Thursday, October 10, 2019

Ups and Downs of Politics in San Juan/ Bear Essentials Oct. 10/2019

What's New In The West

San Juan County Residents should have received this ballot in the mail.  

"Shall a Study Committee be appointed to consider and possibly recommend a change in San Juan County's form of government? 

This is only forming a committee to look at 4-5 different options on how 

San Juan county Government might be configured. 

~~ Cataclysmic Money and the Illusion of Prosperity

by Stacy Young
It has been my experience during the years of the Bears Ears controversy that one very common rhetorical strategy of monument proponents is to include economic indicators unique to the Reservation to make the case that San Juan County as a whole is desperately poor and in dire need of the sort of fixing Industrial Tourism is good at. The reasons for doing this are simple enough. To start with, it is the steadfast belief of elitists everywhere that they come not to condemn a place and its people but to save them. And many Bears Ears maximalists certainly live up to this axiom. Indeed, the standard sales pitch — for the New West in general and Bears Ears in particular — amounts to a sort of secular prosperity gospel in which economic prosperity inevitably follows from the proper, enlightened appreciation of nature. One form or another of this argument is made time and time and time again!"  read more in the Canyon Zephyr

~~ BLM Photo Rotation Creates Environmental Controversy

~~ Is Agri-tourism a Viable Option for the West?

~~ Public Land Leases Sold Too Cheaply by BLM?

~~ Softening the Impass with Some Satire:  Canyon Zephyr

~~ What Collaboration Looks Like -- A Good Start  By Bill Keshlear

Mack MacDonald, new County Administrator, introduced himself at Town Hall Meeting Oct. 9.
Read detailed article in this week's San Juan Record.

About 40 people attended the Town Hall Meeting

A Town Hall Meeting was held in Blanding Oct. 9. Panel members and local citizens addressed the issue of “B” roads, and the ballot initiate to study possible changes in SJC government.  Panelists included Cheryl Bowers, Charlotta Lacy, Nicole Perkins, Kim Henderson, Shannon Brooks, and Gail Dalton Johnson.   Perkins emphasized the point of holding Federal, State and locally elected officials and judges accountable to Citizens.
Many people from the audience asked questions and shared ideas.  Kim Henderson, organizer of the event expressed a desire to take Town Hall meetings into communities on the reservation, if there are those who will help make it happen. Davina Smith and Mary Benally were two who attended who will hopefully help.

New County Administrator, Mack MacDonald told of his experiences in Afghanistan, helping different tribes/ groups to work cooperatively as they set about to create a workable government.  A detailed article of his experiences is in the new San Juan Record.
 The main topic of discussion related to the condition of “B” roads in the county.  Past history shows since 1988 San Juan County had maintained BIA roads, but in June of  2018, the Navajo Tribe told them to “cease and desist”.  Unfortunately, those without the historical background and facts have used this as racism” propaganda against San Juan County.  Phil Lyman noted, “A lie can travel ½ way around the world, before truth can get its pants on.” He gave credit to former Commissioner Benally, who had started the cooperative wheels on road repair going again, “before the carpet was pulled out from under her.”.
The next discussion led by Cheryl Bowers emphasized four possible governing styles that are approved by State guidelines as listed:
1. 3-member Commision (current form)
2. 5-7 member commission
3. Elected County Council with appointed county manager with executive powers
4. County council with elected mayor with executive powers

If the initiative passes, a study group will be organized who will make recommendations.  Ballots have been mailed out, and voters should mail them back quickly.

~~ What are the Pros and Cons of Changing SJC Gov:  Read SJ Record Article: 

~~ CO2 a Crucial life Sustaining Nutrient, Needed More Not Less 

Free Range Report: "Co2 is not a pollutant that threatens human civilization as has been ridiculously claimed by global warming doomsday pushers. CO2 actually increases plant yields, accelerates “re-greening” and improves reforestation of the planet." 

