Rockies Today, June 19



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

USFS, Montana landowners ink road deal to restore public access
George Matelich and Michael Goldberg have signed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to build a new road across their properties and then donate a permanent easement on that road to the U.S. Forest Service to restore access to Gallatin National Forest lands in Montana denied in 1997, when the landowners gated Cherry Creek Road where it crossed their land.
Billings Gazette; June 19

Montana's natural amenities draw world-class companies
Last year, The ZaneRay Group in Whitefish ranked 10th on Outside Magazine's 30 "Best Places to Work," and Reed Gregerson said locating the company in Western Montana, where recreational opportunities on public lands abound, provides his staff of 22 the perfect life-work balance, a trend reflected in a recent report from Headwaters Economics that found rural counties in the West with more than 30 percent of their land base in federal hands saw a much higher rate of job growth than counties with no federal lands within their borders.
Flathead Beacon; June 19

Wyoming praises Corps of Engineers' decision on coal study
In testimony submitted to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that a broad study of the effects of exporting coal from Montana and Wyoming through ports on the Northwest Coast would be outside the purview of the agency, and would instead stick with its original plan to do limited studies on coal exports through two ports in Washington state.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); June 18

Group asks Utah PSC to reopen decision on Wyoming power plant
Much of the power from PacifiCorp’s Bridger power plant in Wyoming flows to Utah, and Western Resources Advocates has asked the Utah Public Service Commission to reopen its decision to approve pollution upgrades at the Wyoming plant to consider an option not previously considered that is less expensive with less environmental impacts.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 19

Cost of fighting Colorado's Black Forest Fire estimated at $8.5 million
The Black Forest Fire is 85 percent contained, while evacuations continue for an estimated 2,600 of the 40,000 residents evacuated from the Colorado wildfire, and on Wednesday, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa identified the husband and wife who died in the Black Forest Fire as Marc Allen and Robin Lauran Herklotz.
Denver Post; June 19

Idaho seeks new contractor to run private prison
The Idaho Board of Correction declined to extend for two years the contract with Corrections Corporation of America when it expires on June 30, 2014, and instead is putting the contract to run the state's largest prison out for bid.
Idaho Statesman (AP); June 19

Utah water commission hears debate on Nevada water pact, pipeline
At a meeting of the Utah State Water Development Commission in Salt Lake on Tuesday, Mike Mower, an aide to Gov. Gary Herbert said the governor is seeking a more equitable agreement with Nevada on groundwater on the states' shared border, and proponents for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline again predicted dire consequences if the 138-mile pipeline to St. George was not built.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 19

Colorado county commission extends oil, gas moratorium
On Tuesday, the Boulder County Commission voted to extend for another 18 months the Colorado county's moratorium on processing new oil and gas permit applications to give the county more time to participate in studies about such development, including the use of the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing.
Boulder Daily Camera; June 19

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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