Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rockies Today, August 6

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Water in failed B.C. holding pond exceeded safe limits for selenium
The B.C. environment ministry said that water held in the Mount Polley Mine holding pond that failed on Monday and sent billions of gallons of contaminated water and sediment into lakes and waterways in the province had exceeded safe limits for selenium and sulfate in recent years, and may potentially contain arsenic and mercury, and that the ban on the use of or contact with water in Polley Lake, Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek, Hazeltine Creek and the entire Quesnel and Cariboo Rivers systems right to the Fraser River will continue until water tests come back clean.
Vancouver Sun; Aug. 6

Residents question decision to develop hillside in Utah
After one house was toppled by a sliding hillside in North Salt Lake and nearly three dozen more homes in the Utah city had to be evacuated, residents are questioning why the city allowed development on the hillside, which geologists said appeared prone to slide.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 6

Experts: Hilllside in North Salt Lake prone to slide
Utah Geological Survey deputy director Kimm Harty said North Salt Lake's placement of monitoring equipment on the slope that recently slid and toppled a house was an indication of the slope's instability, while Joel Pederson, a geology professor at Utah State University, said the geologic makeup of the hillside made it unstable.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 6

Federal lawmakers leave wildfire funding fix on the table
When Congress recessed for summer vacation, bills before the U.S. Senate and the House to provide a new funding formula for paying for fighting wildfires were left on the table.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 6

USFWS withdraws petition to protect 2 rare plants in Utah
On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would withdraw its petition to list the Graham's and White River beardtongue for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act because the agency believes a 15-year conservation plan adequately protects the two rare desert flowers found primarily in Utah, a decision environmental groups immediately criticized, due in part to the fact that the agreement covers just 44,000 acres, considerably smaller than the 84,000 acres the agency had originally designated as critical habitat under the species listing.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 6

Proposal returns tribes to management role in Bison Range in Montana
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to again return the bulk of the management of the National Bison Range in Montana to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and will take public comment on the proposal through Sept. 4.
Missoulian; Aug. 6

Wildlife Services uses poison to target pesky ravens in Wyoming
There are some estimates that say the raven population in western states has tripled over the past four decades, and in Wyoming, the big black birds are targeted because they cause more than $100,000 damage each year, and last year, the Wildlife Services branch of the Department of Agriculture killed 832 ravens in the Cowboy State, 811 of those by poison.; Aug. 5

Another drone meets a watery end in Yellowstone National Park
The National Park Service has banned the use of drones on the 84 million acres under its jurisdiction, and violations have been sporadic it Yellowstone National Park, although both violators' drones have met a watery end: The first in Yellowstone Lake, and the latest one crashed in Grand Prismatic, the park's well-known hot spring, where the 160-degree water makes retrieval of the unmanned aircraft unlikely.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Aug. 6

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.


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