~~ Subsidizing Electric Cars Doesn't Help the Environment.  The Independent

~~ NPS Hosts Arches Congestion Meeting Oct. 15 

~~ Women Against Gun Control, video interview

~~ Children Raised Around Livestock Have Stronger Immune System

~~ Utah Dine' Bikeyah: Protecting Bears Ears and Environmental Strategies 

~~ Digging Deeper: Utah Dine' Bikeyah, Agenda 21 and the UN Connection

"UNDP Projects will recognize that indigenous peoples have collective rights to own, use, and develop and control the lands, resources and territories that they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired, including lands and territories for which they do not yet possess title.
“If the Project involves activities that are contingent on establishing legally recognized rights to lands, resources, or territories that indigenous peoples have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired, an action plan will outline the steps and timetable for achieving legal recognition of such ownership, occupation, or usage (see paragraph 14 below).
“In such cases, UNDP, with the consent of the relevant authority or Implementing Partner, will support such activities aimed at delimiting, demarcating and titling such lands, resources, and territories with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.”  (UNDP= Standard 6 of the United Nations Development Programme)

~~ Trash on the Reservation, a Continuing Problem

~~ Trump Loses Bid to Dismiss Monument Lawsuits

~~ Shrinking Water Levels at Glen Canyon Dam Triggers Fed Lawsuit

~~ Zions Park in the Top 10 "Most Popular"  (i.e. Most Crowded) Park

~~ Saudi Oil Field Attack, Points Out Need for Domestic Energy Dominance 

~~ Pueblo Tribe Vows to Keep Fighting for Enlarged Bears Ears

~~ Moab Sun Time Writers Disagree with Kelly Green

 Beyond the Bears Responds: In reality BENM was orchestrated by one of the nation’s strongest environmental lobby groups, The Conservation Lands Foundation. (All quotes below come from the Conservation Lands Foundation Minutes held San Francisco, CA 24 October 2014)
The Conservation Lands Foundation intended to control the dialogue and efforts of all players in the drama. The illusion they perpetuated was that this was a “bottom up” effort driven by indigenous people.
In reality native leaders were targeted by CLF organizers. This was a Top Down masterplan and they were carefully watching all players from Secretary Jewel, down to each tribe as illustrated in their Oct. 2014 board meeting minutes. “Struggles with Secretary Jewell, she is not being a strong advocate for the Antiquities Act, but continues to show gradual improvement. With strong leadership from the White House this has become less of a roadblock.”
Another CLF member admits to relying on the Navajo Nation, but asks, “What happens if we separate from them or disagree with them? Without their support the White House probably would not act.”
They were using coalition leaders as kings in a grand scale game of chess, and tribal members as pawns. For more information go to

~~ BLM Environmental Strategies Fail to Improve  Devil's Canyon 

"Ultimately, and for years, I’ve wondered why public land management agencies feel the compulsion to “improve” Nature. No matter what grievous damage human activity imposes upon the environment, it always seemed like a safer and wiser strategy to–of course— stop continued degradation, but then to just leave the land alone and let it recover on its own. Too often the best of intentions can backfire and only exacerbate the problem."  Jim Styles, Canyon Zephyr  Oct. 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

San Juan Commission Meeting/ Blanding Arts and Events Center. Oct. 1, 2019 -- Bear Essentials

San Juan County Commission Meeting in Blanding Oct. 1

Documents Updated at Commission meeting today
  Only a small scattering of citizens attended the San Juan County Commission meeting held in Blanding today, Oct.1  Kudos to Mexican Hat, Bluff, Monticello, and Spanish Valley citizens who drove some distance to attend. Mayor Joe Lyman gave a welcome and brief background of the beginnings and goals of Blanding from 1905 to the present and how cooperation and involvement created a successful community. He specifically mentioned the tunnel/ water development, a college campus, and medical facilities.

