Rockies Today, May 6

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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BIA, Colorado company embroiled in dispute on Montana energy leases
The Bureau of Indian Affairs made formal demand that Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. make required payments on oil and gas leases to 41 allotment owners on the Blackfeet Reservation, but the Colorado company, which is in the process of ending its drilling operations on the Montana reservation, said it was in the process of negotiating some of the leases, and no payment will be made until those talks are resolved.
Great Falls Tribune; May 5

USFWS releases draft management plan for Montana grizzly bears
Last Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft conservation plan prepared by that and other federal agencies, the state and tribal governments to manage grizzly bears in northcentral and western Montana if and when federal protections for the species are removed.
Great Falls Tribune; May 5

Federal bill increases scrutiny of Wyoming's hydropower potential
Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed legislation co-sponsored by Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton to streamline the permitting process for small hydropower projects, and the U.S. Senate will take up a companion bill offered by Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso on Wednesday.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 6

BLM makes progress on removal of PVC pipes that kill birds
White polyvinyl chloride pipes used to mark mining claims are trapping and killing small cavity-nesting birds that mistake the openings as potential nesting sites, and the Bureau of Land Management estimates there are 3.4 million PVC pipes marking claims across the West, with 1 million of the pipes in Nevada alone, where two biologists are leading the charge to get the pipes removed.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); May 5

Ranchers press Alberta to restart selective slaughter program for wild horses
Public outcry halted Alberta's program to round up and send some wild horses to slaughter to help keep wild herds in check, but now Alberta ranchers are urging the province to restart the program as horse numbers increased 25 percent while the program was on hold.
Calgary Herald; May 6

Canada takes exception to Al Gore's 'open sewer' remark on oilsands
In an interview published by the Globe and Mail on Saturday, former U.S. vice president Al Gore likened Alberta's oilsands operations as an "open sewer" into the Earth's atmosphere, prompting a rebuke from Canada's Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, who said Gore's remarks were "wildly inaccurate and exaggerated...”
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 6

Colorado biologists propose using tiger muskies to fight invasive northern pike
Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists are proposing introducing tiger muskies to attack and eat the northern pike in the Colorado River basin that are eating up endangered native species in those waterways.
Denver Post; May 6

Tiny school in SW Colorado plows new ground on guns-in-schools debate
Under Colorado law, only security and peace officers may carry guns in schools, so the Dolores County School District RE-2 and Dove Creek School named a superintendent and assistant superintendent as security officers and upped their pay $1 a year to Denver Post; May 6

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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