Rockies Today, May 16

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Montana man arrested, charged with arson in wildfire starts near Helena
Lewis and Clark Sheriff Leo Dutton said a Helena man is in custody and will face multiple counts of arson for a series of wildfire starts near Montana's Capital City, including the 55-acre fire that started Tuesday near the historic McMaster ranch.
Helena Independent Record; May 16

Montana county commission wants to talk water with USFS, DNRC
After learning that Ravalli County's objection to the U.S. Forest Service's attempt to gain in-stream water rights on two streams had been denied by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the county commission has invited Tom Tidwell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and the top officials of the DNRC to come and talk with them about the Forest Service's plan to pursue in-stream water rights on 11 streams in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Ravalli Republic; May 16

BLM proposes leasing of 26,402 acres in Utah for tar sands development
Public comment will be taken through June 13 on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's proposal to lease 26,402 acres of land on Asphalt Ridge in Utah directly south of an existing tar sands strip mine and processing plant on private lands and adjacent to 16,000 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration leased for such development.
Deseret News; May 16

Suncor spill in Colorado proving tough to stop, clean up
Despite months of work and investigation, the spill from Suncor's oil refinery in Colorado is keeping benzene levels in the South Platte River six times higher than the national safety standard.
Denver Post; May 16

Wyoming legislators debate fate of 1,200 'orphaned' CBM wells
The issue of coalbed methane wells that need to be plugged and reclaimed was again on the minds of Wyoming legislators, who met earlier this week with industry representatives and officials from Anadarko Petroleum and the Powder River Basin Resource Council about how to address the estimated 1,200 "orphaned" wells.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 16

NPCA wants wolf hunting banned in parkway between 2 Wyoming parks
The National Parks Conservation Association has petitioned the National Park Service to ban wolf hunting in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, which lies between Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in Wyoming.
Jackson Hole Daily; May 16

Wyoming legislators briefed on baseline water test regs for energy industry
Jerimiah Rieman, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead's natural resources policy adviser, provided some details about new rules for oil and gas operators to obtain baseline water tests before drilling to members of the Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development committee.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 16

Colorado women's prison worst in nation for staff assault of inmates
The U.S. Justice Department's report, "Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates 2011-12," released today said the Denver Women's Correctional Facility in Colorado had the highest rate of reported assaults of inmates by staff.
Denver Post; May 16

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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