Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Rockies Today, March 15

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Wyoming 'ecosanctuary' would allow wild horses to run
The Bureau of Land Management is reviewing Rich and Jana Wilson's proposal to run 250 wild horses — all geldings — on their 4,700-acre ranch in Wyoming, and plan to offer the public a chance to see the horses run wild.
New York Times; March 15

Federal appeals court upholds delisting of Idaho, Montana wolves
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Congress did not act improperly in passing an amendment last year that removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from federal endangered species protection.
Missoulian; March 15

Idaho congressman shares views on sage grouse, wolves, national budget
Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson sat down with members of the Twin Falls Times-News staff on Wednesday, where he applauded the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on wolf delisting, as well as the Bureau of Land Management's decision to delay the China Mountain wind farm in Idaho and Nevada over sage grouse concerns.
Twin Falls Times-News; March 15

BLM's Utah meeting on oilshale, tar sands work disappoints attendees
Bureau of Land Management officials said they weren't expecting 100-plus attendees at Wednesday's meeting in Salt Lake City to discuss development proposals for oilshale and tar sand deposits, but countered accusations that the meeting stifled public participation since it was scheduled just to inform, not to engage the public in a discussion about the work.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 14

U.S. Senate sends highway bill to the House
The U.S. Senate voted 74-22 Wednesday to pass a two-year, $109 billion federal highway bill that included $400 million in federal road funds to Montana annually, and also included funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes programs and renewed funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund for 10 years; the measure now moves to the U.S. House.
Missoulian; March 15

NRC: Colorado mishandled public hearings on proposed uranium mill
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to hold a public review of Energy Fuels Resources' proposed $150-million uranium mill on the state's Western Slope, and that the state must improve its overall oversight of uranium activity.
Denver Post; March 15

Montana businesses wade into federal fight over wilderness study areas
Since California U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy introduced H.R. 1582 to open up federal lands contained within Wilderness Study Areas and Inventoried Roadless Areas last summer, the bill has gained 41 co-sponsors, including Montana U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, and the list of opponents and supporters has grown over the past few months as well, including on Wednesday, when a coalition of 100 Montana businesses joined opponents of the legislation.
Missoulian; March 15

Judge approves Utah mine disaster settlement despite outrage about amount
U.S. District Judge David Sam signed off on the $500,000 settlement of the criminal case filed against a subsidiary of the Murray Energy Corp. in the 2007 mine collapse that killed six miners and three rescuers in Utah, despite his personal outrage over the fact that current law allowed the U.S. Attorney's office to file only criminal misdemeanor charges of violating mine safety laws in the disaster.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 14

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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