Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rockies Today, May 23

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Study ties conservation of public lands to Western counties' economic health
A study done by Southwick Associates at the request of Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development found that economic activity was more diverse and vibrant in counties in the Rocky Mountain West where public lands were managed more for recreation and conservation than in counties where such lands were managed for natural resource development.
Billings Gazette; May 23

Appeals court upholds $3.4B settlement of tribal claims
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the $3.4-billion settlement of the class action lawsuit brought by Elouise Cobell against the federal government for mismanagement of tribal assets, and lawyers for the plaintiffs said checks distributing the settlement proceeds should be cut within the next few weeks.
Ravalli Republic (AP); May 23

Federal judge hears arguments on drilling on Colorado's Roan Plateau
At a hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger pressed counsel for the federal government, conservation groups and the energy industry to provide explanations for their respective stances on opening up the top of Colorado's Roan Plateau to oil and gas development.
Grand Junction Sentinel; May 22

Idaho counties monitor debate over PILT extension
Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch attached to the federal surface transportation bill an amendment extending the program that pays counties that cannot collect taxes on federal lands within their borders for five years, but the Payment in Lieu of Taxes amendment is not a part of the House's version of the transportation bill, and officials of Blaine and Custer counties are concerned the even the compromise amendment, which extends the PILT program for just one year, may not survive budget negotiations.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); May 23

Simpson said Idaho wilderness bill a question of 'when' not 'if'
At a conference on Sunday, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson told members of the Idaho Conservation League that his Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, which the Idaho Republican has introduced several times over the past dozen years to designate more than 330,000 acres of land in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains as wilderness, will eventually pass.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); May 23

Noble Energy lays out $8-billion plan for Colorado's oilshale fields
This year Noble Energy will spend $1.3 billion in developing wells in the Niobrara oil formation in eastern Colorado, and will ultimately spend a total of $8 billion over the next five years in that oilfield.
Denver Post; May 23

Unified Equine plans horse slaughterhouse in Wyoming
Wyoming state Rep. Sue Wallis, the CEO of Unified Equine, said that the company will get its planned horse slaughterhouses up and running in Oklahoma and Missouri before it builds its plant in the Riverton area.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 22

USFWS offers reward for info on shooting of grizzly sow, cub in Idaho
A grizzly sow and her cub were found shot to death in northern Idaho, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.
Spokane Spokesman-Review (AP); May 22

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.

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