Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rockies Today, Nov. 28

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Another federal lawsuit is filed on USFWS's decision on Wyoming wolves
A second coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove wolves in Wyoming from federal protection, allowing the state to manage the species, although this lawsuit is filed in federal court in Denver, while the first lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Nov. 28

USFWS scales back proposed critical habitat for caribou in Idaho, Wash.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday its proposal to protect 30,100 acres in Idaho's Boundary County and Washington's Pend Oreille County as critical habitat for a small herd of rare woodland caribou, a considerable reduction from the more than 375,000 acres originally proposed.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Nov. 28

Coal tracts in B.C. a concern in transborder deal to protect Flathead River
British Columbia and Montana signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 to protect 400,000 acres in the province and state from energy development, but federal coal tracts on the northern edge of the area protected in B.C. are not covered by that agreement, and recent postings indicate that there may be some interest in developing those tracts.
Missoulian; Nov. 28

Alabama senator: Sportsmen's bill exceeded spending limits
The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass the Sportsmen's Act of 2012, sponsored by Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, came as a surprise to many who believed the measures contained in the bill enjoyed wide-ranging public support, but Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said the bill exceeded spending limits passed by the Senate in 2011 to address federal debt, and for that reason alone, the bill failed.
Great Falls Tribune (Gannett); Nov. 28

Groups say Wyoming's law on hydraulic fracturing could be better
Wyoming's law on hydraulic fracturing led the way in the nation, with at least 14 states using the Cowboy State's rule as a template for their regulations, but under the Wyoming law, companies can shield information about chemicals used in the process, and the Powder River Basin Resource Council believes the state should require more disclosure about the chemicals used, while the Natural Resource Defense Council believes the state could do a better job of enforcing its regulations.
Casper Star-Tribune; Nov. 28

Idaho Power asks IPUC to cancel biogas contracts with Exergy
Despite assurances three months ago from Boise-based Exergy Development Group that its two biogas-to-power projects at dairies near Twin Falls were on schedule, Idaho Power has filed documents with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission asking that it be allowed to cancel its contracts to buy power from those projects because they have missed or will miss deadlines to deliver promised power.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Nov. 28

Denver gets kudos for keeping costs, permits time down on solar projects
On Tuesday, Denver was named Colorado's first "Solar Friendly Community," because of the city's $50 fee for rooftop solar-power installations and for the quick, 15-minute turnaround time on processing such permits.
Denver Post; Nov. 28

U.S. housing market's recovery an uneven process
Home prices are improving, foreclosures are dropping and sales are up in many Zip Codes across the United States, but in some markets, inventory levels are dropping, which means prices will rise, and in some of the markets where sales were hottest, October sales leveled off.
USA Today; Nov. 28

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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