Montana wildlife director says grizzly bears to be delisted
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials declined to confirm or deny Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Jeff Hagener's statement that federal protection of grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone Park would be lifted next year and protection for the big bruins in the Northern Continental Divide would be removed in 2016.
Flathead Beacon (AP); May 16
Oil company buys ranch formerly owned by Wyo. congresswoman's family
The 5,000-acre ranch recently sold by the family of Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis has been purchased by Texas-based EOG Resources, formerly known as Enron, and drilling has begun on the ranch.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 16
Drought Monitor Report: 15% of U.S. in extreme, exceptional drought
The most recent Drought Monitor Report found that half of the nation was experiencing some level of drought, with the worst conditions in the nation reported in Kansas, and while conditions improved somewhat in the Pacific Northwest, the southern half of Oregon remains in severe to extreme drought.
Portland Oregonian; May 16
Lake Powell lays the groundwork for possible water call
Water levels in Lake Powell have been lowered by persistent drought close to a trigger that could result in the reservoir in the Upper Colorado Basin to issue a call for water from reservoirs upriver on the Colorado River, including McPhee, Lake Nighthorse, Navajo, and Blue Mesa.
Durango Herald (Cortez Journal); May 16
Federal appeals court puts same-sex marriage on hold in Idaho
Shortly before noon on Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on a federal court decision set to take effect at 9 a.m. today that overturned Idaho's constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage.
Idaho Statesman; May 16
Higher natural gas prices give Alberta producers a boost
An increase in natural gas prices is helping out producers in Alberta that have long seem profits reduced by low prices, but the higher prices are pinching oilsands producers who use the fuel in thermal operations.
Calgary Herald; May 16
BLM to remove 200 wild horses from Utah's West Desert
Utah and Beaver County officials have been pressing the Bureau of Land Management to remove wild horses from drought-ravaged areas of the West Desert, and the BLM has agreed to remove 140 horses from the Blawn Wash herd area on 26,000 acres of state schools trust lands, another 50 nuisance horses from private lands and 10 more from public lands in that county because they are wandering onto Star Route 21, posing a public safety risk.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 16
Canada's moratorium on hiring foreign workers vexes Alberta resort community
Owners of restaurants and other tourism-based businesses in Banff said Canada's moratorium on businesses' hiring of temporary foreign workers will leave them short-handed this summer season, and officials of the community, which has a Parks Canada-imposed population limit of 8,000 permanent residents, said the town's businesses should be excepted from that moratorium.
Calgary Herald; May 16
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.