The Rockies Today, June 21

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S. Senate passes beetle-kill amendment to Farm Bill
Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' amendment to the Farm Bill that doubles the $100 million the U.S. Forest Service is authorized to use to address bark beetle infested forests passed in the Senate on a 77-22 vote.
Flathead Beacon; June 21

First Nations say Alberta pipeline spill highlights risk of B.C. pipeline
Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations, which opposes Enbridge's proposal to build a pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. to allow oil to be exported to Asia, said the oil spill from an Enbridge pipeline in Alberta that occurred Monday, as well as two other recent spills in the province, proves the First Nations' concerns about the proposed pipeline are warranted.
Edmonton Journal; June 21

Federal records say Alberta, B.C. pipeline puts threatened animals at risk
Internal correspondence between Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline between Alberta's oilsands and a port on British Columbia's coast put 15 species at risk, including woodland caribou and rare types of birds and frogs, which are already endangered.
Calgary Herald (Postmedia); June 21

Idaho task force delivers sage grouse recommendations to governor
The task force appointed by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to come up with recommendations to protect sage grouse and habitat to keep the species off the federal protection list provided a list to the governor, including creating three zones with differing levels of protection for such habitat.
Idaho Statesman; June 21

Group charges Colorado underestimating water used in oil, gas drilling
Colorado Department of Natural Resources officials defended the state's estimates that oil and gas companies use 13,900 to 16,100 acre-feet of water annually in hydraulic fracturing operations, but an analysis done by Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates said actual use of water for the drilling method is between 22,100 and 39,500 acre-feet each year and is increasing.
Denver Post; June 17

NRDC report says there's no Colorado River water left for pipeline projects
The Natural Resources Defense Council's report, "Pipe Dreams: Water Supply Pipeline Projects in the West," released Wednesday said that five major pipeline projects in the Colorado River Basin that would drain an additional 691,000 acre feet of water annually are aiming at water that might not be available by the time the projects are built.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 17

Colorado governor tells Weld County farmers he can't restart water pumps
Gov. John Hickenlooper produced an opinion from the Colorado Attorney General's office that said the governor does not have the authority to grant Weld County farmers' request that he restart pumps to allow those farmers to use groundwater for irrigation.
Denver Post (Longmont Times-Call); June 17

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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