Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Rockies Today, Oct. 18

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

EPA: We are not going to regulate farm dust
Republican and some farm-state Democrats are making political hay out of the myth that the Environmental Protection Agency plans to regulate the dust stirred up by farm equipment, despite the Environmental Protection Agency's unequivocal position that the agency has no plans to do so.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 18

Montana economist calls farm bill tactic 'bait and switch'
Federal lawmakers working on the 2012 Farm Bill are calling for an end to an subsidy that has for decades put billions of dollars into the pockets of farmers, and most farmers agree that they must do their part to help trim the federal deficit, but the next step of the federal plan is creating a new subsidy with a new name and sending most of the money saved back to farmers, a technique Montana state Vincent H. Smith, a professor of farm economics at Montana State University, calls the old "bait and switch."
New York Times; Oct. 18

Groups seek injunction to halt wolf hunts in Montana, Idaho
On Monday, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to impose a temporary injunction on wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana, as rifle season for big game is set to begin in those states; 60 wolves have already been killed in archery season in Idaho and 11 have been taken during that season in Montana.
Missoulian; Oct. 18

Wildfires this summer in beetle-killed forests spin conventional research
In a couple of incidents this summer in Idaho and Montana, wildfires blew through miles of beetle-killed timber as if the trees were grass, disproving earlier modeling research that said beetle-killed forests wouldn't be as prone to flare into fast-moving crown fires, and confirming what Canadian officials have seen in wildfires in beetle-killed forests there over a number of years.
Missoulian (Ravalli Republic); Oct. 18

BLM releases updated management plan for NW Colorado lands
The Bureau of Land Management spent a decade crafting its management plan for 2.4 million acres of land in Northwest Colorado that sought to balance oil-and-gas development with other uses, but the release of the plan on Monday brought swift and wide-ranging criticism.
Denver Post; Oct. 18

Decline of sparrow species in Wyoming linked to energy development
Results of a study done by researchers at the University of Wyoming found that numbers of the sage, vesper and Barrow's sparrows in southwestern Wyoming declined precipitously in areas with concentrated drilling operations.
WyoFile.com (E&E); Oct. 18

Solyndra failure increases scrutiny on Idaho firm's geothermal project
Boise-based U.S. Geothermal is building its $130 million Neal Springs geothermal power project in Oregon with a federal loan guarantee from the same program that funded the now-defunct Solyndra solar-panel firm in Californa, and while U.S. Geothermal CEO Dan Kunz welcomes increased review of his project after Solyndra's failure, he dislikes attempts to characterize the geothermal project as another example of misspent federal funds.
Idaho Statesman; Oct. 18

Industry group says Colorado second only to California in solar jobs
The Solar Foundation released its report on the industry on Monday that said Colorado led the nation in growth of jobs in that sector.
Boulder Daily Camera; Oct. 18

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.

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