FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Six Shooter Fire breaks out on Southern Ute Indian Reservation

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

BIA Fire Management – 970.563.4751

Lindsay Box, PIO – 970.563.2313

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2020

Six Shooter Fire breaks out on Southern Ute Indian Reservation

Ignacio, CO – The Six Shooter Fire was reported on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation at approximately 15:30, June 16, 2020. (Insert directions) The fire is located in the Six Shooter Canyon and estimated between 75 acres and 0% contained.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Ute Agency Fire Management and Los Pinos Fore Protection District immediately responded. Resources include an air attack, one large airtanker and a single engine airtankers.

Smoke is visible from Colorado Highway 550 and County Road 318. Smoke will be visible to the local communities. For information related to air quality, please go to: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health

The cause and extent of the fire is unknown at this time and the Tribe is coordinating with local agencies to ensure the safety of the public and to minimize the impact of the fire. The Tribe is also working with oil and gas operators in the area to shut-in facilities in the vicinity of the fire in an effort to mitigate any potential impact from those operators to first responder’s ability to contain the fire.

As a reminder, Stage 1 fire restrictions were enacted for Southern Ute Indian Reservation on Monday, May 11, 2020 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

 

STAGE I

General Public:

Prohibited acts:

  1. OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.

 

  1. AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

 

  1. CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.

 

  1. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited.

 

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

For more information on the Six Shooter Fire, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe website, and follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media.

To report fires contact:

DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH (970) 385-1324

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:

BIA FIRE MANAGEMENT (970) 563-4571 OR SOUTHERN UTE POLICE DEPARTMENT (970) 563-4401

 

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Photo Credit | Lindsay J. Box

#SixShooterFire

20200616 – Six Shooter Fire breaks out on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2020 – 9:00 A.M.

Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Notwithstanding the Tribe’s strong opposition, on January 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (collectively the “Agencies”), the agencies responsible for administering the Clean Water Act, finalized a rule to define “waters of the United States” (“Final Rule”). Under the Clean Water Act, there is federal authority to regulate the discharge of pollutants and the placement of fill into “navigable waters.” The Clean Water Act defines “navigable waters” to mean “the waters of the United States.” Whether a particular water body is jurisdictional as a “water of the United States” is a threshold question for determining whether a discharge into that water will require a permit under the Clean Water Act or whether a spill (i.e., an unpermitted discharge) is a violation of the Clean Water Act and subject to an enforcement action by the Agencies. In other words, under the Clean Water Act, the scope of federal regulatory authority is limited to “waters of the United States.”

 

The Final Rule substantially narrows the scope of waterbodies subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act – notably excluding ephemeral features (those that flow only in response to precipitation events) that are prevalent throughout the southwestern United States and on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. The Final Rule also excludes non-adjacent wetlands, groundwater, and many farm and roadside ditches.

 

For proposed development and work in or near excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce developers’ federal permitting obligations. In the event of a spill into previously protected but now excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce owner and operators’ spill reporting obligations and the risk of a federal enforcement action. The Final Rule will also remove some development from the applicability of EPA’s oil spill prevention program and the obligation to prepare a spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan. In other words, the Final Rule leaves water resources on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation less protected.

 

The Final Rule becomes effective on June 22, 2020.

 

In response to the Final Rule, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe intends to protect excluded waterbodies on tribal trust land through the exercise of the Tribe’s regulatory authority (e.g., water quality standards) and contracting authority (e.g., land use and environmental protection stipulations in grants of rights-of-way and leases). In the event of a spill into previously protected but now excluded waterbodies on the Reservation, the Final Rule will reduce owner and operators’ spill reporting obligations and the risk of a federal enforcement action and, correspondingly, potentially reduce the owner and operators’ remediation responsibilities. For excluded waters on private property within the Reservation, the Tribe intends to carefully monitor activities impacting or that have the potential to impact those waterbodies. If an activity harms an excluded waterbody on private property and threatens to harm or results in harm to excluded waterbodies on tribal land, the Tribe will consider taking appropriate action to protect water quality. If the State of Colorado plans to implement a state-only program, such as a Clean Water Act Section 404 program, the Tribe plans to ensure that the statutes authorizing such a program and the regulations include language recognizing the limitations on the State’s authority on the Reservation. Finally, the Tribe expects all companies working on the Reservation, regardless of the current regulatory environment on a federal level, to use best management practices and to implement all appropriate measures to prevent adverse impacts to the Reservation’s water resources.

