Even though it has been a dry year, the early fall scenes on the Blue Mountain are still spectacular.  Gavin Jones photo
Even though it has been a dry year, the early fall scenes on the Blue Mountain are still spectacular. Gavin Jones photo
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BLM hosts public meetings in area for draft Bears Ears National Monument Plans, comments will help shape future management of the national monument  
Sep 18, 2018 | 427 views | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will host three public meetings as part of the ongoing land use planning for the Bears Ears National Monument. The draft management plans for the Shash Jáa Unit and the Indian Creek Units as well as the associated environmental impact statement (EIS) were released for public review on August 17, 2018. More information about the planning effort may be found on the BLM ePlanning project page at https://goo.gl/uLrEae. The BLM invites members of the public to attend meetings at the following dates and locations: • October 2, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m., at San Juan High School, 311 North 100 East in Blanding. • October 3, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Bluff Community Center, 190 North 3rd Street East in Bluff. • October 4, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Whitehorse High School, State Highway 262, in Montezuma Creek.   These open-house meetings provide opportunities for the public to speak with resource specialists, ask questions, and submit written comments in person. Written comments may be submitted at the meetings or anytime through November 15, 2018 via mail or email. Please see the ePlanning project page for ways to comment.    On January 16, 2018, the BLM initiated planning to prepare Monument Management Plans 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. 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. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM and Forest Service agency mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.
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No homecoming is complete without lots of royalty.  San Juan High School homecoming festivities will take place this week with a full slate of events.  Presiding over the menagerie are Mr. San Juan Randall Flavel and Homecoming Queen Bodell Nielson (center).  Members of the court include: (left to right) Ammon Ward, Skyler Jensen, Carlos Rios-Redd, Gracee Bowers, Randall Flavel, Bodell Nielson, Tanner Black, Brianne Orr, Carter Redd, and Halli Black.     Courtesy photo
No homecoming is complete without lots of royalty. San Juan High School homecoming festivities will take place this week with a full slate of events. Presiding over the menagerie are Mr. San Juan Randall Flavel and Homecoming Queen Bodell Nielson (center). Members of the court include: (left to right) Ammon Ward, Skyler Jensen, Carlos Rios-Redd, Gracee Bowers, Randall Flavel, Bodell Nielson, Tanner Black, Brianne Orr, Carter Redd, and Halli Black. Courtesy photo
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Lots of fun for homecoming week at San Juan High
Sep 18, 2018 | 580 views | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No homecoming is complete without lots of royalty.  San Juan High School homecoming festivities will take place this week with a full slate of events.  Presiding over the menagerie are Mr. San Juan Randall Flavel and Homecoming Queen Bodell Nielson (center).  Members of the court include: (left to right) Ammon Ward, Skyler Jensen, Carlos Rios-Redd, Gracee Bowers, Randall Flavel, Bodell Nielson, Tanner Black, Brianne Orr, Carter Redd, and Halli Black. 				Courtesy photo
No homecoming is complete without lots of royalty. San Juan High School homecoming festivities will take place this week with a full slate of events. Presiding over the menagerie are Mr. San Juan Randall Flavel and Homecoming Queen Bodell Nielson (center). Members of the court include: (left to right) Ammon Ward, Skyler Jensen, Carlos Rios-Redd, Gracee Bowers, Randall Flavel, Bodell Nielson, Tanner Black, Brianne Orr, Carter Redd, and Halli Black. Courtesy photo
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by Rhett Sifford It’s homecoming week at San Juan High School and although some of the celebration is in the books, there are plenty of events still ahead. The 2018 San Juan High homecoming queen is Bodell Nielson. First attendant is Halli Black, second attendant is Skyler Jensen, third attendant is Brianne Orr, and fourth attendant is Gracee Bowers. One of the highlights of homecoming week is the Mr. San Juan Pageant. Randall Flavel was crowned king at the 2018 pageant, which was held on September 17. His attendants are Carlos Rios-Redd, Carter Redd, Tanner Black, and Ammon Ward. The annual Powder Puff game is highly anticipated and gives the girls a chance to don football gear and duke it out on the gridiron. It is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on the high school football field. Thursday is Crazy Sock Day at San Juan High. There will be a tailgating party on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the south parking lot at the school. Friday is Blue and Gold Day and is chock-full of activities.  The homecoming assembly starts the day off at 10 a.m.  The 1998 State Champion football team is the grand marshal of the parade, which travels Main Street beginning at noon. The volleyball team hosts Richfield on Friday at 5 p.m. The week culminates with the annual homecoming football game when the Broncos host the Enterprise Wolves at 7 p.m.
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Bears Ears education center opens in Bluff September 22
Sep 18, 2018 | 249 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No national monument has ever seen more controversy or resulting news coverage than Bears Ears. All that publicity is spurring a visitor-education crisis, with skyrocketing numbers of tourists threatening sensitive archaeological sites and the Monument’s jaw-droppingly beautiful but fragile desert environment. Due to a Proclamation from President Donald Trump that reduced the size of the Monument by 85%, which is now being challenged in court, government resources and dexterity to address visitor management issues in a timely way are limited. Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM), a local conservation group based in Bluff, isn’t letting political and legal disagreements stop it from taking action to protect resources on the ground. “This is a ‘We the People’ moment for America’s most archaeologically rich national monument,” said Josh Ewing, FCM’s Executive Director. “I haven’t met anyone who wants to see this internationally significant area get loved to death, but that’s what will happen if we wait years for the legal limbo to resolve, hoping the government will solve all our problems.” The Bears Ears Education Center will open September 22 in this newly incorporated town that bills itself as the “Gateway to Bears Ears.” The ambitious project brings new life to the old Silver Dollar Bar, which catered to uranium miners, oil drillers, and the occasional tourist in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The Center will initially open in a somewhat bare-bones fashion, while fundraising continues toward the project’s overall budget of nearly $1 million. “It’s been nine months of hard work by our staff and volunteers, but we just couldn’t let another busy visitor season go by while we tried to make things perfect,” said Ewing. More than 3,000 individual donors from around the US have supported the project, which has also seen significant donations from a number of outdoor industry brands and charitable foundations, such as the Lewis Family Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, and the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation. “Regardless of politics, we can all agree a place like Bears Ears should be visited with respect,” said Eric Raymond, senior advocacy manager at The North Face, the Center’s largest donor. “We support Bears Ears for its importance to our public lands system, local outdoor recreation economies, and its significance to the past and future of the Native American tribes that came together for its protection.” The Bears Ears Education Center aims to equip hikers, backpackers, paddlers, climbers and other recreational users with tips about how to #VisitwithRespect. Local volunteers will also advise visitors on how to experience the beauty of the area without impacting sensitive sites that aren’t ready to handle mass visitation. The Center will feature numerous educational exhibits, navigational maps, a resource library, conference room, and a small retail store where visitors can purchase clothing, memorabilia, books and basic equipment for visiting the area respectfully. An “educational park” with a native plant garden, picnic tables, shade, fire pit, and a small amphitheater for educational talks will be created at the Center later this fall. A virtual reality experience, paleontology exhibit, and solar power installation are in the works for 2019. “We are so grateful for all those who have supported this project from near and far,” said FCM Board President Vaughn Hadenfeldt, who runs a Bluff-based guiding company called Far Out Expeditions. “Bears Ears is not a playground. While this is now public land, we should remember that this area was used and cared for by native people for millennia, and their descendants view this land as sacred. “Utmost respect and light steps should be used when visiting this living cultural landscape.” The Bears Ears Education Center will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday. The Center will close December 1 for the winter season and reopen for Celebrate Cedar Mesa Weekend, which starts March 1.
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