January 2022 saw a world putting itself back together. The nation at large was still in recovery from COVID, but, at least in our communities, things had adjusted and were looking on the upward slope back to normalcy - health reports were showing good results of vaccinations and urging yet more, and blood drives were opening up to refill the nation’s critically dwindling blood supply.
The Cowboys were splitting the Cowboy Classic, Valley High put on “Annie Get Your Gun,” the Wulfenstein Music School opened up for group classes and several new small businesses opened up.
January also saw the swearing in of our Mayor Colten Johnson, labeled “Kanab’s youngest mayor, presumably ever” by SUN’s Neal Brown.
Kane County was opening up for development again - new vacation companies, glamping sites and tour guiding groups were springing up, along with a whole host of legislature to respond to that trend and all the contention that any new legislation brings. Stampin’ Up!’s old headquarters changed to house a sticker company previously out of California, “Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Company.”
Later in January, Garkane was awarded restitution of funds that had been stolen in the Chynoweth case in a plea deal. Jackson Flat Reservoir reached an unprecedented high. SITLA land was dedicated to yet further vacation development, this time for a short-term rental community called Mineral Village, amidst “contention and phone calls from what seems like half the citizens of Kanab.”
February 2022 was a sobering one when it came to water - a series of reports came in from hikers visiting Lake Powell’s Lone Rock. Yes indeed, hikers; not kayakers, not boats and tubes. Hikers, visiting Lone Rock on foot without crossing water. Grand Canyon opened up a lottery for non-commercial river trips down the Colorado.
Dixie State - still called Dixie State at the time - hosted a robotics competition and convention. Kane County represented in sterling fashion, with multiple awards being given to various schools within the area.
The BLM was in full force in February 2022; strides were made in managing fireadapted environments, with thousands of man-hours dedicated to fighting wildfires, and many prescribed-burn projects maintaining the health of local ecosystems and preventing future wildfires.
Later in February, the Kane County Commission voted not to participate in constructing a Visitor’s Center in collaboration with the East Zion Project, nor would they provide municipal services to the district. There were multiple issues of concern at the Commission level regarding unincorporated areas that were requesting what Commissioner Wade Heaton called “municipal-type services,” and discussions began regarding those issues.
Davina Smith formally announced her candidacy for Utah’s House of Representatives and began her campaign.
The Balloons and Tunes Festival was a grand success, described by SUN contributor Jerry Melrose as “Rapturous ascensions grac[ing] the zephyrs.”
Kanab was abuzz in late February and early March - the Lady Cowboys took a high school basketball championship trophy for the first time in 30 years. They also set a state record with most three-point shots in a season with 224.
Reports were coming in on the contentions and conflict in Ukraine, describing the situation as “heart-breaking” and “life shattering.” The articles gave avenues for support and contribution to the cause.
The state passed the “Kevin Costner bill,” a legislation providing tax incentives for filmmaking in Utah; so named because Costner himself had lobbied for such incentives for months during filming three seasons of Yellowstone. Filmmakers were being encouraged to “bring back Utah’s Little Hollywood,” by being rewarded with tax rebates for filming in rural areas.
Grand Canyon began closing hiking trails for the sake of endangered Peregrine Falcon nesting grounds - it was revealed that pesticides being used were thinning the shells of falcon eggs, resulting in many lost embryos. The park expressed a sense of eagerness and responsibility for the preservation of nesting couples of falcons and getting their population to stable levels. On a similar note, Utah would go on to declare the rare Golden Eagle as their state bird of prey.
The History Channel highlighted Kanab as a historically viable potential resting place for Montezuma’s Gold.
Concerns were growing about ever-increasing numbers of students with mental health issues.
BYU brought their world-renowned folk dancers to Kanab, welcoming the town to participate in the show and putting on their American Culture show on March 26. BYU would also go on to perform an International Culture show as well, dedicating the show to the support of the Ukraine conflict and its survivors. SUU celebrated their 125th anniversary.
Red Cross honored those who had donated blood to help in resolving the country’s crisis blood shortage, and encouraged people to keep giving to prevent the same thing from happening again.
Utah Legislature passed House Bill 11, banning transgender individuals from participating in sports matching their self-identified gender, restricting them to categories instead matching their biological sex. Governor Cox vetoed the bill, and the veto was then overruled by the Utah House and Senate. The Bill allowed for special councils composed of doctors and athletic authorities to assess individuals on a case-by-case basis to allow for transgender individuals to appeal for a stay on the ban.
Supporters of the Second Amendment gathered to protest and plan against the disarming of US citizens.