Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana's annual wolf survey finds lower numbers but more packs
For the first time since 2004, Montana's wolf population has decreased, with the 2012 survey indicating there are at least 625 wolves in 147 packs in the state, with 59 wolves in 13 packs in the Bitterroot Valley.
Ravalli Republic; March 22
Federal judge rules in favor of Utah county in federal road fight
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups determined that the court did have jurisdiction to hear Kane County's claim to routes across federal lands in the Utah county, and that 12 of those 15 routes, four of which are in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the remainder on Bureau of Land Management lands, are roads and therefore must be open to public access.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 22
Colorado reviews Cotter Corp.'s plan to clean uranium mine
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has already approved Cotter Corp.'s plan to add molasses and alcohol to filtered water pulled from its 2,000-foot-deep Schwartzwalder mine and then reinject the treated water into the mine, which will allow bacteria in the mine to eat the molasses and dissolved uranium, leaving solid uranium that will settle to the bottom of the mine, and now Colorado is reviewing the bioremediation plan.
Denver Post; March 22
Wyoming community ponies up to plow East Entrance of Yellowstone Park
When Yellowstone National Park officials announced a two-week delay in plowing roads in the park due to sequestration cuts, the Cody Chamber of Commerce offered to match donations up to $50,000 to pay for Wyoming to plow the East Entrance, and in five days, $50,000 was raised to help pay to open the road on May 2.
Billings Gazette; March 22
Idaho chipmaker reports another loss
Micron Technology reported a loss for the seventh consecutive quarter, but the $23-million loss is just a fraction of the $204-million loss reported a year ago.
Idaho Statesman; March 22
Groups sue Montana wildlife commission for allowing trapping in lynx habitat
The Friends of the Wild Swan, the Wildearth Guardians and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against the members of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission and Director Jeff Hagener for allowing trapping and snaring in lynx habitat in the state.
Helena Independent Record; March 22
Beijing-based CNOOC blames Alberta oilsands' costs for lower profits
China-owned CNOOC's acquisition of Canada-based Nexen is part of a growing trend of Chinese companies purchasing foreign assets, and CNOOC officials said its lower annual profit in 2012 was directly related to the Nexen purchase and the increased cost of Alberta oilsands operations.
Edmonton Journal (AP); March 22
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.