A very interesting slide presentation given David Ure (Executive Director of SITLA) talked about SITLA lands, and PILT funds and the benefits to Utah and San Juan County. Each acre of public/SITLA land generates .86 cents each year, which is in turn distributed to counties by State law. State trust lands in Utah make up 1/9th of the state. Funds are also used for higher education, and other state institutions. Funds collected have been invested and the "endowment" continues to grow, now standing at $2.9 Billion. Each year students and schools benefit from the Endowment's growth. Some funds are also used to clean up graffiti and dump areas on public lands.

576 W 200 S, Blanding, UT 84511
October 1, 2019

  9:00 A.M. Work Meeting

1. Emergency Management Training for Elected Officials (Approx. 1 Hour) - Tammy Gallegos - San Juan County Emergency Manager
2. Presentation regarding PILT Funds, David Ure - SITLA Executive Director
3. Briefing about San Juan County's budget and preparation plan, John David Nielson - San Juan County Clerk
4. Briefing on Potential Property Tax Increases, John David Nielson, San Juan County Clerk
5. General Plan Update Discussion, Mack McDonald, San Juan County Administrator
6. Public Lands Update Discussion - Nick Sandberg, San Juan County Planning

11:00 A.M. Commission Meeting

1. Approval of minutes - August 17 & 24, 2019
2. Citizens' comments to the Board of San Juan County Commissioners* (Please complete the request form - available at the door)
3. New Hires, Walter Bird - San Juan County Personnel
4. Ratify Approval of Notice to Residents Regarding Potential Property Tax Changes, John David Nielson, San Juan County Clerk
6. Mexican Hat Special Service District Board Appointments, Mack McDonald - Sam Juan County Administrator 
7. Approval to Replace Windows in the Public Safety Building, Monty Perkins, SJC Maintenance

~~ Recording of Sept. 17 Special Commission Work Meeting

1. Executive Session to discuss pending or imminent litigation
2. Discussion and Possible Approval of a Settlement Agreement Regarding Attorney's Fees to be paid to the Plaintiffs in Navajo Nation et al v. San Juan County.

~~ Fast Facts Related to the Electoral College

~~ KUER Interviews to Increase Understanding: Featuring Cindy Black Perkins

"Cindy Perkins and her family have lived for five generations near Blanding, a community agitated by the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in 2016. Jeremy Lynch moved to Moab to work with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. They met halfway in Monticello."

"What happens when two people of different backgrounds and beliefs sit down face-to-face and interview each other? This summer, Utah Public Radio has been recording these new StoryCorps-style interviews, from travels to the far corners of the state including Monticello, Moab, St. George, Cache Valley and Vernal. We now invite you to listen in on some of these thought-provoking small steps.

These conversations were recorded by Utah Public Radio in partnership with StoryCorps as a part of their One Small Step project

~~ Wrong Again!  50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

~~ Finding Addresses on the Navajo Reservation Can be Life Threatening

~~ San Juan to Pay 2.4 Million to Navajo Nation

~~ Charges of Racism Still Hovering Over County Politics

~~ Racism a Favored Theme for Commissioner Maryboy

Monday, September 23, 2019

Rustlin' in the Leaves/ Winds of Change Bear Essentials 9/27/2019

Fall The Favorite Season of All

Horsehead in Fall by Karly Halls, Monticello

 History of Commission Districts in San Juan County, Utah
By Gail Johnson, former San Juan County Clerk
Serving 9 years 1983-1991 

            Because history gives context and perspective to current situations, the history of commission districting in San Juan County bears repeating. And perhaps I know this history best because of my personal involvement. It is not my intention to fuel anymore contention.  Just give some history.
             San Juan County was the first county in Utah to have district county commission seats.  That was in 1984.  Up until that time, all counties in the state had a 3-member commission, each member elected at-large with two seats being four-year terms and one seat being a two-year term.

            The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a legal action against San Juan County in November 1983, stating that the at-large commission violated the federal Voting Rights Act even though the county was in compliance with state law.  I was county clerk at the time and was a defendant in the action along with county commissioners Calvin Black, Ken Bailey, and Bob Low.  These men have since passed away.  I attended  the meetings with the DOJ attorney as well as participated in the county's efforts to comply.  Contrary to some beliefs, the Navajo Nation was not party to this legal action.  The Tribe did however, participate in the process of establishing the original commission districts.

