Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Conservation group says BLM guidelines on sage grouse too lax
Erik Molvar, a biologist with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, said the temporary guidelines issued last week by the Bureau of Land Management for management of sage grouse habitat in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming ignore the recommendations by the agency's technical teams and allow too much latitude on the part of land managers.
Jackson Hole Daily; Dec. 30
U.S. Supreme Court to hear Idaho couple's case against the EPA
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this month in a dispute between an Idaho couple and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a half-acre lot in Priest Lake that the agency says contains sensitive wetlands and the owners say it does not.
Washington Post; Jan. 3
Report says halting of Alberta-B.C. pipeline will cost industry $72 billion
Consultants hired by Alberta Energy submitted a report to government officials last month that said if the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would carry Alberta bitumen to the coast in British Columbia isn't built, it will cost the oil industry $72 billion in lost profit as Canada gets less money for its oil in North America than it does overseas.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 2
Montana Supreme Court upholds ban on corporate spending in elections
Last week the Montana Supreme Court overturned a lower state court's decision and reinstated the state's century-old ban on direct corporate spending in elections.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Dec. 30
Idaho's payout of unemployment benefits dropped between 2010, 2011
In 2006, Idaho paid out $104 million in unemployment benefits but payments skyrocketed to $643 million in 2009, declined to $624 million in 2010, and decreased again last year to $418 million.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 1
Montana company wins interim contract with USFS for new air tanker
Neptune Aviation put its new BAe-146 four-engine jet air tanker through its paces in Texas on wildfires there last year, and the Montana-based company has a contract with the U.S. Forest Service to provide air support with the BAe through Dec. 12.
Missoulian; Jan. 3
Colorado oil, gas regulators create positions to reach out to communities
As more cities and communities begin crafting rules on energy development within their boundaries, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as well as the Colorado Oil and Gas Association are hiring community liaisons to work with those local governments.
Denver Post; Jan. 3
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.