Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rockies Today, Dec. 11

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Oil well in Montana near Red Lodge a done deal
Protesters who fear a Bakken-like development near Red Lodge missed a step in the process so the permit for the initial oil well that they fear will open the door to more development is already issued.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 11

Biennial report tracks changes in Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone Center for Resources released its biennial report on conditions within Yellowstone National Park and the 2013 "Vital Signs" said that drier conditions were reported across the park in the past two years as precipitation has declined, visitor numbers have increased, while populations of elk, trumpeter swans and three species of fish have declined.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Dec. 11

Seismic search for oil in Southern Utah county divides Escalante
James K. Munn, a petroleum geologist who explored Utah's Garfield County in the 1950s, is working with 17 landowners in the Escalante Valley to do seismic testing to map what Munn believes is a significant pool of oil, and while some residents of the county are welcoming the jobs that will come with energy operations, others question what the work will do to the area's top industry: tourism.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 10

Wyoming rolls out ambitious plan to plug 'orphan' oil, gas wells
On Tuesday, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announced an ambitious, $3-million, four-year plan to plug more than 1,200 abandoned oil and gas wells, many that are coalbed methane wells in the Powder River Basin.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 11

DNA research finds 42 grizzlies in Cabinet-Yaak area of NW Montana
The DNA tests on the collection of approximately 11,000 hair samples of grizzly bears in the Cabinet and Yaak regions of northwest Montana puts the number of those bears at a "rock solid" 42.
Missoulian; Dec. 11

EPA's decision on Wyoming reservation boundary sparks flurry of concerns
The application five years ago by the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking more authority to regulate air quality on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming required the EPA, the Department of Interior and the Department of Justice to dig into historical records to determine the reservation's boundaries, and what they found was that the city of Riverton is part of the reservation, a finding Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has vowed to challenge.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 11

Colorado pot businesses want state's MITS off their inventory
Colorado has so far spent $1.2 million on its Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solutions, or MITS, which was to be rolled out when the state legalized medical marijuana a couple of years ago, but the system was mothballed due to problems, which the state says have now been resolved, and they want all marijuana businesses to have the inventory system up and running by Dec. 31.
Denver Post; Dec. 11

Wyoming governor open to Medicaid expansion on Wind River Reservation
Although Gov. Matt Mead has recommended to the Legislature that Wyoming not expand its Medicaid program, he is receptive to the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes petition to seek an expansion of Medicaid on the Wind River Reservation via a 1115 waiver, so named after Section 1115 of the Social Security Act, although such an expansion would still require the approval of the Wyoming Legislature.; Dec. 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.

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