            Neither the federal judge nor the DOJ determined the boundaries for these commission districts.  It was left to the county to do that with instruction by the DOJ that communities and cultural areas were to be kept intact as much as possible while balancing the populations.  The intent was not to dilute the vote of any group of people and thus diminish their voice in the county.  The DOJ had to give final approval of the commission districts to ensure they were in line with the decree signed by the federal judge. 

            The county held many meetings to get input from  residents -- from Spanish Valley to Navajo Mountain to Aneth.  An informal county-wide opinion survey was taken to get public input.  From February through September of 1984, 13 districting proposals were presented by different organizations and reviewed thoroughly by interested stake holders.  This included UNDC (Utah Navajo Development Council) and the Navajo Nation.  Eventually, issues were resolved and a final plan was agreed upon by the various groups, and it was accepted by the DOJ.  The plan was also approved by county voters in the 1984 November general election.  Of the 20 voting precincts, Navajo Mountain was the only precinct opposed to the plan -- 53 "Yes" and 88 "No".  Commissioners were then elected from districts beginning with the 1986 general election.

            This original districting plan put the western portion of the Utah Navajo reservation with the western and northern portions of the county as Commission District No. 1.  Commission District No. 2 included the Blanding area and White Mesa. Commission District No. 3 included the central and eastern portions of the Utah Navajo reservation.  These three districts kept community and cultural areas intact while evenly distributing the population as much as possible as required by the  DOJ.
            Prior to this 1983 legal action, the DOJ had brought similar actions against neighboring counties in New Mexico and Arizona.  Also, subsequent to this action (May, 1987), Utah law was changed to provide for this new form of county government.  This allowed for San Juan County to be in compliance with state law as well. 

            I remember the commissioners were concerned about the western part of the Navajo reservation (Oljato area & Navajo Mtn.) being in a different commission district than the rest of the reservation.  They discussed it with Willie Greyeyes, then UNDC board chairman.  A UNDC resolution signed by Mr. Greyeyes (Sept. 6, 1984) endorsed the new plan: "...The Board of Directors of the Utah Navajo Development Council, after a thorough review of the alternatives and after hearing extensive input from the local Utah Navajo communities, herewith endorses the redistricting plan previously known as Proposal #8... and The UNDC Board of Directors is convinced that placing the Navajo Mountain and Oljato precincts in District #1 with the northern part of the County will prove to be in the best overall interests of both the county and its Navajo citizens..."  The Oljato Chapter passed a similar resolution on September 22, 1984.

            Proposal #8 placed Cedar Point in District 2 (central district) and White Mesa in District 1 (northern district).  Commission minutes of Sept. 10, 1984 state:  "Willie Greyeyes, Louis Tapaha, and Worthy Glover representing UNDC met with the Commission to present a resolution adopted by UNDC regarding commission districting.  The resolution adopts a proposal for districting which includes Navajo Mountain and Oljato in District #1 and includes Cedar Point in District #2...The Commission felt that the Cedar Point area should be placed in District #1.  Mr. Greyeyes had no objection to putting Cedar Point in District #1.  The Commission also felt that the residents of Navajo Mountain and Oljato should be consulted about this proposal.  Mr. Greyeyes stated that he is confident that Navajo Mountain and Oljato will support this proposal and vote for it.  Mr. Greyeyes stated that he has had contact with the people of Navajo Mountain and they are in favor of this proposal...."

