Interior Secretary Jewell gets full-court press on Montana public lands bill
This past weekend, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spent some time in northwest Montana, where she heard from a slate of stakeholders about the importance of passing the North Fork Watershed Protection Act, which Jewell hinted could be pushed through by an administrative action if the bill continues to languish in the U.S. Senate.
Flathead Beacon; March 16
Idaho company says it will walk if Montana gold mine not approved soon
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service have been working on different components of the gold mine south of Butte proposed by Idaho-based Idaho-based ISRCapital and Timberline Resources, Inc. for four years, and officials with the Butte Highland Joint Venture said if the project doesn't move forward soon, they're prepared to walk away.
Montana Standard; March 16
Drought in the American West fuels urban-rural water fight
Water resources depleted by drought are leading to conflicts over restricted sources in Texas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada, and, increasingly, farmers are doing battle with cities over that water.
New York Times; March 17
Farmers, ranchers battle energy companies over Colorado creek water
Box Elder Creek flows north from Elbert County passing through Arapahoe County on its way to the South Platte River in Weld County, and it's in Arapahoe County where Colorado farmers and ranchers are fighting to keep drilling companies from drilling wells to pull water for hydraulic fracturing operations.
Denver Post; March 17
Groups challenge B.C.'s water leasing to energy companies
A coalition of environmental groups have challenged British Columbia's Oil and Gas Commission water leases to Encana Corp., and today the groups will argue their case that the commission is violating the Water Act by granting numerous short-term leases for water for the company to use in hydraulic fracturing operations to avoid the rule that leases longer than 24 months need a license.
Vancouver Sun; March 16
Wyoming legislators tour Alberta's 'Industrial Heartland'
Nine Wyoming lawmakers traveled to Alberta the beginning of this month to see the province's "Industrial Heartland," a 224-square-mile processing and manufacturing center, to see if similar complexes could be built in Wyoming around its rare-earth minerals and oil and natural gas resources.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 17
Study says Utah hunters' use of non-lead bullets paying off for condors
Last fall, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources offered new incentives for hunters to use non-lead ammunition in the Zion unit in the southern part of the state where California condors are found living in the wild, and the Peregrine Foundation said there was a marked decline in the numbers of the condors that needed treatment for lead poisoning, as well as a notable decline in lead levels in the blood of condors tested.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 15
Wyoming ranked first in nation for retirees
The National Institute on Retirement Society (PDF) said Wyoming's low unemployment rate and relatively low housing costs made the Cowboy State best in the U.S. for retirees.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 16
Groups challenge Wyoming national forest's plan to increase motorized access
A coalition of conservation groups are challenging the Shoshone National Forest's proposed management plan because it would allow snowmobiles and off-road vehicles access to 50,000 acres in the Franc's Peak and Wood River roadless areas.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 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.