Federal regulators to examine royalties paid on Montana, Wyoming coal
As exports of coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia increase—and coal is being sold at prices overseas 10 times higher than domestically, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, which collects federal royalties, said it will increase its scrutiny of royalties the coal companies are paying.
Denver Post (Reuters); Dec. 6
With disease on its radar, Montana collects data on bat populations
Federal and state agencies, as well as private groups and even public school students, are working together to gather data about Montana's bat population to have in hand should the fatal white nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. and Canada, makes its way to the Big Sky State.
Flathead Beacon; Dec. 3
Snowy owls are back in Montana
Snowy owls have been sighted in western and northcentral Montana in recent days, although biologists are uncertain if this year's "irruption," will be as large as last year's, when thousands of the Arctic owls were reported in 30 states in the United States.
Great Falls Tribune; Dec. 6
Report supports plan to rev up U.S. export of natural gas
A study done for the U.S. Energy Department found that the country could substantially increase its export of natural gas without raising domestic prices of the fuel too much, and that increasing exports would provide significant economic benefit, although Dow Chemical, which uses large amounts of the fuel, challenged the report, saying it would make it hard for domestic, fuel-intensive manufacturers to compete with foreign companies.
New York Times; Dec. 6
Wyoming wants to intervene in lawsuit over uranium mine
Citing a need to protect the state's interests, Wyoming's attorney general has asked to intervene in the federal lawsuit filed by the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management challenging the BLM's approval of Ur-Energy's Lost Creek uranium mine.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 6
Atlanta Gold puts water fix in Idaho mine, plans to move forward
After a federal court levied a $2 million fine against Atlanta Gold for polluted water running out of an old mining tunnel the Canadian company owned in Idaho, the company installed a new filtration system to remove arsenic from the water, and CEO Ernie Simmons said the company is gearing up to produce gold from its Idaho claims.
Idaho Statesman; Dec. 6
Federal agencies come up with index on assessing wildfire risk
The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Forest Service have developed a new way to assess the wildfire risk to communities built in the wildland-urban interface.
Christian Science Monitor; Dec. 6
Canada Safeway, Alberta launch campaign to promote local food
At Safeway's 86 stores in Alberta, more than 1,800 products will carry the "Buy Alberta" label to help shoppers identify food and products that are produced locally.
Edmonton Journal; Dec. 6
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.