Kane, Garfield Counties Accused of Open Meetings Violation During Interior Secretary Visit
Two counties in Utah are accused of violating transparency laws after meeting privately with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during his visit to Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in May.
The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or SUWA, filed a lawsuit in Utah’s Third District Court against the Kane and Garfield county commissioners last week. It alleges private meetings between commissioners and the Interior Secretary during his visit to the monument on May 10th “flagrantly violated” Utah’s Open and Public Meetings Act. In a release, an attorney for SUWA says the meetings should have been properly publicized and allowed an opportunity for the public to attend.
But as the Salt Lake Tribune reports, Garfield County Commission Chair Leland Pollock calls the suit “frivolous,” and Kane County Commission Chair Dirk Clayson denies any wrongdoing under the Act.
Both commissions have passed resolutions recommending size cuts to the 1.9 million acre monument. Results of Zinke’s review on Grand Staircase and 26 other monuments are expected by the end of this week.