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20200604 – Federal Agencies Narrow Scope of Federally Protected “Waters of the United States” But Tribe Intends to Protect Tribal Waters

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2020

SOUTHERN UTE RESERVATION INITIATES STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Ignacio, CO – Due to the current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage 1 fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Everyone on reservation lands is asked to be very cautious and use common sense with fire this time of year.

 

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

 

STAGE I

General Public:

Prohibited acts:

 

 

  1. OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.

 

  1. AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

 

  1. CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.

 

  1. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited.

 

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

 

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

 

The Restrictions will become effective at 06:00 A.M., Monday, May 11, 2020 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.

 

 

To report fires contact:

DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH (970) 385-1324

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:

BIA FIRE MANAGEMENT (970) 563-4571 OR SOUTHERN UTE POLICE DEPARTMENT (970) 563-4401

 

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20200508 – Southern Ute Indian Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

Southern Ute Indian Tribal Court REVISED Operations

 

The Southern Ute Tribal Court has updated their operating functions for the modified services they are currently providing to address Tribal Court matters. The Court’s Administrative Order and Public Notice have been approved by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT).

The new hours and operations are set to begin Monday, May 11, 2020.

For questions related to the modification of tribal operations, tribal members are encouraged to call the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214. The Call Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

 

Administrative Order COVID May 2020

Notice to Public Tribal Court 05072020

Technical Advisory Bulletin for Tribal Title V Owners and Operators (COVID-19) March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020
Technical Advisory Bulletin

To: All Tribal Title V Owners and Operators:

This technical advisory bulletin is being issued to address compliance concerns or non-compliance that could result at Title V permitted facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state, local, and the Southern Ute Indian tribal government have been forced to take drastic actions to limit social contact including stay-at-home orders for non-critical employees and closures of certain businesses. The Tribe’s Air Quality Program (AQP) understands that owners and operators are facing many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is issuing this guidance to help operators take measures to document these challenges for compliance reporting purposes.

To document compliance concerns and issues that are directly resultant from challenges relating to the pandemic, the AQP recommends, at a minimum, that operators keep detailed logs, including the reason for non-compliance and maintain all relevant data to support claims (e.g., correspondence with operations personnel, stack test companies, contractors, etc.). Additionally, AQP recommends keeping in contact with the AQP regarding issues as they arise. For urgent matters and prompt deviation reporting during this time, reports can be submitted to: airquality@southernute-nsn.gov. All other logs and records can be submitted to the AQP at a later date.

If owners and operators are able to comply with their Title V permit requirements on time, we strongly encourage you to do so using the processes normally used. Where compliance is impacted by orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, the AQP expects owners and operators to exercise reasonable due diligence. Correspondingly, the AQP will exercise discretion in granting administrative and enforcement relief for various reporting requirements and deadlines of regulated entities as conditions warrant in response to COVID-19.

It is the AQP’s expectation that permittees will take actions minimizing the effects and duration of any noncompliance caused by COVID-19 and will use “best efforts” to return to compliance at the earliest opportunity
If you have any questions regarding compliance during this time, please contact Mr. Oakley Hayes, Air Quality Technical Manager, at (970) 563-2244 or me at (970) 563-2265.

Danny Powers
Air Quality Program Manager
The Southern Ute Air Quality Program

SOUTHERN UTE DRUM Publication

In accordance the “Stay at Home” orders and travel restrictions issued by the Southern Ute Tribe, the SOUTHERN UTE DRUM will not be available in printed form until further notice.

The DRUM will be available on-line at:  www.SUDRUM.com

 

Social Gatherings Protocol

SUIT Public Service Announcement

SOCIAL GATHERINGS PROTOCOL

A COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials have recommended community action designed to limit exposure to COVID-19. The Southern Ute Incident Management Team is ordering postponement or cancellation of large events with more than 250 people within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation. This is for the safety and well-being of your event staff, participants, and the community.

Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events. Recommendations have been made by the CDC, to avoid sporting events, community festivals/gatherings, and concerts at this time. Recommendations to change your daily habits such as shopping off peak hours are encouraged along with taking advantage of delivery or pick up services with retailers.

