Rockies Today, Feb. 8

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Federal judge rules USFS erred in allowing megaloads on Idaho route
As promised, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a decision in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service for not getting involved in Idaho's consideration of ExxonMobil's request to move oversized loads of equipment from the Port of Lewiston to Montana along the U.S. Highway 12 corridor protected by the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, with Winmill ruling that the federal agency had the authority to, and should have, intervened.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Feb. 8

Bill changing wolf-hunt regulations in Montana speeds through Legislature
The Montana Senate changed its rules on Thursday so senators could take a first and last vote on House Bill 73, which makes several changes to Montana's current wolf hunting regulations, with the measure passing on a 45-4 vote and heads to Gov. Steve Bullock's desk, where it is likely to be signed into law.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Feb. 8

Montana U.S. senators reintroduce North Fork Watershed Protection Act
On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester reintroduced legislation designed to protect the North Fork Flathead River, the passage of which is needed to complete the United States' obligations in a transboundary agreement between the U.S. and Canada to protect the Flathead River drainage on both sides of the border from mineral and energy development.
Missoulian; Feb. 8

Wyoming communities prepared for North Platte River water call
The continued drought in Wyoming has prompted the first wintertime water call on the North Platte River since 2005, but the Wyoming State Engineer's Office said the 16 affected communities, including Casper, have plans in place to deal with the call.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 8

Colorado foundation vows to build better grocery system
The lack of progress in getting more nutritious foods on the shelves in Colorado's "food deserts," prompted the Colorado Health Foundation to pledge $7.1 million to help stores in underserved areas of the state provide such groceries.
Denver Post; Feb. 8

Wyoming wolf count results in numbers state projected
Mark Bruscino, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's large carnivore supervisor, said the state's rough count on wolves ended with 170 wolves and 15 breeding pairs, a little higher than the 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs the state promised to maintain when federal protections for the species in the state were lifted.
Jackson Hole Daily; Feb. 8

Canada West report tracks daily cost of oil pipeline bottleneck
Canada West's "Pipe or Perish: Saving an Oil Industry at Risk," paid for by the government of Saskatchewan, examines the changing world of oil markets and contains a conclusion that current pipeline congestion in Canada is costing the economy $70 million a day.
Edmonton Journal; Feb. 8

Wildfires, drought in 2012 sank profits for river outfitters in Colorado
On Thursday, the river outfitters in Colorado released a report that said visits in 2012 were 17.1 percent lower than in 2011, and the number was the lowest since 2002.
Denver Post; Feb. 8

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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