            Two weeks later in commission meeting, a motion was passed modifying Proposal #8: "taking Cedar Point out of District #2 and putting it in District #1 to preserve community interest, and taking White Mesa out of District #1 and putting it in District #2 to preserve community interest. These changes would change the deviation to 7.8% from 4.9%."  Prior to this motion, the minutes state that Ron Faich and Donna Chavez, representing the Navajo Tribe, met with the commission and presented a resolution from the Navajo Tribal Advisory Council requesting the adoption of Proposal #8.  After some discussion, "Mr. Faich and Ms. Chavez stated that the deviation difference would be fine as long as the community interest is not split.  Ms. Chavez further stated that she is ready to recommend the changes ...Also present were Herb Clah and Worthy Glover representing UNDC.  The representatives present stated that the Navajo Tribe and the UNDC are recommending the above changes which will be called modified proposal #8 and are also asking that it be adopted by the Commission and placed on the November election ballot.  The representatives from the Navajo tribe replaced proposal #8 attached to the resolution submitted by the Tribal Advisory Council with modified proposal #8.  The representatives from UNDC also replaced proposal #8 attached to the resolution...with modified proposal #8...The commission stated that they feel that the modified proposal #8 best serves the community interest for each district..."

            This is how and why commission districts began in San Juan County. I was a witness to it.  These historical facts are documented in county records and federal court records.  Under the direction of the DOJ,  the county did everything required to comply with the Voting Rights Act.  There was no political or racial gerrymandering.  If that were the case, then the DOJ and the federal judge were party to it.

            In a letter to me from Herb Clah, UNDC  Executive Director (Oct 5, 1984) he said, "...We appreciate the willingness of the San Juan County Commission to work cooperatively with UNDC and the Navajo Tribe in resolving this issue.  Even though there have been some misunderstandings along the way, we feel that the efforts to communicate and resolve differences have been worthwhile."

            The road to consensus got bumpy quite often, but consensus was achieved.  Strong differences were resolved respectfully and professionally.
            In the October 24, 2011 commission meeting, Commissioners Phil Lyman and Kenneth Maryboy agreed to form a redistricting committee to look at the 2010 census data  to recommend any changes to the commission districts.  Commissioner Bruce Adams was not present.  That committee reported on November 14, 2011.   Two rural areas east of Monticello (Cedar Point and Ucolo) were moved from District 1 to District 2 to put populations back into balance. Thus not disrupting a lot of residents and preserving community interests as had been done previously.  Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy opposed this action preferring a complete redistricting of the county using census blocks rather than voting precincts.

            The Navajo Nation filed suit against San Juan County two months later in January 2012 alleging that the county commission districts were unconstitutional.   
            Again, documents show that the original San Juan County commission districts were created to comply with a federal court order.  These districts were created to give more opportunity to American Indian residents for political participation in county government.  These districts were created with the assistance and endorsement of the Navajo leadership. 

             It is unfortunate that misinformation by some has lead to divisiveness IN this county and misperceptions OF this county.  Historically the average county resident, American Indian and non-American Indian, gets along well with other county residents on a day-to-day person-to-person basis regardless of race or politics.  There isn't perfection, but in general there is respect.  There is cooperation.  There is personal service.  There are friendships.  There are shared grandchildren.  And, there are good people.              Gail Dalton Johnson, Sept. 2019

~~ Kudos to the San Juan Record for their newspaper makeover!  More color, better organization, and information and a great new logo!   

List your favorite ten icons in the new county illustration and you will be entered into a drawing for a deluxe San Juan "swag bag", courtesy San Juan County Visitor Services. The drawing will take place on September 27.

~~ B. Keshlear's Analysis of Past and Present County Voting District Alignments

"Most conspicuously, Podmore’s brand of journalism seems ideologically driven. He has fearlessly targeted a conservative elected official who no longer holds county-level office and his dodgy decisions while in office but soft-pedaled coverage of incendiary remarks of liberal politicians. He has spread misinformation. "
EXCERPTS in article:  "(Many of the people attending the meeting, including Mark Maryboy, spoke Navajo. The organizer of the event and president of the chapter, Kenneth Maryboy, did not provide translation services for non-Navajo speakers in attendance even though discussions of county policy took center stage. Bold-face type indicates Maryboy's comments):"

