The Rockies Today, April 17



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

EPA to release federal rules on hydraulic fracturing today
The Environmental Protection Agency will release regulations today designed to curb air pollution near drilling sites that use hydraulic fracturing.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); April 17

Wyoming governor says states better fitted to regulate hydraulic fracturing
As the federal government prepares its regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that said such regulations are an unnecessary, unneeded burden since many states, including Wyoming, already have such regulations in place, and that another layer of rules will only slow energy development.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 17

Canada to unveil legislative plan on environmental assessments
The legislative plan Canada's Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is expected to roll out today will limit the federal government's environmental review to "major economic projects," with provinces setting their own oversight policies for smaller projects.
Toronto Globe and Mail; April 17

Federal judge keeps boulders blocking Idaho road in place
The Bureau of Land Management used boulders to close Herd Creek Road near a wilderness study area in Idaho more than a decade ago, but Custer County officials put the federal agency on notice that those boulders would be removed on April 16, but a federal judge ordered the county to stand down as it had failed to follow the procedures necessary to challenge such a closure.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 17

Report issued on fatal wildfire in Colorado
A report issued by a team led by William Bass of the U.S. Forest Service found that even though the Colorado State Forest Service broke protocol when a team did not complete a third day of patrolling on the controlled burn that sparked the Lower North Fork wildfire that killed three people, the weather conditions that occurred on March 26 would have overcome any attempts to curb the wildfire.
Denver Post; April 17

Utah in an uproar over groups' push for Arizona national monument
A campaign to create the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument that would cover 1.7 million acres, including House Rock Valley, the Kaibab Plateau and abutting the Western boundary of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, as well as the entire Kaibab National Forest in Arizona has Utah officials crying foul, and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch making it clear to the Obama administration that Utah will not stand for such a designation.
Deseret News; April 17

As U.S. coal-fired power plants gear down, Western states seek export markets
Demand for coal domestically in the United States is declining, and producers in Montana and Wyoming are exploring ways to send coal to Asia, where demand is growing.
Missoulian; April 17

Report tracks changes in Utah's snowpack
Robert Gillies, Utah's state climatologist, and his colleagues at Utah State University, will soon release a report that tracks how a changing climate will effect snowpack in the Beehive State.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 15

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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