Rockies Today, Jan. 14

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Tar-sands mine on Utah SITLA lands gets final approval
On Friday, the Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining gave Alberta-based U.S. Oil Sands the green light to proceed with a pilot project that will use a citrus-based method in the nation's first tar sands project, although a representative of Moab-based Living Rivers, which opposes the project, said it will appeal the decision.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 13

Oil-spill expert warns against allowing tankers along B.C.'s North Coast
Alberta oil producers want to either pipe or ship bitumen across British Columbia and ship their products to overseas markets, but a marine consultant who was worked on oil spills for nearly 25 years, said an oil spill along British Columbia's North Coast would be calamitous, given the serpentine nature of the coast and the storms that batter the area.
Calgary Herald (Vancouver Sun); Jan. 14

Interior judge rules wildlife groups can challenge Wyoming drilling project
An Interior Board of Land Appeals administrative judge ruled last week that the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation can challenge the Bureau of Land Management's approval of a 48-well coal-bed methane project inside the Atlantic Rim natural gas project in Wyoming based on the land's recreational value.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 13

USFS challenges placer mining claims in N. Idaho
A U.S. Department of Interior administrative law judge will hold hearings this week in Orofino on the U.S. Forest Service's challenge of dozens of placer mining claims on the North Fork Clearwater River in northern Idaho.
Idaho Statesman (Lewiston Tribune); Jan. 14

Idaho cities say wastewater infrasture well worth the investment
Officials of Rupert, Burley and Heyburn, Idaho cities whose taxpayers have agreed to foot the bill to improve their wastewater treatment systems, urged Twin Falls and Jerome to take the plunge, as the investment has paid off in new companies and jobs.
Twin Falls Times-News; Jan. 14

Colorado may be nation's test case for new gun-control legislation
Legislatures across the United States will consider legislation dealing with guns this year, with some bills seeking to protect the status quo, while others would try to impose restrictions, and in Colorado, where two of the worst mass shootings in recent history have occurred, legislators on both sides of the debate believe any legislation passed will serve as a test case for the nation.
New York Times; Jan. 13

Both sides of gun control debate find some common ground
There appears to be one issue in the current gun-control debate on which both sides agree: Prosecution of those who lie on their applications to buy guns.
New York Times; Jan. 14

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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