Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
U.S. coal industry reports record exports in 2012
As the federal government's investigation into royalties paid by companies that extract coal from under federal lands continues, the coal industry reports that, despite a forecast 8.5 percent decline in coal-generated power in the U.S. over the next five years, exports to Asia and other overseas market are expected to follow last year's trend, when a record-setting 125 million tons of coal was shipped overseas.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); April 15
Idaho groups lobby White House for national monument action
In 2008, then-Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne prepared two draft nominations for designation of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains in Central Idaho and the caldera plateau around Mesa Falls as national monuments, but didn't formally submit either, and now conservation groups in the Gem State are pressing the current administration to protect those areas.
Idaho Statesman; April 15
Antiquities Act used by presidents from both parties to protect lands
Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican, has introduced legislation to limit the president's use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments, and a House subcommittee will take up Antiquities Act legislation Tuesday, but a review of presidents who have used that act and the lands protected by their actions, indicate that Republicans and Democrats have equally used the Act. A column by Rocky Barker.
Idaho Statesman;April 15
Study: Random weather to blame for 2012 drought in Wyoming, Colorado
The drought of 2012 was most evident in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri, and a study released last week by the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last May through August in those six states was the driest in 117 years, and said a drought of that severity would likely not reoccur for several hundred years.
Christian Science Monitor; April 14
American Indians' move to metro areas don't lift them out of poverty
A study of American Indian populations in metropolitan areas found that, in Denver, Phoenix and Tucson, nearly 30 percent of that population in those cities live in poverty, similar to levels on some of the nation's poorest reservations.
New York Times; April 14
Idaho governor vetoes bill to divert $100K in FWP funds for wolf predation
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter vetoed two bills on Friday, including one that would have diverted $100,000 in Idaho Fish and Game funds for hunter access to a fund to address problem wolves that kill livestock and big game.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 15
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.