Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana timber leader testifies at House hearing on litigation reform
At a hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on litigation reform, both Montana U.S. Rep. Steve Daines and Chuck Roady, the vice president and general manager of F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co., which operates a sawmill near Columbia Falls, said lawsuits to stop timber sales are adversely affecting forest health.
Kalispell Daily InterLake; July 12
U.S. Energy Department says climate change already affecting power grid
In a report issued Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy said that extreme weather and climate change have already affected the nation's energy generation and transmission systems.
Portland Oregonian (AP); July 12
Farm Bill without food assistance program passes in U.S. House
The U.S. House voted 216 to 208 Thursday to approve a Farm Bill from which all food assistance programs had been stripped, ending a decades-long pairing of agricultural and food stamps programs, a move that was criticized by a broad spectrum of groups in Montana.
Washington Post; July 12
Geologists link increase in earthquakes in U.S. to wastewater reinjection
A report published Thursday in the journal Science, seismologists and geologists linked the increase of earthquakes above magnitude 3 from an average of 21 per year to 100 per year over the past three years to the increase in deep reinjection wells for disposal of drilling wastewater.
USA Today; July 12
Report says improvements on Snake, Columbia river dams aid salmon
A draft evaluation issued Thursday by the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on improvements on dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers said the work done is working as predicted to help young salmon make their way down those rivers and mature salmon to make the return trip, and public comment will be taken on the evaluation for the next 30 days.
Idaho Statesman (AP); July 12
Montana researcher lends his expertise to Sage Grouse Initiative
National Public Radio correspondent Christopher Joyce traveled with a research team that includes David Naugle, a sage grouse expert at the University of Montana, to the Centennial Valley in southwestern Montana, to see how work done to bolster sage grouse populations is working on the ground.
NPR.org; July 12
Chunks of Idaho resort go on auction block next Tuesday
Work on the Tamarack Resort in Idaho near Donnelly stalled in 2008, when the owners sought bankruptcy protection, and on Tuesday, two unfinished chunks of the resort will be auctioned off on the courthouse steps in Cascade.
Idaho Statesman (McCall Star News); July 12
Descendents of victims of 1864 massacre in Colorado sue federal government
After the Nov. 29, 1864, Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado, where federal soldiers attacked and killed 163 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of whom were women, children and the elderly, the federal government acknowledged wrongdoing and promised reparations and land to survivors and relatives of those killed, and a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Denver will focus on whether those reparations were ever fully paid.
Denver Post; July 12
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