Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Utah tells Interior Department lawsuits are coming on control of roads
Utah is making good on its promise to challenge the federal government on control of nearly 19,000 roads, with a filing of an intent to file 22 separate lawsuits, one for each county where the 18,784 roads or portions of roads on federally managed lands are located.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 15
Towns fight to have their say on where energy drilling can occur
As states welcome energy development to lift their economies, towns and local governments are standing firm that drilling and other related activities fall within local zoning ordinances, a move energy companies are fighting in Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York.
New York Times; Dec. 15
USFS to continue to use fire retardant drops
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said that the agency will continue to use fire retardant, but that pilots will use maps created to allow those drops to avoid sensitive areas.
Missoulian; Dec. 15
Seven miners rescued from Idaho mine after a rock burst
The Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho is shut down following a rock blast triggered by seismic activity trapped seven workers nearly 6,000 feet underground on Wednesday; all seven were rescued and were transported to area hospitals for treatment.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Dec. 15
Colorado national forest clears way for tree removal at 4 ski areas
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Scott Fitzwilliams' finding of no significant impact clears the way for removal of dead and dying trees from 4,200 aces at Aspen Skiing Co.'s four ski areas in the Colorado forest.
Aspen Times; Dec. 15
Schweitzer: Yellowstone bison held in Montana will stay in state
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's proposal to ship bison that travel outside of Yellowstone National Park to other states is a non-starter, because the bison that wander into Montana should stay in Montana.
Montana Standard (AP); Dec. 15
Old photo, Idaho's plan to shoot wolves from the air draw fire
Idaho's plan to use federal sharpshooters in helicopters to reduce the number of wolves in the Lolo Zone, where elk numbers have plummeted drew criticism, and when a 2006 photo of a U.S. Wildlife Service plane with print stickers denoting wolves killed surfaced, the criticism intensified.
Los Angeles Times; Dec. 15
Colorado, federal pact lead to cascade of small hydropower projects
Last year the Colorado Governor's Energy Office and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed off on a pilot project that created a streamlined permitting process for small hydropower projects, and has received at least 25 proposals, with Meeker rancher George Wenschhof's 23-kilowatt project the first to go online.
Grand Junction Sentinel; Dec. 15
Headwaters 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.