Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Ranchers haul their cattle to drought sales
Lack of winter moisture, little spring rains and summer's blistering heat have taken a toll on pastures and hay crops, forcing ranchers to reduce their herds, and at sale barns such as in Torrington, Wyo., the number of cattle sold each week has increased fivefold.
New York Times; July 16
Utah wildfire season on pace to rival that of 2007
In 2007, wildfires burned a record 629,212 acres in Utah, and as of Sunday, fires have scorched 394,614 acres so far this year, and costs for fighting those fires are estimated to be at $47.1 million. Contains a graphic showing Utah's fires so far this season, as well as costs to fight them.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 16
Colorado poised to lead nation in 'solar gardens'
Solar gardens allow consumers to lease a portion of a solar array, and Colorado has a solar-garden law, leading-edge private financing and developers that specialize in such collectives, giving the Centennial State an edge in the collaborative projects.
Denver Post; July 16
Alberta university floats proposal to recycle helium
Helium is in short supply in North America due to declining supplies and the shutting down of processing plants, but millions of cubic feet of the gas are released into the atmosphere every year, and the University of Alberta is working on a project that would capture those releases and recycle them.
Edmonton Journal; July 14
Lower oil prices slows Canada's economy
The drop in oil prices to $87 a barrel is helping companies and consumers, who are paying less to run their plants and their vehicles, but the lower price is also having an effect on Canada's overall economy, a reflection of just how dependent the country has become on the energy sector.
Toronto Globe and Mail; July 14
Retired USFS scientists say ski area would harm Montana research area
When the U.S. Forest Service first debated the creation of a natural research area on the Carlton Ridge above Montana's Bitterroot Valley in the 1970s, official decided to designate just 900 acres of the 1,500-acre ridge as a natural research area because the other 550 acres on the western edge had potential to be developed as a ski area, but now Tom Maclay's proposed ski area calls for a tram to move through the heart of the Carlton Ridge NRA.
Ravalli Republic; July 16
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.