The Rockies Today, May 21

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Bentonite boom floods BLM with requests for Wyoming, Montana leases
Bentonite is known as the "clay of 1,000 uses," and is widely used in the energy and auto industries, and as the U.S. economy improves, demand for bentonite—and Bureau of Land Management leases on the federal land on which it is located, has skyrocketed.
Billings Gazette; May 21

B.C. Hydro caught in a power struggle between old, new customers
The natural-gas boom in British Columbia is bringing other new businesses online, creating concern in older commercial businesses that new demands for BC Hydro's inexpensive power will send their power bills up, and those customers are questioning just why the natural gas businesses can't create their own power.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 21

Peabody Coal leases Wyoming tract for $1.11 a ton
After last year's bid of 90 cents a ton for the coal in the South Porcupine reserve area of the Powder River Basin in Wyoming was rejected by the Bureau of Land Management, Peabody Coal submitted a new bid of $1.11 a ton, which was accepted.
St, Louis Business Journal; May 20

BLM opens public comment period on two oilshale projects in Colorado
The Bureau of Land Management will take public comment through June 16 on oilshale development plans submitted by ExxonMobil Exploration Co. and Natural Soda Holdings Inc. on two 160-acre leases in Western Colorado.
Durango Herald (AP); May 20

Combination of two national forests in Idaho could mean changes ahead
The Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests in Idaho are combining, and the Forest Service is making an inventory of recreational facilities and ranking them for analysis for possible closure or contracting out management of them to private companies.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; May 21

Recovery of sockeye evidenced by return to Idaho lake
In 1991, Snake River sockeye were listed as an endangered species, and the next year, eight sockeye made their way up the Columbia River to Idaho's Sawtooth Valley, with only one making the journey up the Snake and Salmon rivers to a weir on Redfish Lake Creek, but in 2010, the sockeye had made an amazing recovery, with 1,355 sockeye making the final leg of that 900-mile journey.
Idaho Statesman; May 21

Montana Rail Link reopens line through the Bitterroot Valley
Although there are just a few businesses served by the line Montana Rail Link runs through the Bitterroot Valley, those businesses provide hundreds of jobs, and for that reason the businesses and local governments teamed up to get rail service restored.
Ravalli Republic; May 21

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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