Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rockies Today, August 13

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

USFWS officially withdraws proposed protections for wolverines
On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was withdrawing its proposal to protect wolverines due to the agency's inability to ascertain that a changing climate was threatening the species, a decision that was quickly criticized and one that could affect other species that are also facing challenges driven by habitat changes due to the weather.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Aug. 13

B.C. lifts most water-use bans in areas affected by tailings pond breach
First Nations representatives said they had concerns about the results of water-quality tests done by British Columbia that found most areas affected by the Mount Polley Mine's tailings pond breach now met water quality guidelines, and are asking that independent tests be done as well as there is considerable public skepticism, given the province's and Canada's close ties to extraction industries.
The Guardian; Aug. 13

B.C. First Nations band tells Imperial Metals to pack up and leave
Imperial Metals, the owner of the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia where a tailings pond breach sent billions of gallons of contaminated water and sand down rivers and into lakes, is surveying an area owned by the Neskonlith for zinc and lead, but after the breach, the Neskonlith band has asked the company to stop work and leave.
Vancouver Sun (Canadian Press); Aug. 13

High or extreme wildfire danger exists across most of British Columbia
There have been hundreds of wildfires this year in British Columbia and the cost of fighting those fires is now at $177 million, nearly triple the $63 million the province budgeted, and with continued hot, dry conditions across most of the province, the costs will continue to rise.
Canadian Press and Vancouver Sun; Aug. 13

Alberta researchers seek to halt decline of northern leopard frogs
The northern leopard frog is threatened in Alberta and endangered in British Columbia, and only 60 percent of the frog's known habitat in Alberta in 2005 now has frogs, and researchers from the Calgary Zoo are working to help stop the decline, which has been linked to the draining of wetlands and poor grazing practices, as well as a warmer, drier climate.
Calgary Herald; Aug. 13

BLM assessment on Wyoming wind farm details infrastructure needs
After getting the final approval from Wyoming for what will be the largest onshore wind farm in the nation, the U.S. Power Company of Wyoming received the first of two required assessments from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that said the new wind farm will need new roads, water stations and a new rail spur to deliver components and construction materials to the site.
Wyoming Business Report; Aug. 13

Work underway to save sequoia, bristlecone pine trees in the U.S.
Nathan Stephenson, an ecologist with the United States Geological Survey, said continued drought could bring down the giant sequoia trees in California and a changing climate threatens other ancient species of trees in the U.S., but Sierra Pacific Industries, a lumber producer that is the largest landowner in California, is growing sequoias from seeds from old-growth groves, and biologists are at work trying to grow bristlecone pines that are resistant to blister rust.
New York Times; Aug. 13

Glanbia researchers in Idaho develop modern uses for ancient grains
At the new bakery at the Glanbia Collaboration Center in Twin Falls, food researchers are using ancient grains such as flax, chia, amaranth and sorghum to make a wide variety of baked goods.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 13

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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