~~ Lodging in Moab has Stirred up a Hornet's Nest  SL Tribune

Writers of the Purple Sage

~~Popularity of Outdoor Motorized Recreation Increasing 

by Kelly Green 

      Recreation in the outdoors can be costly depending on what type of choice is of interest.  For those who like motorized travel as their activity, a new four wheel drive such as a Jeep Rubicon or Toyota 4Runner can start for as much as $40,000 to $60,000 and higher depending on added trail accessories. These vehicles can take you into some amazing places that most will never get to enjoy and see on Utah’s public land.  Every year during Moab’s Jeep Safari extravaganza, which happens around Easter weekend and lasts for around nine days, enthusiasts come from all over the country to challenge the trails in Southeastern Utah’s red rock country. Many auto companies and entrepreneurs come in to show off their wares for both advertising and sales. Tires, rims, winches, jacks, suspension kits, and many other interesting items are displayed for those who enjoy this kind of recreational activity and want to outfit their vehicles with something really special to enhance their rigs. Some users modify machines to turn them into beastly Rock Crawlers that can conquer just about any obstacle while others may be looking for a less extreme ride for a family outing and only want a few items.   Again depending on the type of accessory added, there is just about something for everyone. Mallory is famously quoted as having replied to the question, "Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?" with the retort "Because it's there,” that same desire for back country explorers could be included as people want to get out and see the public lands and with the miles and miles of trails and roads available, it is no wonder that the motorized outdoor recreational sport has grown. 
2019 San Juan Safari

UTV and ATV’s
      The popularity in UTV and ATV use has grown in recent years because of the significant fact that they are cheaper and more affordable than larger vehicles. Improved engineering and reliability in the competitive market is proving that they are the poor man's best option to recreate in forest and desert terrain, which is one of the main reasons for its growing popularity.  A variety of accessories are also available and depending on how you want to dress it up for individual taste, a lot of different options are possible. Most UTV’s can hold two to six people depending on which machine is chosen and avid riders claim the ride in a UTV is much more comfortable than the bigger rigs. No matter what you choose there is something out there for just about everyone.  

     Since Moab and Southeastern Utah, is a proclaimed paradise for all sorts of outdoor activities, the Rally on the Rocks event is another popular destination spot for UTV riders. This annual event takes place on the famous Slickrock domes and nearby trails and is really gaining in popularity with the UTV crowd.   The event offers guided rides throughout the week and going with those who know the country and local history of the surrounding area is a real treat for those who want to get to know the area better. Famous trails like Hell’s Revenge, Poison Spider, Steel Bender, and many more attractions are a great way to see what is out there to test ones driving skill. The Rally on the Rocks organizers also are great contributors in helping to give back to the community as they have graciously given donations to various charities, which help improve the lives of people in Grand County. 

 Being Responsible Riders
     With the increase in popularity and more outside people coming into the area, the impact on the environment is a concern and the local people have started campaigns to educate about proper etiquette and responsible driving on local streets and highways as well as taking care of the surrounding desert landscape.   Most riders are conscientious about obeying speed limits and picking up their own trash but there are always a few who don’t, which give other law abiding recreationists a bad name. It first started with the “Throttle Down in Town” campaign, which was evaluated as being highly successful and this years educational theme is, “Do it Like a Local.”  Those who have lived in the Moab area for a long time offer suggestions for being safe and taking care of the public lands so everyone can have an enjoyable time while visiting. The terrain and hot temperatures can be treacherous and inexperienced drivers can quickly get into trouble if they are not careful and prepared. Extreme temperatures can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and drinking the proper amount of water needed is always stressed.  Slowing down in town and showing courtesy to everyone goes a long way to having an enjoyable experience for everyone.  

