The Rockies Today, Sept. 13

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana wildfire kills bison on Fort Peck Reservation
A fast-moving wildfire that quickly burned across 13,000 acres of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana on Tuesday and Wednesday killed two of the 82 wild bison that had been moved earlier this year from holding facilities near Yellowstone National Park onto tribal lands.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 13

Montana group seeks evidence of grizzly bears in Tobacco Root Mountains
Bozeman-based Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation sponsored a two-day trip into Montana's Tobacco Root Mountains last weekend, where volunteers sought and bagged bear scat in an effort to find out if grizzly bears had indeed moved into the area.
Billings Gazette; Sept. 13

South African firm eyes Alberta parcel for refinery
South Africa-based Sasol has built several gas-to-liquids refineries around the globe, and the company is exploring building an $8-billion-refinery near Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta, where an abundance of cheap natural gas is a drawing point.
Edmonton Journal; Sept. 13

Idaho forests under attack from a new bug
Mountain pine beetles had a devastating effect on Idaho's forests, and now the spruce budworm is munching on trees in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Twin Falls Times-News; Sept. 13

North American lumber prices up 24 percent this year
A strengthening housing market in the United States, reduced supply of trees due to beetle-killed forests and increased demand from China are all cited as reasons spot prices for lumber are 40 percent higher now than they were two years ago.
Edmonton Journal (Canadian Press); Sept. 13

Utah mayor vows to take pipeline safety report to legislators
Following two oil pipeline breaks in 2010 that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil in Salt Lake City neighborhoods, the Utah city commissioned a study on pipeline safety, and the report issued Wednesday recommended more stringent regulations on pipelines at both the state and federal level.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 13

Utah governor urged to abandon federal lands claim
At a rally on Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert was urged by environmental groups and an outdoor retailer to end Utah's claim to federal lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 13

Lawsuit halts work on Aspen SkiCo's expansion plans for Colorado ski area
The Ark Initiative filed a lawsuit last week challenging the U.S. Forest Service's approval of Aspen Skiing Co.'s proposed expansion plan of its Snowmass ski area.
Aspen Times; Sept. 13

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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