Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana governor: Keystone XL will be built despite opposition from Washington D.C.
In an interview with the Canadian Press, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he was confident the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through Montana on its way from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, will be built, despite opposition from "jackasses" in Washington D.C.
Winnepeg Free Press Canadian Press;
Water concerns cast a pall over Pavillion area of Wyoming
The Environmental Protection Agency's finding that some groundwater in the area of Pavillion had been affected by oil and gas operations has cast a "buyer beware" cloud over all properties and businesses in that region of Wyoming, making land impossible to sell despite federal certification that the water is fine and keeping customers away from businesses.
Landowners resist USFS's proposed land exchange in Idaho
A proposed land exchange in Idaho to trade private lands contained within the Clearwater National Forest for land elsewhere has been in the works since 2006, but identifying the public lands to be traded has been problematic, and at a hearing before an Idaho Senate panel on Friday, landowners presented their opposition to the current proposal, but Idaho County Commission Chairman Skip Brandt, who hammered out the current acre-for-acre proposal, told landowners the current deal on the table may be the best they can get.
Water sales to drilling companies green up Colorado cities' bottom lines
Hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that uses water, sand and chemicals introduced underground at high pressure to break open rock formations that hold oil and gas captive, is being used a lot in gas fields in northern Colorado, and companies are tapping the hydrants of cities in that area to provide the water needed.
Groups press Utah for more info on financing for nuclear power project
Utah's decision to grant the 53,600 acre-feet of Green River water to Blue Castle Holdings, the Utah company that wants to build a nuclear reactor near Green River, is under review and the state engineer's office must either affirm its earlier decision or submit the proposal to additional scrutiny, and opponents of the project said the state should look more closely at the company's financing, although state law does not require that.
Salt Lake Tribune;
USFWS proposal on woodland caribou in Idaho, Washington draws fire
There are an estimated 46 caribou in the South Selkirk herd found in southern British Columbia, northeastern Washington and northern Idaho, but only a handful of the caribou have been found in recent years in Idaho and Washington, a situation which is causing some in the states to question just why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to designate so many acres in those states as critical habitat for the caribou.
Experts: Snowmobiles pave wolves' way to B.C. mountain caribou herd
The area of southeastern British Columbia near Cranbrook that provides critical winter habitat for the south Purcells herd of mountain caribou is being over-run by snowmobiles, which pack down the snow and provide easy access for wolves, and the machines also drive the caribou away from areas where they can find food.
Mapping session held in Butte on proposed Montana-Idaho transmission line
At a meeting Thursday in Butte, members of the Butte-Silver Bow Commission declined to fill out yet another mapping survey on the proposed Mountain States Transmission Intertie, a transmission line that will run from Townsend, Mont., to Jerome, Idaho, because they said they've already made the commission's position clear: any route that uses just public lands is fine with them.
Mountain West 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.