Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Warming West welcomes invasion of pine, spruce beetles
The landscape of the Rocky Mountain West will change dramatically in the next few years as millions of acres of trees are killed by the mountain pine and spruce beetles, which are gaining ground due to warmer winters, overgrown forests, and dwindling government budgets that have too little funds for too many projects.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 22
Megaloads quietly making their way through Montana
Lawyers for Imperial Oil will be in a Montana courtroom today to make their case for lifting an injunction on their plan to transport massive pieces of oilsands mining equipment across Lolo Pass from Idaho through the state to Alberta, but massive pieces of other kinds of equipment are already on the move through the Big Sky State via Interstate 90 and other routes, although it's hard to track those shipments since the state doesn't have any agreement with the other companies to provide real-time information as to where those truckloads are.
Missoulian; Sept. 22
Montana, Helena NF release study on disposal of Mike Horse Mine waste
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Helena National Forest released a study that examines options for the permanent disposal of 1 million cubic yards of tailings from the Mike Horse Mine that remain in the soil at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 22
Canada orders reviews of hydraulic fracturing
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent announced the launch of two studies, one by an independent panel and another by the Canadian government, of the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, an announcement that at least one critic said was merely a tactic to delay any regulation of the process.
Edmonton Journal; Sept. 22
Dozens attend BLM meeting on Gateway West project in Idaho county
The Bureau of Land Management had plenty of information on hand for the dozens of residents of Cassia County who attended the meeting Wednesday night in Burley about the proposed 1,103-mile Gateway West transmission line across Wyoming and southern Idaho.
Twin Falls Times-News; Sept. 22
California firm pitches new technology to increase Wyoming oil production
NiMin Energy, a California-based company, used its foam-based solution of pure oxygen and water to pump up production in a heavy crude oil field in the San Joaquin Basin, and now the company is investigating using it in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin.
Billings Gazette; Sept. 22
Gas prices in Idaho 10th highest in nation
Idaho motorists are paying on average 16 cents more per gallon of gas than residents across the country.
Idaho Statesman; Sept. 22
Federal audit finds Idaho made $82 million improper jobless benefits
A U.S. Department of Labor audit found that more than 9 percent of the unemployment benefits paid out by Idaho between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011 were made to ineligible recipients, but the Gem State's error rate was lower than its Pacific Northwest neighbors, with Washington state posting a 14.1 percent error rate with more than $775 million paid out improperly, and Oregon's error rate was 12.2 percent, with $392.4 million in improper payments.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Sept. 22
Headwaters News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.