Rockies Today, June 13

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Arkansas company begins drilling for rare-earth minerals in Montana
U.S. Rare Earths began exploratory drilling for rare earth minerals along a 60-mile stretch of Lemhi Pass on the Montana side of the border with Idaho, and the Arkansas company has also applied for permits from Idaho for such drilling.
Billings Gazette; June 13

Black Forest fire burns its way into Colorado record books with 360 homes lost
The El Paso County Sheriff expanded the evacuation zone for the Black Forest Fire in Colorado as high winds and high temperatures were forecast for today, and on Thursday morning, the sheriff confirmed that 360 homes had been destroyed by the fire so far, breaking the record of 347 homes burned in the state set by the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire.
Denver Post; June 13

Wildfire in Colorado's Royal Gorge destroys tram car, buildings
The Royal Gorge Fire, which has destroyed structures at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, was reported to be 3,000 acres in size on Wednesday afternoon, and due to limited firefighting resources, the Fremont County Commission voted to immediately impose Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Colorado county.
Denver Post (Canon City Daily Record); June 13

Texas company reports 2.5-millon gallon spill of toxic water in Alberta
The spill of 2.5-million gallons of produced water at Texas-based Apache Corp.'s oil and gas operations has killed vegetation on nearly 104 acres of wetlands in northern Alberta, and is the third major spill in the region at a time when companies are seeking to expand pipelines, raising more concerns about such projects.
Toronto Globe and Mail; June 13

Spill forces KinderMorgan to shutdown pipeline in southern B.C.
KinderMorgan Energy Partners LP's Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries oil from Edmonton in Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., was shut down Wednesday afternoon after a spill was detected near Merritt, B.C.
Toronto Globe and Mail; June 13

Utility, renewable-energy developers await Utah PUC rate decision
The Utah Public Utilities Commission is expected to issue a decision on how much Rocky Mountain Power must pay for power it gets from wind, solar and other renewable energy resources this summer, and developers of millions of dollars of renewable energy projects are awaiting the decision.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 13

Lower gold prices prompts Colorado-based miner to cut jobs
Colorado-based Newmont Mining announced it was reducing its workforce in the Centennial State over the next three months, and cited decreased gold prices for the cuts.
Denver Post; June 13

Idaho farmers file class-action lawsuit against Monsanto
The lawsuit filed last week by Idaho farmers is among a handful of lawsuits filed against Monsanto after genetically modified wheat was found growing on a farm in Eastern Oregon, and charges that the company's development of Roundup Ready wheat raised costs and decreased profits.
Idaho Statesman (AP); June 13

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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