Interior Department releases plan to tighten rules on wild horse sales
After a ProPublica investigation this fall found that a buyer in Colorado had bought 70 percent of the wild horses sold at Bureau of Land Management auctions since 2009, and that he had resold the animals, many of which could not be accounted for, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced new restrictions on the sales of wild horses.
Colorado Springs Gazette; Dec. 10
Hunters kill two wolves collared for research in Wyoming national park
Thirteen wolves have been killed in hunting areas that border Grand Teton National Park, including two radio-collared wolves, and while wildlife managers said they're not concerned about the loss of wolves that roam the park, they are concerned about the emotions the killing of radio-collared wolves may evoke.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Dec. 12
N.M., Arizona lawmakers want hard rock miners to pay royalties
Arizona U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva and New Mexico U.S. Sen. Tom Udall want hard rock mining companies to pay the same 12.5 percent royalties on the gold, uranium and other metals they pull from federal lands that oil, gas and coal companies now pay, and they will introduce a bill in Congress to reform the General Mining Act of 1872, which exempts mining companies from paying such royalties.
Denver Post (AP); Dec. 12
Montana, Idaho biologists co-authors on study of climate change, trout
Clint Muhlfeld, an aquatic ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Glacier National Park field office in Montana, and Daniel Isaak, of the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station in Idaho, were among the researchers who studied the climate histories of five river basins in the Rocky Mountain West: the Flathead River, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Green River, the Rio Grande and the Boise River, to produce the "The Past as Prelude to the Future for Understanding 21st-Century Climate Effects on Rocky Mountain Trout."
Missoulian; Dec. 12
At climate conference, Colorado governor champions natural gas
At the Colorado Climate Network conference on Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper said that expanding the use of natural gas is the best way for the nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term.
Durango Herald; Dec. 10
Groups protest BLM's oilshale plan in Wyoming
The Wyoming-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance joined Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project and Californians for Western Wilderness to file a formal protest against the Bureau of Land Management's plan to lease more than 700,000 acres of lands in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah for oilshale research and development, because the BLM plan fails to protect sensitive lands and wildlife on the 293,000 acres of those lands that are in Wyoming.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 12
Snake Valley residents, groups want Utah-Nevada water pact redone
On Tuesday, representatives of The Great Basin Water Network, The Western Wildlife Conservancy, The Salt Lake League of Women Voters, and The Friends of Great Salt Lake delivered a letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed by their groups and 14 others, urging him to renegotiate a deal with Nevada to share groundwater from the Snake Valley and four other valleys.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 10
Buffer zones, water testing hot issues at Colorado gas, oil panel meeting
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's proposed 350-foot buffer zone for oil and gas operations was protested by the industry and ranchers as too much, and by homeowners and environmental advocates as too little, and the proposed before and after testing of groundwater also generated much debate at the Commission's two-day meeting in Denver.
Denver Post; Dec. 12
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.