President Obama presents wildfire plan to western governors
The 10 governors gathered at the Western Governors' Association's meeting in Colorado this week participated in a telephone conference with President Obama, who pitched his proposal for a new method the federal government would use to budget for fighting wildfires, and all voiced support for the plan.
Flathead Beacon (AP); June 10
Utah lawsuit asserts BLM illegally blocking energy development
Utah, Uintah County and the Utah Association of Counties have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management charging that the agency is illegally prohibiting energy development on lands categorized as having "wilderness characteristics," essentially providing de facto wilderness protection for those lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 10
USDA report identifies Montana projects scuttled due to wildfires
A report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that $505 million of its funding was redirected in 2013 to pay for fighting wildfires, forcing some projects to be put off, including at least a dozen in Montana.
Missoulian; June 10
BLM pitches a plan to deal with illegal dumping on Wyoming lands
Illegal dumping and the remains of target shooting are littering Bureau of Land Management lands in Wyoming, and volunteers in Laramie, the Rogers Canyon Coalition, are working with BLM officials on a plan that will allow activities such as target shooting and off-road vehicle access, while prohibiting illegal dumping.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 9
Hydraulic fracturing a split decision for Democrats in Colorado
There are petitions circulating in a number of communities around Colorado seeking to put some, or a complete, restriction on the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, on the ballot, and the issue has put some energy-friendly Democrats crosswise with their more environmentally focused party colleagues.
New York Times; June 10
Wait times at 2 Wyoming VA care centers exceed goal
The Department of Veterans Affairs' report on wait times experienced by veterans at VA centers and hospitals around the United States said that veterans in Wyoming had to wait more than 32 days for an appointment at the VA center in Cheyenne and an average of 45 days for an appointment in Sheridan.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); June 10
USFWS releases timeline for Canada lynx recovery plan
In documents filed in a federal lawsuit in Montana, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid out its plan to complete a recovery plan for Canada lynx, with the plan to be released in 2018, 18 years after the species was determined to be a threatened species by that agency.
Missoulian (AP); June 10
Canadian producers predict oil shipments by rail to soon triple
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers predicted that the transport of oil by rail will increase from the 200,000 barrels reported daily at the end of 2013 to 700,000 barrels each day by 2016.
Calgary Herald (Financial Post); June 10
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.