Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rockies Today, Jan. 30

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Bill to limit small power projects gets preliminary OK in Montana House
Montana state Rep. Keith Regier's House Bill 188 would limit the size of small, independent power projects eligible for special contracts with NorthWestern Energy and other utilities in the state, and the bill got initial approval on a 63-37 vote in the House on Tuesday, and faces another vote before it can move to the Senate.
Montana Standard; Jan. 29

USFS says Vail Resorts' summer plan in Colorado leads the way
Ski resorts across the nation are working on ways to entice visitors during the summer, and White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said Vail's "Epic Discovery," set to open at the Colorado resort in July, will set the standard for other such summer projects.
Aspen Times; Jan. 30

Alberta Wilderness Association criticizes road building in caribou habitat
The Alberta Wilderness Association said allowing one road to be built near the Little Smoky River in west central Alberta, an area critical to the survival of the Little Smoky caribou herd, and plans to allow the oil company to build a second road through the herd's breeding grounds, contravenes the province's 2011 plan to protect the caribou, but Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources Development personnel argued that those projects did not violate the policy.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 30

New study find cats kill billions of birds, wildlife each year
Using numbers from previous studies, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service created computer models that indicate domestic cats in the United States kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, with the estimated 80 million feral cats responsible for approximately 70 percent of the carnage.
New York Times; Jan. 30

Colorado Trout Unlimited posts warning about West Slope rivers
A video released by Colorado Trout Unlimited and other groups warns that the Fraser and Upper Colorado rivers are being depleted by diversions to the Front Range, but Denver Water defended its efforts to maintain healthy flows of West Slope rivers.
Denver Post; Jan. 30

BLM acquires more inholdings in Utah national monument
When President Clinton created the 1.9-million acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, approximately 186,000 acres of those lands were in private hands, and the Bureau of Land Management has been acquiring those inholdings when private landowners offer to sell and when money is available, and a recent deal put eight parcels covering 21 acres into federal hands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 30

Alberta company opens its first LNG facility in the Canadian province
Calgary-based Encana has one liquefied natural gas producing station in the United States, as well as 10 fueling stations set up along major trucking routes in the U.S., but the facility it opened near Strathmore is the first in Alberta.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 30

At U.S. Senate hearing, Utah's gun law touted as model to protect schools
At a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, David Kopel, an adjunct professor at the Denver University, urged federal lawmakers to consider Utah's law when crafting legislation to make schools safer from gun violence, stating that there had never been a school shooting in Utah, where it's legal for a concealed-firearm permit holder to carry a loaded and hidden gun into public schools.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 30

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.

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