The Rockies Today, Jan. 17

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Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Montana Audubon worries about wind farm's effect on raptor habitat
Kevin Rim, a series of sandstone cliffs near Shelby, is a prime location for a wind farm, and NaturEner USA plans to build a 126-turbine farm there by the end of this year, but the area is also home to 10 species of raptors, and Montana Audubon officials are worried about how the wind farm will affect those species.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 17

Restoration of depleted aquifers could idle cropland in Colorado valley
Commercial-scale agriculture, and the center pivot irrigation systems that plumbed the aquifers below Colorado's San Luis Valley, have depleted those aquifers, and irrigators have been ordered to come up with a plan by May that will reduce the amount of water pulled from the aquifers by 30,000 acre-feet a year, and some see the only way to do that is to pull some acres out of production, which will exact an economic cost on an area of the state where nearly 38 percent of the children live in poverty.
Denver Post; Jan. 17

Utah governor not ready to take stance on Wyoming-Colorado water pipeline
Although Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has made his opposition to the pipeline project proposed by Colorado businessman Aaron Million to carry water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Wyoming-Utah border to cities on Colorado's Front Range, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he needs to study the proposal more thoroughly before deciding what his take on it should be.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 17

ConocoPhillips puts share of Alberta oilsands assets on the market
Texas-based ConocoPhillips is putting a 50 percent share of six oilsands properties in Alberta up for sale.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Jan. 17

Harper: U.S. isn't going to turn Canada into a national park
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada will do what it needs to do to create a market for its oil in Asia, including building pipelines like the proposed Northern Gateway to move oil from Alberta to Pacific Coast ports in British Columbia, and said outside interests won't be turning the country into one big national park for United States visitors.
Toronto Globe and Mail (Canadian Press); Jan. 17

Wyoming legislators question governor's quest for new data centers
Gov. Matt Mead's proposed budget contains another $15 million for a fund that already has a budget of $15 million to recruit high-tech companies such as data centers to the state, and legislators are questioning adding to the fund at a time when state agencies are being requested to cut their budgets.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 17

Idaho grocers plead for change in food stamp system
With a record number of Idahoans eligible for food stamps, the grocery industry is putting up $100,000 and asking state lawmakers to issue food stamps in phases throughout the month, as grocery stores are inundated with food stamp recipients at the first of each month, and some, discouraged by the wait at the checkout counter, just walk away from full carts, causing the loss of food.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Jan. 17

Alberta regulators: Hydraulic fracturing may have caused oil well blowout
An oil well blowout that occurred in southern Alberta may be linked to hydraulic fracturing operations under way more than half a mile away from Friday's blowout.
Calgary Herald; Jan. 17

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.

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