Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Federal judge denies challenge to snowmobile rules in Montana WSA
Citizens for Balanced Use challenged the Gallatin National Forest's 2006 travel plan for the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn wilderness study area in Montana south of Bozeman, because the plan put new restrictions on where snowmobiles could travel, but on Monday U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed the lawsuit.
Billings Gazette; June 26
Demand for Montana coal slumps
Coal from Montana mines is piling up, due in part to a seasonal drop in demand due to hydropower resources in the Northwest, as well as less demand for coal in the Midwest.
Billings Gazette; June 24
Wildfires in the West burn into tourism profits
Popular tourist destinations from Montana to Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are being threatened by wildfires, putting the West's $5-billion tourism industry at risk.
Idaho Statesman (AP); June 26
Deal struck for reservoir releases to revive Colorado river flows
On Monday, the Colorado Water Trust announced an agreement with the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District, which owns the Stagecoach Reservoir, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board, for releases from the reservoir into the Yampa River, where flows are abnormally low for this time of year.
SteamboatToday.com; June 26
As oil falls to $79 a barrel, Alberta drilling companies remain steadfast
With both Canada and the U.S. drowning in shale gas, and seeing an oversupply of oil as well, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) and the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) trimmed their forecasts for 2012, but remain optimistic over the long term.
Edmonton Journal; June 26
Flooding forces hundreds out of their homes in British Columbia
Heavy rains and rapid snowmelt over the past several weeks have pushed rivers out of their banks in British Columbia, forced the evacuation of several small communities and caused one death, and forecasts are that the Fraser River will reach flood levels not seen since 1972 this weekend.
Calgary Herald (Vancouver Sun); June 26
BLM to delay release of federal hydraulic fracturing rules for 2 months
In order to allow more time for feedback on the federal government's proposed regulation of hydraulic fracturing operations, the drilling method used 90 percent of the time to develop energy resources on federal and tribal lands, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Monday that the July 9 deadline would be pushed back two months to Sept. 10, 2012.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 26
Bidding wars again part of housing market in Idaho valley
The housing market in Idaho's Treasure Valley is beginning to show symptoms of the pre-2007 boom with bidding wars, rising prices and a proliferation of building permit applications.
Idaho Statesman; June 24
Aspen Skiing Co. to build methane capture facility in Colorado
In order to reduce its carbon footprint, Aspen Skiing Co. announced it would pay 90 percent of the $5.4-million needed to build a facility at a coal mine near Somerset to capture the methane that is now vented from the Colorado mine.
Aspen Times; June 26
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.