Street Legal UTV owners want fair and equal treatment 
Utah’s National Parks are accessed by state highways and county roads and millions of dollars are being spent by Utah taxpayers to  fund construction and maintenance of these roads. The Utah Legislature has been a leader in allowing certain types of OHVs to be registered as street-legal because they recognize the growing recreational popularity and economic benefits to the state and local communities.  To qualify, machines need to be modified to meet safety standards and must be insured. Owners of street-legal OHVs comply with numerous laws and regulations to be given the privilege to drive on a wide range of state and county roads and like all motorized users, they contribute to the maintenance of the state highway system through gasoline taxes and registration fees as well as paying for off road stickers for the development of infrastructure, trail maintenance, and other public land use projects.  
     Recently members of UTV Utah, have led the fight to open street-legal access to Utah’s roads and highways by sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior  Bernhardt, to ask for his help in getting the National Park Service to lift the prohibition of street-legal OHVs on the publicly accessible roads of Utah’s National Parks.  Even though National Park regulations say they should update their rules to comply with state law, the National Park Service has not at this point in time done so and it is felt by many UTV riders that it unfairly discriminates and it is time to change the policy. 
Education and Responsible Use is Key
Because America’s public land has such a variety of  choices for the general public to enjoy, learning how to properly take care of the resource is going to be an ongoing challenge for those tasked with its longevity. For motorized recreationists education is key to preserving continued access on the public land.  Public agencies and private citizens need to continue to work together so the great gift of multiple use remains available to all who want to enjoy the outdoors. By educating the public and motorized recreational users about how they can be good stewards, everyone wins.
Kelly Mike Green  is a lifelong resident of southeastern Utah. Poet, author, grandfather, and outdoorsman, Kelly is a strong advocate for multiple use on public lands and is active in promoting a responsible and balanced approach for public land use.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Seasons and Times are a Changin'/ Bear Essentials 9/12/2019

Happenings in the West

SJC Transparency in action

Recording of 9/4 SJC Commission work meeting

Recording of 9/4/ SJC Commission Meeting


Agenda for Sept 17 Commission Meeting at bottom of page (in Monticello)

~~ Spanish Valley Residents Push Back on Commercial Development

~~Freedom of Information Act Search-- Requires Patience and Longevity

Kudos to Jim Stiles and Bill Keshlear for their tenacious digging!

~~ Utah Launches Optional Gun Safety Program in Schools

~~ Trust and Training Range Land Exchange in SW Utah 

 Counting the Costs

~~ Proponents investigate Splitting the State of Washington  

Some believe "splitting Washington would be a win-win scenario for rural conservatives who live east of the Cascade Range and urban liberals who live in western Washington."

~~ BLM Purchases Private Land to Better Protect Desert Tortoise

~~ Climate Change A Power Grabbing Scam  Free Range Report

~~ Counties Demanding Federal Land Reimbursement 

~~ Judge Rejects SUWA's Involvement in Kane County Public Lands Case

San Juan Record: 
      "This landmark case will move forward, but with a significantly limited role for SUWA after Waddoups wrote, “SUWA has no legal right to be in this case.”
“It was clear SUWA had the intent to take a lead role in this litigation – a lead to which it had no right to take,” Waddoups writes. “A lead that could well harm the actual parties who do have a right to be before the court.”
       The judge stated that SUWA filed actions that delayed progress on the case. In fact, it was SUWA’s role in delaying the case that may have triggered Judge Waddoup’s ire. The judge writes of one particular instance, “For over two years, Plaintiffs’s time and resources were taxed as they addressed SUWA’s defense before the Utah Supreme Court on an argument that ultimately was struck down as absurd.”

~~ All Things NAC -Confronts Maryboy's Fake History Concerning Bears Ears 

~~ Blanding City Council Takes Official Stance on Civility in Meetings

~~ How Tribal Sovereignty Really Works,  by Jack Ahasteen

"How Tribal funding REALLY WORKS...
As President Jonathan Nez stated before the US Congressional Committee on Appropriations which regulates expenditures of money by the government of the United States,
"....the Navajo Nation seeks to strengthen the sacred trust relationship and Assist the Navajo Nation in furtherance of self-sufficiency and tribal sovereignty...."
Sovereignty?....funded by the American tax payer??? How is that possible when the annual tribal budget is completely dependent on the US taxpayer?"

