,  Cincinnati Enquirer Contributor
The spectacular Perseid Meteor shower lightens the night skies each August. This is the view from Valley of the Gods. Photo courtesy Terrence Huge, Cincinnati Enquirer Contributor
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Public invited to review draft of Bears Ears National Monument plans
Aug 21, 2018 | 116 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The planning process for the two units of Bears Ears National Monument is moving ahead with the release of a draft Monument Management Plan (MMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The agency is initiating a 90-day comment period for the documents, which outline options for the Indian Creek and Shash Jáa Units of Bears Ears National Monument.   The draft documents are available for review on the BLM ePlanning website at https:goo.gl/uLrEae.  Comments will be accepted through November 15, 2018. The monument was created by President Barack Obama in December, 2016. One year later, in December, 2017, President Donald Trump created two units of the monument while reducing the overall size by 85 percent. Visitation to the monument area has exploded since the high-profile announcements were made, even though there is still no management plan approved for the area. A number of new positions have been announced for the monument, even though a monument manager has still not been named. The Utah Tribal Leaders Association, which includes representation from the eight tribes in Utah, announced opposition to the entire planning process. A resolution by the group asks the BLM and Forest Service to halt the planning process altogether, due to the lawsuits that challenge the reduction in the monument. “I am glad all the Utah Tribal Leaders are on board with this resolution, which opposes the expedited and illegal planning process for the Indian Creek and Shash Jáa Units of Bears Ears National Monument,” said Davis Filfred, who chairs the Utah Tribal Leaders Association and serves as the Diné representative on the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. More than 30 tribal organizations were invited to participate in the planning process as cooperating agencies. None of them accepted the offer. Cooperating agencies involved in the planning process include San Juan County, Monticello and Blanding cities, the State of Utah, School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), the State of Utah and federal agencies, including the National Park Service, Forest Service, and BLM. The planning process is moving ahead despite the concerns of the Tribal Leaders Association. “We recognize that local communities and the public at large care deeply about the future of Bears Ears National Monument. We invite the public to review and comment on the proposed plans, and to consider how they would like to see this remarkable landscape managed now and for future generations,” said Utah BLM Director Ed Roberson. On January 16, 2018, the BLM initiated planning to prepare MMPs for the Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek Unit, and for the Shash Jáa Unit, which is co-managed with the Manti-La Sal National Forest. As part of that action, the BLM also announced that it would prepare an associated EIS.  Since then, the BLM and the USFS have worked with cooperating agencies to develop draft management plans and a draft EIS reflecting input from many stakeholders and the public. The plans include a range of alternatives addressing management issues brought forward during scoping.  “We’ve been on the ground working with and listening to local communities, stakeholders, and the public,” said BLM Canyon Country District Manager Lance Porter, “and we have identified a variety of options to meet the challenges of providing quality recreation experiences for visitors, facilitating uses like grazing or gathering firewood, and protecting the natural and cultural resources that we are entrusted to manage.” The four alternatives range from minimal change in management to an approach providing maximum management flexibility while protecting Monument objects and resource values. The BLM encourages comments on all alternatives and potential management actions, as the final management plans may include portions of any alternative. To help the BLM properly consider and incorporate feedback, please include a reference to a specific page or section for your comment. Comments may be submitted the following ways: Email: blm_ut_monticello_monuments@blm.gov Mail: BLM, Canyon Country District Office, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, Utah 84532, Attention: Lance Porter Please include your name and street address. Your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. You can request your personal identifying information be withheld from public review, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. The BLM will announce future meetings or other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailed notifications. For further information concerning the land use planning process, please contact Lance Porter, District Manager at 435-259-2100. 
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Monticello approves an adjustment in zoning to allow livestock uses
Aug 21, 2018 | 86 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Rhett Sifford The Monticello City Council approved a zone change for two properties on 100 North, east of Main Street at their August 14 meeting.  The properties, originally zoned R-2 Residential, became A-1 Residential/Agricultural land. An R-2 zone provides land where single and multiple family dwellings can be constructed.  An A-1 zone allows residential areas to be integrated with the raising of livestock. Monticello City Recorder Cindi Holyoak reports that several land owners in the vicinity of the rezoned properties, primarily north of 100 North and east of Main Street, are already using their land for agricultural purposes when it was discovered they were in an R-2 zone. She said the Monticello Planning Commission conducted public hearings on the rezoning application for the properties and made a recommendation that the city rezone the property. The council discussed the issue at length before approving the zone change.  Concerns included the impact on nearby landowners and encouraging growth while maintaining the rural nature of the city.  The city council recently established a priority to retain the rural nature of Monticello. Several additional nearby properties are under consideration to be rezoned from R-2 to A-1.  The city will hold a public hearing on September 4 at the Monticello City Office to discuss the zone change application.  For more information, contact the city at 435-587-2271 or visit MonticelloUtah.org. In other discussion, City Manager Doug Wright reported a 70 percent decrease in the use of secondary water use after the city implemented new water rates in July due to the drought emergency. Wright said many Monticello residents were surprised by how much water they had been using and that there has been some good water conservation education due to the city efforts. Wright said the city will probably shut down the secondary water system in September, one month earlier than normal.
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Recycling project to offer service in Blanding
Aug 21, 2018 | 84 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Starting October 1, recycling services will be available in Blanding. Full Circle Recycling (FCR), is a non-profit project providing residential and commercial curbside pick-ups. The services will be weekly and there is no sorting required for the acceptable recyclables. Full Circle Recycling is a multi-agency collaboration that aims to create part-time employment for persons with chronic mental illness, substance abuse and/or other barriers to competitive employment. With a certain amount of federal funding from the Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, this project will use that funding towards FCR start-up cost. The following agencies have worked together to create FCR: San Juan Counseling, San Juan Foundation, and the Department of Workforce. The City of Blanding has also agreed to support the project by providing a secure location for a dumpster. This project will also become part of the San Juan Foundation. Waste Management, Inc. is the commercial trash service in Blanding and has expressed their support for this project and agreed to rent FCR a covered dumpster and transport unsorted recyclables to Farmington, NM and then to a single-stream recycling facility. According to a July 2017 community interest survey FCR conducted in Blanding, 161 households responded with 82.5 percent of respondents indicating an interest in recycling. In this survey, it shows that there is a value in recycling that is honored in the city of Blanding. If the project becomes well established and financially viable, there may be opportunities for FDR to provide its services to other locations. FCR has a goal of providing services to 160 households and five businesses. This service has a monthly fee of $18. Using this service, the eligible materials that can be accepted are cardboard, paper, newspaper, paperboard, plastic 1-7, aluminum, and tin cans. The materials that cannot be accepted are glass, styrofoam and plastic bags. Individuals who are interested in this service should email blandingfullcirclerecycle@gmail.com and provide their name and contact information. There are currently no commercial recyclable collection businesses operating in Blanding or in surrounding San Juan County. Moving forward would help provide employment for persons with chronic mental illness, substance abuse and/or other barriers as well as implementing the process of recycling that the community members in Blanding value.
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ROAM Industry
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