Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
U.S. House Republicans slam EPA on hydraulic fracturing study
At a joint hearing before the U.S. House Energy and Environment subcommittees on Wednesday, Republican House members criticized the Environmental Protection Agency's investigation of hydraulic fracturing and concerns that the drilling method could contaminate groundwater, and Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis testified about the EPA's investigation into groundwater contamination near Pavillion that initially linked gas and oil operations to the problem, but was later withdrawn.
Great Falls Tribune; July 25
National forest in Montana seeks public input on forest roads
A pilot project in the Flathead National Forest in Montana will allow the public to click on interactive online maps and provide their opinion about the condition of specific roads.
Missoulian; July 25
International conference for land managers makes Montana stops
The International Seminar on Protected Area Management, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and the universities of Montana, Idaho and Colorado State, brought land and park managers from 23 countries around the world to Glacier National Park last week and to Missoula on Monday.
Missoulian; July 25
U.S. House panel advances Colorado congressman's energy bill
On Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voted 27-14 to send Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton's Planning for American Energy Act, which would require the Interior Secretary to write plans every four years to increase energy development on federal lands to meet domestic demands, to the full House for action.
Durango Herald; July 25
EPA reverses decision on Idaho water-pollution rules
After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved Idaho's rules that allowed some pollution to be discharged into state waters without a review, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Earthjustice challenged those rules in federal court, and on Tuesday, the EPA rescinded approval of the 2011 rules, and now Idaho must either rescind the exemption and review all proposed pollution discharges, review such proposals on a case-by-case basis, or revise its law on such exemptions for pollutants that build up in the food chain.
Idaho Statesman (AP); July 25
USFS researcher in Montana ties steel ammunition to fires
For years, target shooting was thought to have ignited wildfires in Utah and other states, and now that Mark Finney, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service’s Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, found that solid copper ammunition, steel-jacketed, and steel-core ammunition reliably ignite fine, dried fuels, the Bureau of Land Management promptly banned the use of steel ammo on public land in Utah.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 25
Utah Supreme Court said state should have protected boy killed by bear
On July 19, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the state had a duty to protect Sam Ives, the 11-year-old boy dragged from his tent in a state park campground by a bear and killed, and that "a bear is not a 'natural condition on publicly owned or controlled lands,'" and send the case back to a lower court to decide if the state was at fault for the boy's death.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 20
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.