Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Highway mortality takes a toll on bighorn sheep herd in NW Montana
In 2008, there were 270 bighorn sheep in the herd near Thompson Falls, but Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Biologist Bruce Sterling counted just 52 this spring, with highway mortality cited as the major reason for the decline as 110 sheep have been killed on roads in the area since 2008.
Flathead Beacon; May 2
USDA to roll out Colorado's final proposed roadless plan
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will release the details of Colorado's plan to manage 4.2 million acres of roadless federal forest lands today, with 1.2 million of those acres to receive "upper-tier" protection.
Denver Post (AP); May 2
Parks Canada to privatize operations of Rocky Mountain hot springs
To deal with declining budgets, Parks Canada will take bids from private operators to run the hot springs in Banff, Jasper and Radium, B.C.
Calgary Herald; May 2
Former Bank of Canada governor urges Alberta to ship crude east
Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge was in Alberta on Tuesday to deliver a speech at an international economic conference, and in an interview with the Edmonton Journal, he said Alberta should walk away from the fight to build new pipelines across B.C. and to expand existing lines, and instead explore shipping bitumen from oilsands operations east.
Edmonton Journal; May 2
Mining companies cut coal production in Wyoming
Warmer than normal temperatures this winter and more utilities switching to natural gas for power production were both cited as reasons for weakening demand for Wyoming coal.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 2
Rising benzene levels near Colorado refinery befuddle regulators
Despite the pollution-curbing remedies required by Colorado regulators put in place at Suncor Energy's oil refinery, benzene levels in Sand Creek and the South Platte River doubled over the past month.
Denver Post; May 2
Uranium mine in SW Wyoming awaits BLM permit
Lost Creek LLC ISR, a subsidiary of a Colorado-based company, has obtained permits from a slate of federal and state agencies for its proposed in-situ uranium mine in southern Wyoming, but the company still needs approval of the Bureau of Land Management, which has scheduled an open house on the project on May 14 in Rawlins and will take public comment through June 11.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); May 2
Montana researchers find fount of information on trout's life in its ear bone
In a study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Montana researchers detailed the information they discovered was available in the ear bones of westslope cutthroat trout that included the chemistry of the water in which the trout swam during its life.
Missoulian; May 2
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.