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DNR Responds to Ute Tribe Water Claims

SALT LAKE CITY (Oct. 12, 2021) – Neither the State of Utah nor the Lake Powell Pipeline has taken the Ute Indian Tribe’s water rights. The tribe has long held a federally decreed water right for 144,000 acre-feet of depletion from the Colorado River system. The state has recognized and respected this water right and the tribe’s annual use of water under it. 

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A Step Forward in Securing Water for a Drying Great Salt Lake

As Great Salt Lake experiences alarmingly low water levels this year—dropping by nearly a foot below its previous historic low, the Utah Division of Water Rights this past week approved applications to deliver water to Farmington Bay of Great Salt Lake via the Jordan River. An innovative partnership is laying the groundwork to voluntarily share water for the lake to meet crucial needs for people, birds, and other wildlife. 

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Ute Tribe Water Claims Dismissed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 22, 2021) – A federal judge dismissed claims in a lawsuit filed by the Ute Indian Tribe against the U.S. Department of Interior, the State of Utah, and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. The Tribe alleged mismanagement of water-development projects in northeastern Utah.

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Drought Updates

During the summer months, the Utah Divisions of Water Rights and Water Resources provided weekly drought and water updates. These reports will transition to a monthly schedule during the fall and winter as we continue to monitor conditions.

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Weekly Snapshot of Utah’s Wildfire Activity

The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands is providing weekly Utah Wildfire Activity updates. The report includes year-to-year comparisons; leading causes of human-caused wildfires; wildfire prevention tips and a future weather outlook.

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Great Salt Lake Nears New Historic Low

Reports that the Great Salt Lake has dropped below its historic low elevation of 4,191.35 are premature. The Utah Division of Water Resources is following the lake’s elevation closely and expects it will drop below that point in the coming days.

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UGS launches “Utah Arch Challenge,” Online Voting Underway

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) launched has launched an online tournament called “Utah Arch Challenge” to pit some of Utah’s well-known and lesser-known natural arches and bridges against each other for statewide geologic superiority.

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The first complete shoulder of an adult Utahraptor ever found was uncovered from the megablock in 2020. Also visible are a femur, jaw, ribs, and other bones.
Utahraptor Megablock Continues to Reveal New Discoveries

It has been one year since Utah’s most spectacular dinosaur fossil block, the 18,000-pound Utahraptor megablock, moved from Thanksgiving Point to a new dedicated fossil preparation lab at the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). In that year new unanticipated discoveries hidden within the block have been found. 

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image of Rory Reynolds, new interim director of wildlife resources.
Interim director named for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

With the pending retirement of Mike Fowlks, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Executive Director Brian Steed has named Rory Reynolds, current DNR deputy director, to serve as DWR interim director.

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Industrial Arch in Salt Lake City
Utah Geological Survey Launches 2021 Calendar of Utah Geology

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) recently released the 15th edition of its popular Calendar of Utah Geology. The photographs often focus on remote locations found by UGS scientists working in the field, and this year’s calendar has plenty of remote and isolated scenery.

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