Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Grizzly bear group to review drilling plans along Montana's Front
The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Subcommittee is working on a plan to get grizzly bears in that area of Montana off the federal endangered species list, and an explosion of oil and gas exploration projects along the Rocky Mountain Front has added new concerns about what energy development means for the large bruins and their habitat.
Kalispell Daily InterLake; June 2
Crash of Montana-based air tanker on Utah wildfire killed 2 Idaho men
Two men from Boise were killed when the P2V air tanker owned by Montana-based Neptune Aviation they were flying over a Utah wildfire crashed Sunday afternoon. The wildfire, which was ignited by lightning in Nevada, has burned more than 5,000 acres on the Utah-Nevada border.
Deseret News; June 4
Wyoming offers free cisterns to Pavillion-area residents
At a community meeting Thursday evening, Wyoming offered cisterns to Pavillion-area residents whose drinking water wells were contaminated with fluids associated with drilling operations, but the company that operates the gas field in that area of the state stands by its position that the groundwater in the area was naturally contaminated by a shallow gas field and that no conclusive study had ever linked the water well contamination to drilling operations.
New York Times; June 2
Montana rancher submits new proposal for Bitterroot ski resort
On Friday, Tom Maclay formally submitted a new proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for a destination ski resort in Montana's Bitterroot Valley.
Ravalli Republic; June 2
Mussel fragments found on barge from Idaho used to clean up Montana lake
After fragments of a zebra mussel were found on one of the 18 commercial barges being used to clean up petroleum contamination in Whitefish Lake, Whitefish city officials demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency take steps to ensure that the barges, which were brought in from Idaho, California, Washington and the Midwest where invasive species have been found, be thoroughly inspected and cleaned.
Missoulian; June 3
Wyoming farmer sells organic grain to China
Clint Jessen's organic millet-and-wheat farm in Wyoming may be the first American farm certified by the Chinese government to export organic grains to China.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 30
Analysis tracks best route for Montana-Idaho power line
Five groups and three counties joined together to provide an analysis of the proposed Mountain States Transmission Intertie project proposed by NorthWestern Energy to run between Townsend, Mont., and Jerome, Idaho, and at a meeting in Butte on Friday, the best recommended route was one that followed the Bonneville Power Administration's corridor between Townsend and Butte, and then followed the I-15 corridor south.
Helena Independent Record (Montana Standard); June 4
Idaho's solar-power industry in a state of flux
Uncertainty in the solar-power market forced Transform Solar in Nampa to announce it is closing down within the next three months, and Hoku has drastically cut production at its polysilicon plant in Pocatello, but SolarCascade is contemplating opening a plant in Nampa to manufacture solar "micro-grid" systems it currently builds in Africa.
Idaho Statesman; June 4
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