Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Drones used to count sandhill cranes in Colorado, pygmy rabbits in Idaho
Technology developed for military use has been given a new mission monitoring the natural world, with drones equipped with thermal imaging used to count roosting sandhill cranes at night in Colorado and pygmy rabbits in Idaho's backcountry.
New York Times; May 8
Wildlife advocates want traffic restrictions in Alberta park sooner than later
Parks Canada's decision put traffic restrictions on the Bow Valley Parkway through Banff National Park on hold for another year fired up conservationists, who said the wildlife in the Alberta park need the protections now.
Calgary Herald; May 7
Interior Secretary: Wild-horse decision on hold until study released
A wild-horse study done by the National Academy of Sciences is due to be released early next month, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in an interview with the Denver Post that she will wait to see that study before making any decisions on wild horses.
Denver Post; May 8
Federal lawmakers hear benefits, concerns about Keystone XL pipeline
At the joint hearing before the Science, Space and Technology subcommittees on energy and the environment on Tuesday, proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline said it will be one of the safest in the world and will help improve traffic safety in North Dakota by taking trucks that now carry the oil off the road and will provide up to 40,000 "shovel-ready" jobs, but opponents of the Alberta-to-Oklahoma pipeline said oilsands pipelines have the worst spill record.
Great Falls Tribune; May 8
Wyoming to make calculated move on lithium resources
The vast new lithium resource discovered by University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute researchers could be worth an estimated $500 billion, and state officials are moving carefully on leasing and developing that resource.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 8
Colorado utility hires national laboratory to forecast wind, solar events
Xcel Energy has contracted with the Boulder-based National Center for Atmospheric Research to help the Colorado utility account for extreme weather events in forecasting for wind and solar power production.
Denver Post; May 8
Colorado wildfire leaves smoldering coal mine fires in its wake
An aerial survey of the 10,000 acres burned in southwestern Colorado by a wildfire last summer found seven coal mine fires smoldering.
Denver Post (Cortez Journal); May 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.