Obituary – Rita Elaine Newton

At the wishes of the family, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe is sharing the obituary and service information for the late, Rita Elaine Newton. 

Obituary for Rita Elaine Newton

Photo Credit: Ace Stryker | The Southern Ute Drum

 

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Rita Elaine Newton, passed on January 14, 2020. Elaine was a wife, mother, daughter, sister and grandmother, she was 62 years old.

Elaine was born on January 21, 1957 in Las Vegas, NV to Josephine and Jose R. Olguin.

Elaine is survived by her husband of 43 years, Jim R. Newton, Sr., granddaughter Maylon Newton, brothers James M. Olguin (Dee), Myron Olguin (Diane), and Roberta Lohrey all of Ignacio, CO.

Elaine is preceded in death by her father, Jose R. Olguin, and son, Chairman Jim R. Newton, Jr.

Elaine was a person with a huge heart filled with servitude, compassion, and encouragement to her family, friends, tribal membership and the greater community. She was loved by everyone and her impacts will be forever lasting on both a personal and professional level. On January 26, 1976 she married the love of her life, Jimmy R. Newton and together they welcomed their only child, Jim R. Newton, Jr. Elaine loved being a wife and a mother. The love and passion to serve her people helped shaped the same passions into her son who was elected to Tribal Council and Chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. She loved to travel with her husband and other family members. When her son, Jim, was on the powwow circuit, Elaine was known to travel right beside him.

During her years as Judge, her contributions were significant and many of the policies and programs that she created are still intact today. Judge Newton was passionate for traditional forms of justice which aimed to rehabilitate the individuals who came before her. Her sentences were non-traditional in the eyes of many courts, but she understood the unique backgrounds and needs to rehabilitate the entire community that she loved. Elaine spent 34 years in law enforcement and judicial services of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. In 1988, Elaine began her career with tribal court as a paralegal, she was then promoted to Associate Judge for four years and finally Chief Judge for 17 years. She also dedicated her time in Tribal Planning working on Economic Development, Tribal Services, and the Department of Natural Resources.

She enjoyed doing crafts, another passion she passed to her son. In the Spring and Summer months, her family and friends could often find her in her garden. She loved to grow flowers and grew traditional plants, such as tobacco. Elaine will be deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and the surrounding communities.

A rosary will be recited on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. On Saturday, January 18, 2020 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the St Ignatius Catholic Church, a eulogy will be read, church services will begin at 10:00 a.m., with burial to follow at Ouray Cemetery.

A luncheon will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the Sky Ute Casino Resort, Event Center. The family welcomes everyone to attend.

NEWS RELEASE: Southern Ute Growth Fund hires one of their own as Vice President of Human Resources

Southern Ute Growth Fund hires one of their own as Vice President of Human Resources

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Shane Seibel, Executive Director – 970.563.5000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2020 – 08:20 A.M.

Southern Ute Indian Reservation –

The Southern Ute Growth Fund has hired Maria Baker, a Southern Ute Tribal Member, as the Vice President of Human Resources. She will assume the responsibilities as VP on Monday, January 6, 2020.

“I am excited for this opportunity. I appreciate the support I have received from the Directors and Tribal Council. I am going to build on the foundation I received while working for Cathy Otten, learning from her expertise for the past 14 years,” stated Baker.

Baker started her professional career with the Southern Ute Department of Education in 2001, training under Mr. Lee Briggs, and taking over responsibility as the Distance Learning Coordinator helping to bring degreed programs to the Southern Ute Tribal Members on the reservation. After working in education for four years, Baker received an unpassable opportunity within the Southern Ute Growth Fund, Human Resources as the Tribal Members Employment Coordinator. Her background with education proved to be helpful in transitioning Tribal Members into positions within the Southern Ute Growth Fund. She has spent 18 years with the Tribe and most recently as the HR Training Coordinator and Assistant HR Manager.

Baker received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fort Lewis College in 2000.

As an avid outdoorsman, she currently sits on the Southern Ute Wildlife – Wildlife Advisory Board and in her downtime enjoys hunting and fishing. She also has sat on the KSUT Board of Directors, Del Alma Board of Directors, and the Durango Adult Education Board of Directors. Baker also enjoys spending time with family.

 

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20200106 – Southern Ute Growth Fund hires one of their own as Vice President of Human Resources