Company pulls out of Keystone XL contract to ship Bakken oil
Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, which had committed to shipping 35,000 barrels of oil from its Bakken field on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, said his company and other U.S. producers are no longer counting on the pipeline being built, and that his company had found shipping the oil by rail, while more expensive, was more flexible.
CNBCNews.com; Dec. 17
Study maps much more magma under Yellowstone Park
New seismic mapping of the molten rock under Yellowstone National Park found that the caldera is 55 miles long, 18 miles wide and its depth ranges from 3 miles to 9 miles, a size about 2 1/2 times that previously estimated.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Dec. 17
Report says the number of woodland caribou on the decline in Alberta
A study published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology tied a rapid decline in woodland caribou numbers to increased industrial development, and called for an aggressive campaign to protect habitat to help the species stabilize.
Calgary Herald; Dec. 17
Kinder Morgan officially files application to expand Alberta-B.C. pipeline
On Monday, Kinder Morgan formally filed its application to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline which carries oil from Alberta's oilsands operation from Edmonton, across British Columbia to a terminal in Burnaby, with estimates that when the $5.4-billion expansion is complete, the number of oil tankers that move up the Burrard Inlet will increase from 80 a year now to more than 480 annually.
Vancouver Sun; Dec. 17
Veteran wildland firefighters have their own views on managing fires
Firefighters with decades of experience believe changes need to be made in firefighting procedures, and they suggest attacking wildfires early when they are small, make work schedules safer and more timely, and if fires are burning in areas where lives and property aren't threatened, let them burn. Another in the Twin Falls Times-News' "Never Again" series on wildfires and firefighters' deaths.
Twin Falls Times-News; Dec. 17
Study of Wyoming forest yields new data on beetle infestations
When pine-bark beetles began munching their way through forests in the Northern Rockies, scientists believed the widespread death of trees—the largest in recorded history in North America—would lead to a rise in stream levels, a loss of nutrients in the soils and catastrophic wildfires, but a study of the Medicine Bow and Roosevelt national forests in Wyoming that began in 2008 found that the beetle infestation didn't produce the changes predicted, although other scientists urged caution when interpreting the study results.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 17
Idaho hires hunter to remove 2 wolf packs in Frank Church wilderness area
Idaho Fish and Game personnel defended the state's decision to hire a hunter to remove two wolf packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness because the predators are eating too many elk calves.
Idaho Statesman; Dec. 17
Whole Foods move to Boise, other small cities, a success
When Whole Foods announced it was building a store in Boise, a relatively remote, smaller city in a state already home to Albertsons and WinCo, analysts weren't sure the city was a good fit for a higher-end, organic grocery, but the store is doing well, and is part of Whole Foods push to build stores in other smaller markets.
New York Times; Dec. 17
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.