For Bakken oil boom, railroads carry crude where pipelines don't go
Between 2008 and 2013, the amount of oil transported by the largest railroads in the United States increased from 9,500 carloads to 400,000 carloads, due primarily to the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota, and while producers resorted to railroads due to a lack of pipeline capacity, they've also learned that railroads can carry crude through areas that building a pipeline would be prohibitively expensive.
Flathead Beacon; Jan. 8
Idaho governor proposes $2 million fund to control wolves
During his State of the State speech on Monday, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter proposed establishing a $2-million fund to control wolves, putting a five-person panel in charge of managing that fund, and asking livestock producers and sportsmen groups to each put in $110,000 annually after 2015.
Twin Falls Times-News (Idaho Falls Post-Register); Jan. 8
Idaho's plan to remove wolf packs in wilderness area draws lawsuit
A retired Idaho State University professor who has hiked the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness extensively joined Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch to file a lawsuit to stop Idaho's plan to use a hired hunter to remove two of the six wolf packs in that wilderness.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 8
Montana county approves livestock tax to pay for predator control
The Lewis and Clark County Commission approved a $1-per-head tax on cattle aged 9 months or older to help pay for predator control in the Montana county.
Helena Independent Record; Jan. 8
Drought hangs on in central Idaho
Less than 300 miles separates Sun Valley, Idaho from Jackson Hole Ski Resort in Western Wyoming, but this year snow has flowed north of central Idaho leaving a meager snowpack, while 171 inches of snow have fallen on the Wyoming resort, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that so far this month has been the eighth driest early January in the Wood River Valley since it began keeping records in 1961.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); Jan. 8
Idaho governor asks legislators for $15 million to plumb water projects
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter asked Idaho lawmakers to provide $15 million in funding for water projects and studies across the state, including another $2 million for additional studies on building the Galloway Dam on the Weiser River and $4 million to purchase water rights for the Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 8
First Tesla car-charging station in Wyoming installed in Lusk
As part of Tesla's planned coast-to-cost installation of superchargers for its electric cars, the company installed four of its Superchargers at the America's Best Value Inn Covered Wagon Motel in Lusk, a Wyoming ranching community where pickup trucks are more the norm, but a good charging spot between other installations in Cheyenne and Rapid City, S.D.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Jan. 8
USFS bills Wyoming man $6.3 million for igniting 2012 wildfire
A landowner near Jackson whose burn barrel was determined to be the site of ignition of the Horsethief Canyon wildfire in September of 2012 was billed $6,309,394.94 by the U.S. Forest Service to recoup firefighting expenses, but it's unclear if Jim Anderson Jr. paid the bill by its due date: Dec. 13, 2013.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Jan. 8
Companies protests USFS's tanker-contract with Montana company
Four of the other five companies that submitted bids for the U.S. Forest Service's contract to provide next-generation air tankers, awarded to Montana-based Neptune Aviation on Dec. 13, filed protests against that bid.
Ravalli Republic (Missoulian); Jan. 7
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.