U.S. House approves bill to streamline mining projects on federal lands
The U.S. House voted 246-178 to approve legislation sponsored by Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei to speed up federal reviews of mining projects for hard rock mines on federal lands, which includes an option for federal officials to use state reviews of projects and requires environmental reviews be completed within 30 months.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 19
USFS shuts down megaload corridor along Highway 12 in Idaho
Complying with a federal court decision, the U.S. Forest Service issued a closure order for a section of Highway 12 in Idaho that stops, for now, the transport of oversized truck loads along the route.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Sept. 19
USFWS tries again to reintroduce of black-footed ferrets in Montana
Previous attempts to reintroduce black-footed ferrets in Montana were stymied by sylvatic plague, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Assiniboine and Gros Ventres tribes, World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will try again in October, when up to 30 ferrets will be released on 1,000 acres on the Fort Belknap Reservation, where a healthy prairie dog population will provide a food source for the ferrets.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 19
Colorado spill releases 5,250 gallons of oil into South Platte River
Flood waters were blamed for the damage to Anadarko Petroleum tank batteries that spilled 5,250 gallons of oil into the South Platte River in Colorado near Milliken.
Denver Post; Sept. 19
Flood-damaged tracks in Colorado sends trains through Wyoming
Wyoming's rail lines are busier these days, as trains are being rerouted through the Cowboy State due to damage to the rail system caused by flooding in Colorado.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 19
Presidential veto threatened on Healthy Forests bill
Senior advisers to President Obama have said they would recommend a veto of the "Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act" (H.R. 1526), which contains four specific provisions, including one to turn federal forest lands in Western Oregon over to state control for timber management.
Minneapolis StarTribune; Sept. 19
BLM says Nebraska company's bid for Wyoming coal too low
Kiewit Mining Properties, Inc., the operator of the Buckskin mine north of Gillette, bid $35.07 million for the Hay Creek II coal lease in Wyoming, which translates into about 21 cents per mineable ton, a bid the Bureau of Land Management rejected as too low.
WyoFile.com; Sept. 19
Trust for Public Lands secures conservation easement on Idaho ranch
The Trust for Public Land announced that it had secured development rights on the 157-acre Rodeo Grounds Ranch in Idaho north of Stanley for $3.27 million, and that the area will be managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Twin Falls Times-News; Sept. 19
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.