Rockies Today, Feb. 15




Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana senators submit bill to fully fund Land, Water Conservation Fund
Legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund was again sponsored by Montana's U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats, and with Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr joining as a lead sponsor, there is optimism that the bill will get bipartisan support.
Ravalli Republic (AP); Feb. 15

Montana high court rules landowner must open road to Pishkun Reservoir.
The Montana Supreme Court overturned a Teton County District Court decision and ruled that a private landowner who closed a popular route across his property to Pishkin Reservoir in the early 2000s must reopen that route and replace the bridge connecting Boadle Road and Canal Road in Teton County that burned in a wildfire to restore access across the Sun River Slope Canal.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 15

Federal judge rules BLM must disclose who nominates drilling parcels
A federal district court judge in Denver on Wednesday ruled that the Bureau of Land Management must release the names of companies that nominate parcels for energy leasing, upending an 18-year policy of not doing so.
Denver Post; Feb. 15

Colorado leaseholders asks BLM to suspend Thompson Divide leases
After the Bureau of Land Management announced Thursday that SG Interests had asked the federal agency to suspend the 16 leases the Texas company holds in the Thompson Divide area southwest of Carbondale because those leases are set to expire between May and August, Pitkin County and the cities of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale made the unusual request that the BLM open a public comment period on the suspension.
Aspen Times (Post Independent); Feb. 15

USFS considers weighted lottery in granting permits on 4 Idaho rivers
The U.S. Forest Service's Four Rivers Lottery awards permits for themain Salmon, Snake, Selway and Middle Fork of the Salmon rivers in Idaho, and the agency is contemplating establishing a weighted system, which would award points for unsuccessful applicants giving them an additional chance to win in the future.
Ravalli Republic; Feb. 15

Montana FWP Commission proposes closing stretches of 3 rivers
At Thursday's meeting of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission in Helena, commissioners proposed closing stretches of the Blackfoot and Yellowstone rivers due to the danger bridge piers in those rivers pose to rafters and boaters, and to closing a stretch of the Clark Fork River near where the Milltown Dam was removed to allow vegetation to regrow.
Helena Independent Record; Feb. 15

Company says spill of fracking liquid in Colorado cleaned up
The 84,000-gallon spill of hydraulic fracturing fluid at a PDC Energy drill site near Windsor ranks 55th in volume out of 5,177 spills recorded in a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission database, and one of a dozen spills PDC has reported in the state in the past year.
Denver Post; Feb. 15

Bill limiting capacity of gun magazines prompts warning from Colorado firm
The Colorado Legislature will debate legislation today to limit the capacity of gun magazines to 15 rounds and to require manufacturers of those magazines engrave each one with a distinct code, measure that Magpul, an Erie-based manufacturer says will force the company to move out of the state.
Denver Post; Feb. 15

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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