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Solutions Not Problems

More homeless solutions run into problems, a win for reduced light pollution and wildlife preservation is now a victim of the President's anti-regulation movement.

Katharine Biele Jun 6, 2018 4:00 AM

Solutions Not Problems
What if everyone decided to look for solutions instead of problems? Let's start with South Salt Lake, which finally approved a permit for a homeless shelter. The Deseret News ran a photo of the site with a sign saying "Stand up for South Salt Lake, say no to a homeless shelter in our neighborhoods." Big sigh. The idea all along has been to disperse the crowded homeless population in the Rio Grande area, making enforcement and services easier in small chunks. That the plan ran into opposition is an understatement. Now, South Jordan has adopted an anti-camping law designed to keep those undesirables away from the Jordan River. You might ask why the momentum goes to isolating the homeless at a safe distance rather than creating safe places to house and help them. Yes, it would be in your neighborhood.

Dark Is Good
Utah is home—at least for the moment—to some of the world's most spectacular parks and monuments. The question is whether anyone can witness the immense beauty of the night sky, which is being blocked out by light. The University of Utah has been taking steps to dampen the brightness, replacing 1,800 of 3,000 outside fixtures with lower intensity lights and hoods that direct the light down, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Sound familiar? Then-Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson tried to move the city in that direction in 2006, but bright lights beat out darkness, probably because of fear. There's plenty of research about the benefits of darkness. City lights are killing migratory birds, and astronomy blogger Joe Bauman mentioned the cost of wasted light. The battle against light pollution is nothing new, but it needs to switch into high gear.

Wildlife Be Damned
As the Trump administration continues its scorched-earth policy on regulations, sage grouse and prairie dogs be warned. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop wants the birds to be kept off the endangered species list, and conservationists worry that any previous collaboration on wildlife protection is a dead issue, according to High Country News. Admittedly, some wildlife can be wildly annoying, and can create hard-fought battles over domain. In one instance, a national parks worker was cited for moving prairie dogs from around water sources, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Also, the BLM now has new marching orders that decrease the management area for sage grouses with a watch-them-decline strategy, according to the Deseret News. It looks like wildlife preservation is becoming victim of the administration's anti-regulation movement, and compromise in all things is out of the question.