Rockies Today, Dec. 2



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Crime follows flood of oil money in small Montana, N.D. towns
In the small towns near the oilfields of Montana and North Dakota, crime is up dramatically, as communities grow too fast to accommodate the flood of population, and illegal drug dealers follow the money to those towns.
New York Times; Dec. 1

Report identifies inaccessible federal lands in 6 western states
The Center for Western Priorities used GIS technology to find Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service land in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico that had neither road nor trail easements to allow public access to those lands, and found that Montana had almost 2 million acres of lands that had no public access, the most in all of those six states, and Wyoming came in second with nearly 750,000 inaccessible acres.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle;

Colorado River Basin Roundtable: No more water for Front Range cities
At the meeting last week of the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, members of the Western Slope group wrote a position paper to tell Front Range cities that were banking on more water from the Western Slope to address predicted shortages that the water would not be available.
Aspen Times (Aspen Journalism); Dec. 2

For reinsurance companies, climate change a manmade reality
Munich Re, the Germany-based giant of reinsurance, which insures the policies of insurers, first warned about climate change in 1973, when the company first notice flooding was on the rise, and reinsurance companies around the globe are on the same page as climate scientists about the reality of a changing climate.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Dec. 1

Audit unclear if BLM spent funds to speed up drilling permits to do so
An audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office failed to ascertain if additional funds given by Congress to seven offices of the Bureau of Land Management, including two in Wyoming, to speed up processing of drilling applications actually sped up that process.
Casper Star-Tribune; Nov. 27

BLM to host public meetings on Gateway West's route through Idaho
A new subcommittee of the Bureau of Land Management's Boise District Resource Advisory Council will hold four public meetings to gather input on the placement of two stretches of the Gateway West transmission line project in southwest Idaho, with meetings planned at the Boise District Office on Dec. 5 and 17 and Jan. 7 and 16.
Idaho Statesman; Nov. 29

Rare desert plants atop Utah's oil shale creates quandary in Uinta Basin
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing Graham's and White River beardtongue, also known as penstemon, as threatened species, and because the rare desert plants are found only in Utah's Green River Formation shales, near oilshale resources below the Uinta Basin, such a listing could affect development of those resources.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 2

Public comment period on wolverine listing closes today
The extended comment period on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to list the North American wolverine as threatened under the Endangered Species Act closes today, and last week the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies requested that the deadline to comment on the proposal be extended for a second time for another 90 days, which would move the deadline beyond the federal agency's planned Feb. 4, 2014 decision on the proposal.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 2

Shuttering of coal-fired power plant resounds in Utah community
Coal has long been the driving economic force in eastern Utah, but with the coal-fired Carbon Power Plant slated for closure by 2015, and production at nearby mines falling, the residents of Price and surrounding communities are wondering what's next for them.
New York Times; Nov. 28

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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