San Juan County has been granted an extension by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to recount the population of the Utah Navajo Reservation and a percentage of non-reservation households, commissioners said.
County Commission Chairman Ty Lewis said that William Adams, director of the regional census center, granted the county a two-week extension on the deadline for completing a post-census local review.The commission last month challenged most figures in the preliminary census, particularly the population on the Utah portion of the reservation.
Lewis said the county was mistaken on some figures that were challenged, having confused counts on housing units with population figures. On the other hand, census officials recognized some problems that may have resulted from confusion over physical boundaries shown on maps of the Utah reservation, said Commissioner Mark Maryboy.
"There may be discrepancies, but not to the extent indicated in our first appeal," Lewis said. "We were trying to compare cantaloupes to oranges, or something like that."
"One problem we found was the census workers on the reservation came from Albuquerque," he added.
Most of the 17 million-acre Navajo Reservation is in New Mexico and Arizona. The Utah Strip is the smallest portion.
For the recount, the six chapters representing communities on the Utah Strip are preparing detailed maps for enumerators, to supplement census and other local maps. A sample map Montezuma Creek resident Harrison Johnson presented to commissioners at their latest meeting listed names of all heads of households, according to Aneth chapter records.
Maryboy said the new count must be completed by Oct. 15. The original deadline was Oct. 1. Final figures are to be submitted Dec. 31 to the president.