Rockies Today, March 4

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Conservationist sees Montana's Yellowstone River as a 'watery Appalachian Trail'
Mike Penfold has worked for both the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, and those administrative posts helped him create a network of people with whom to work on his proposal to create a recreation area that runs along the unfettered Yellowstone River in Montana.
Billings Gazette; March 3

Montana co-operative to test zinc battery developed by Columbia Falls firm
Columbia Falls-based Zinc Air Inc. is installing an advanced large-scale battery it developed on the Kalispell campus of Flathead Electric Co-op to give the Montana company's battery its first trial run.
Flathead Beacon; March 4

Colorado legislators wade into water fight between USFS, ski resorts
After a federal judge tossed the U.S. Forest Service's policy that prohibits ski resorts from selling their water rights to any entity other than the next owner of a ski area, the Forest Service is working on a new public process to address ski areas' water rights, and some Colorado legislators are working to get a state law in place that clarifies those water rights belong to the ski areas and can be transferred without limitations.
Durango Herald; March 4

State Department releases EIS on Keystone XL pipeline
The clock started ticking last Friday on a 45-day comment period on the draft Keystone XL pipeline environmental review done by the U.S. State Department that stated no major objections to the project, but did not recommend it either.
Flathead Beacon (AP); March 2

Oregon county study finds too little data on coal dust from trains
One in every nine residents of Oregon's Multnomah County lives within a third of a mile from rail lines along which coal from Montana and Wyoming would travel if ports are built on the West Coast to export that coal, and data reviewed by the county's Health Department found that little exists and most of that is proprietary, although the BNSF Railway has estimated that each coal train can emit up to a ton of dust, although rail and terminal officials most of that comes off the shipments near the mines.
Portland Oregonian (AP); March 2

Wolf trappers in Idaho, Montana captured other species
The Idaho Fish and Wildlife Department released a survey that found wolf trappers in that state trapped 123 wolves and 147 other animals, including white-tailed deer, elk, moose, mountain lions, skunks and ravens, and that 69 percent of those animals died, and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department plans to release its report on other species captured in wolf traps, but does not expect the numbers in the Big Sky State to be anywhere near that in Idaho because in Montana, snares are not legal.
Ravalli Republic; March 4

President Obama to name EPA, Energy nominees
Gina McCarthy, who currently heads the Environmental Protection Agency's air and radiation office, is expected to be nominated by President Obama today to be the next administrator of the EPA, and Ernest Moniz, who is a professor at MIT, will be nominated to replace Steven Chu as secretary of Energy.
Washington Post; March 4

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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