Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rockies Today, Aug. 28

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Utah governor asks SITLA to reconsider Book Cliffs leases
Citing the importance of the Book Cliffs area for wildlife habitat, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert urged the state's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to reconsider its decision to lease 96,000 acres of that land to Anadarko for oil and gas development.
Deseret News; Aug. 28

Idaho governor seeks slice of Walmart's 'buy from America' business
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter was one of eight governors who met last week with Wal-Mart executives in Florida to discuss how their states could participate in the retailing giant's new decade-long $50-billion campaign to buy U.S.-made products.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 28

Coal production in Colorado down 20% for first half of 2013
Two Colorado coal mines that were in production in 2012 did not produce any coal in 2013, and production was down at five of the nine mines operating this year, and some mine owners cited a weakened market for the decline in production.
Denver Post; Aug. 28

Decline in barge traffic on Idaho's Snake River may change dam debate
The four dams built on the Lower Snake River more than five decades ago helped turn Idaho's Port of Lewiston into the most inland port on the West Coast, as well as provide hydropower and irrigation, but barge traffic began to decline in the 1990s as wheat farmers found other ways to get their grain to market, and with talks set to reopen soon on the operating plan for the federal Columbia River power system, that decline in barge traffic could heavily weigh on the future of the four dams.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Aug. 26

Hearing in federal court in Idaho on megaloads' route delayed
The Aug. 27 hearing on the lawsuit filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United to stop oversized loads from passing through the tribe's land in Idaho and along Highway 12 which threads through a Wild and Scenic River corridor has been postpone until Sept. 8.
Missoulian (AP); Aug. 28

Crews wrap lookout to protect it from advancing wildfire in Montana
The Lolo Creek Complex is burning just one drainage away from the Blue Mountain Lookout and the Blue Mountain Observatory in western Montana, and work is underway to protect both from the wildfire.
Missoulian; Aug. 28

Colorado's slice of restored federal mineral royalties is $5.7M
State Attorney General John Suthers was one of 10 attorneys general to press the Interior Department just three weeks ago to restore mineral royalties payments withheld due to sequestration, and after learning those payments were being restored, Suthers said that the state was due $5.7 million as of the end of July.
Denver Post; Aug. 28

Study finds proximity to wind farms has no effect on home values
A study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reviewed 50,000 home sales in 27 counties in nine states and spanned years before and after wind farms were built in those areas, and found that the wind farms had no discernible effect on the values of those homes.
Denver Post; Aug. 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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