Sanctuary Ranch, LLC and Best Friends Animal Society have both challenged Kane County’s Land Use Authority’s decision on approving the conditional use permit for Southern Red Sands, LLC.

The issue concerns mineral rights on SITLA lands the Gardner Group based in Salt Lake City secured. They intend to build a sand plant near Red Knoll about 10 miles north of Kanab. Two local faces and company representatives live here, businessman Chad Staheli and recently-elected Kane County Commissioner Andy Gant. 

Sanctuary Ranch, LLC owns the Trees Ranch near Zion National Park and the East Fork of the Virgin River. They address the following issues in their appeal:

•Inadequacy of application (such as too short of form, SITLA’s mineral materials permit, and serious questions about how the county will benefit, and how the plant works!) 

•Water. A couple of lines of the appeal, “the applicant apparently plans on securing a water supply for the project through a water sales contract with the City of Kanab. The project is not located within the city boundaries. Kanab is constitutionally prohibited from selling water outside of its boundaries, except to the extent the water is surplus to its current needs. The planning committee has made no effort to determine the long water needs of Kanab and how long the water surplus will be.”

•Sanctuary Ranch wants to know about SITLA permit enforceability? A SITLA lease and permit governs hazardous materials, protections of surface, reclamation, reclamation bonds and cultural resources. Who is watching all of this for them?

•Reclamation – what about that? Does SITLA, or some other entity, enforce that after they pack their bags and move from here?

•Lighting – continuous operations require continuous lighting.  

•BLM Red Knoll Road Environmental Assessment – according to the staff report a BLM NEPA study and environmental assessment has been initiated, but no outcome has been completed. It also challenges that a Transportation Management Plan will be prepared.

•Screening – vegetation will be used to screen the mine site from surrounding areas. “Did the planning commission find facts sufficient to conclude that sagebrush and low growing pinion pines will adequately screen 120 foot silos?”