~~ Liberal Activists Work to Change the Color of Conservative States

"Outside groups are organizing an army of liberal activists around the country to campaign for local races in states where they don't live. Organizers said the spending is strategic, honing in on states and specific seats where they can have the most significant effect. The top targets include Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina."

"To Coloradans, the strategy looks familiar. Republicans almost entirely controlled the state power structure until 2004. That's when a group of four wealthy Colorado Democrats — Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis, and Pat Stryker — teamed up with political strategist Al Yates on a plan to transform the local politics. According to a 2008 article by the Washington Examiner's Fred Barnes, the group targeted vulnerable Republican incumbents, creating pop-up activist groups drawing on support from labor unions and national liberal organizations. The project was a success. That cycle, Democrats won control of both chambers of the general assembly for the first time in over four decades. Two years later, they upped their spending and won the governor's office. The total tab for securing state control was reported to be $9.5 million, which was less than the average expenditure on a successful U.S. Senate campaign, but an enormous amount for state elections."

~~ Johnny Depp's Dior "Sauvage" Ad Draws Ire of Native Tribes

~~ Utah Dineh Bikeyah Intent on Playing the Racial Card

"“Anglo residents in San Juan County have learned that when dealing with conflict-avoiding cultures like the Ute or Diné peoples, who live according to principles of reciprocity, that aggressive, intimidating, loud and bullying behaviors work,” Benally said. “In most other border towns, Native Americans are treated respectfully, but in Blanding we are treated like outsiders.”

~~ Biased Reporting Stifles Truth in San Juan County

~~ House of Representatives Working to Cripple America's Oil Supply

~~ Couple Writes Graffiti in Tribal Area, then Posts on Instagram

~~ Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Faces Growing Suicide Rate for Youth

~~ Ribbon Cutting in Cameron, Snubs Some Groups

Sept. 17 Commission Meeting agenda 117 South Main Street, Monticello

9:00 A.M. Work Meeting

1. Follow up discussion with Library Director regarding a possible property tax increase for the library fund - Pat Smith, Library Director
2. Discuss McElmo Creek Bridge repair agreement with NDOT - Ben Musselman, SJC Public Works
3. Review amendment to Road Agreement with USFS for emergency road repairs - Ben Musselman, SJC Public Works
4. Review an application for San Juan County Planning & Zoning Commission - Walter Bird, SJC Planning & Zoning
5. Discuss Planning Issues in the Spanish Valley Area - David Everitt, SJC Interim Administrator
6. Discuss Maintenance / Building Issues - Monty Perkins, SJC Maintenance
7. Discuss comments to be sent to various federal agencies regarding the designation of a part of the west-side regional energy corridor through San Juan County - Nick Sandberg, SJC Planning
8. Updates - Jerry McNeely
9. Public lands updates - Nick Sandberg, SJC Planning

11:00 A.M. Commission Meeting

1. Approval of minutes - August 6, 2019
2. Citizens' comments to the commission* (Please complete the request form - available at the door)
4. Approve Comments to be sent to various federal agencies regarding the designation of a part of the west-wide regional energy corridor through San Juan County - Nick Sandberg, SJC Planning
5. Ratify amendment to road agreement with USFS for emergency Road Repairs - Ben Musselman, SJC Public Works
6. Approve McElmo Creek Bridge repair agreement with NDOT -  Ben Musselman, SJC Public Works
7. Approve Planning & Zoning Commission Member - Walter Bird, Planning & Zoning
8. Out of State Travel request - Linda Simmons, SJC EMS Director
9. Approve Board of Equalization Recommendations - John David Nielson, SJC Clerk & Greg Adams, SJC Assessor
10. Beer License Renewal - John David Nielson, SJC Clerk
11. Commission Reports
12. Executive Session to Discuss Pending or Imminent Litigation