Rockies Today, July 1

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

BNSF upgrades rail lines in Montana to accommodate increase of traffic
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway paid $34 billion in 2009 to take Burlington Northern Santa Fe private, so information about the company's planned upgrading of rail lines in Montana is hard to come by, but work is being done and driving that upgrading decision is a marked increase of oil being shipped by rail from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana.
Billings Gazette; June 30

Wyoming sage grouse study provides insight on protecting the species
The Nature Conservancy's two-year study of sage grouse in Wyoming indicated that focusing habitat protection in areas with the highest number of the birds yielded the best results, and the report will likely come up in today's listening session scheduled by Montana U.S. Rep. Steve Daines in Miles City on the Bureau of Land Management's proposed plans for areas of the Big Sky State.
Great Falls Tribune; June 28

SEC suspends stock trading of company touting Montana oil resources
Nostra Energy's claims about the its South Sun River Bakken Prospect near Augusta along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana has roughly 8.5 billion barrels of in-place oil drew the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which put trading of Nostra stock on hold to protect investors.
Missoulian; June 30

High, tall loads of girders wend their way from Montana to Washington
Twenty-one loads of bridge girders, each 7 inches too tall to pass under overpasses and 215 feet long, will make their way from Stinger Welding in Libby, Mont., to Monroe, Wash., this summer, with three loads making their way along Highways 2 and 93 in Montana.
Missoulian; June 28

Wyoming's 10-cent fuel tax increase takes effect today
Gasoline and diesel fuel will go up by a dime a gallon today in Wyoming, as the state's 10-cent increase in the fuel tax takes effect.
Casper Star-Tribune; July 1

Wyoming Outdoor Council asks for oversight on Pavillion water study
Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has handed over the investigation into groundwater contamination in the Pavillion area to Wyoming, the Wyoming Outdoor Council said it's imperative that the process be monitored because Encana Oil and Gas, the primary operator in the area, is providing much of the funding for the study.
Casper Star-Tribune; July 1

USFS's revamp of recreation fee program will affect Utah sites
The U.S. Forest Service is taking public comment through July 31 on its reworking of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which will remove or reduce fees on 97 sites across the nation, including some in Utah.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 1

Western governors, Canadian premiers tout 10-year energy plan
The seven governors from western states and three Canadian premiers who attended the annual Western Governors' Association meeting in Park City, Utah, may have agreed on a 10-year energy plan, which promotes clean, reliable energy sources, but they disagreed on party lines about climate change and the use of fossil fuels.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 1

West Fork Complex fire in Colorado now 4 percent contained
Containment of the 96,742-acre West Fork Complex Fire in southern Colorado is now at 4 percent, but no structures have been lost to the fire that has been burning through beetle-killed timber in remote areas in and near the San Juan and Rio Grande national forests.
Denver Post; July 1

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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