Rockies Today, March 18

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Sun River work to be highlighted at Montana State of the Watershed
The Sun River Watershed Group, which is made up of landowners, government agencies and private stakeholders, has spent $40 million in labor and materials and two decades improving the 1.4 million-acre watershed in Montana, and some of the projects completed by the group will be highlighted at the annual State of the Watershed Wednesday in Great Falls.
Great Falls Tribune; March 17

Signal Peak Energy explores area of Montana reservation for coal
Another company, Signal Peak Energy, has begun exploring for coal on private lands within the boundaries of the Crow Reservation in Montana.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); March 18

Idaho House panel to hear testimony on managing federal lands
The Idaho House State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing today on House Concurrent Resolution 22, which calls for the federal government to give Idaho federal lands within its borders, and Idaho will transfer back national parks, designated wilderness areas, defense lands, national monuments and the Idaho National Laboratory.
Idaho Statesman; March 18

Forecast for high winds today a concern for crews fighting Colorado wildfire
The Galena Fire in Colorado was first reported just before noon on Friday, burning hundreds of acres over the weekend, and with high winds in the forecast for today, crews are bracing for a tough day on the firelines.
Denver Post; March 18

Alberta's decision to create self-standing energy regulator questioned
The Alberta Energy Regulator will oversee oil, gas and coal operations, but some in the province are concerned that moving that oversight out of Environment will mean less ability to protect water resources.
Edmonton Journal; March 17

Nevada county leads the way in plan to keep sage grouse off endangered list
The agreement between Elko County and the owners of the 15,000-acre Devils Gate Ranch in the northeastern Nevada county is the first public-private deal of its kind, which Elko County commissioners said will help keep sage grouse from being listed on the federal endangered species list.
Idaho Statesman (AP); March 18

Canada to roll out its plans to prevent oil spills today
Canada's plan to export oil via tankers to Asia has met with considerable opposition, and today in British Columbia, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Transport Minister Denis Lebel will release plans on how Canada intends to make its system much safer.
Edmonton Journal (Vancouver Sun); March 17

Push is on to improve U.S. system to ease hiring of foreign farm workers
The current H2A visa program that farmers must use to legally hire foreign workers is complicated, time consuming and expensive, but with a million of such jobs that need filling, federal lawmakers are focusing on improving the system.
USA Today; March 18

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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