Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Montana governor halts bison relocation plan
After the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture denied a plan to put some bison from Yellowstone National Park on the National Bison Refuge near Moiese due to concerns about brucellosis, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said the 68 bison the state planned to put on the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck reservations in the state won't be relocated either.
Billings Gazette (AP); Dec. 2
Appeals court blocks motorized use in Montana wilderness study area
Just days after parties to litigation over the U.S. Forest Service's travel plan for the Hyalite/Porcupine/Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area just north of Yellowstone National Park in the Gallatin National Forest in Montana notified the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that court-ordered settlement talks had failed, that court ruled in favor of the conservation groups that had sued the Forest Service, and declared the travel plan was "arbitrary and capricious" and requires the Forest Service to redo the plan.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Dec. 2
NYT investigation finds not all energy leases the same
In a review of more than 111,000 oil and gas leases signed by private landowners, primarily in Texas, but also in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the New York Times found less than half required the energy company to compensate landowners for contaminating water and that two-thirds of the leases allowed the leaseholder to extend the lease without the approval of the landowner.
New York Times; Dec. 1
Colorado lays out cleanup plan for Suncor refinery
The Environmental Protection Agency determined that the black goo discovered in Sand Creek north of downtown Denver originated from Suncor's refinery, and the Colorado health department released the official cleanup plan for the spill that boosted benezene levels in Sand Creek and the confluence of the creek with the South Platte level many times the allowable 5 parts per billion national drinking water standard.
Denver Post; Dec. 2
Wyoming governor wants broader review of Pavilion water study
During talks about his proposed budget, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said that the Environmental Protection Agency's investigation into water contamination in the Pavilion area warranted a more extensive look and although his budget didn't have any money specifically allocated to such a study, Mead said the state would have a role.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 2
Economist: Idaho ranks 36th in nation tax burden
At a meeting of the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho on Thursday in Boise, an economist with the Tax Foundation said the state ranks 36th in the nation for its federal, state and local tax burden. Has a map that ranks states by their "Tax Freedom Days," the day by which workers have earned what they'll owe for all such taxes.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Dec. 2
Idaho company builds monster bus for tours of Canada's ice fields
Kodiak America, a Burley-based company that manufactures custom snow-removal equipment, is branching out, and on Thursday local and state officials got a look at the Idaho firm's new product: a monster bus designed for an Alberta company that will offer up to 50 passengers a tour of Canada's ice fields.
Twin Falls Times-News; Dec. 2
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.