Rockies Today, Jan. 3

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S. issues safety alert about volatility of Bakken oil
The safety warning issued by the U.S. government on Thursday that ordered shippers of oil by rail to test the oil for volatility was met with criticism that the department failed to take the step that would make the most difference in shipping oil by rail: Fixing the design flaw in tanker cars that make them likely to rupture in derailments.
New York Times; Jan. 3

'Significant portion' of oil shipped by BNSF through Montana is from N.D.
BNSF officials estimate that it has an average of eight trains per day carrying crude oil on its system, most from the Bakken, and at least one moves through Montana, primarily on its Hi-Line route.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 3

Montana sites make national list of historic places saved, lost
The National Trust for Historic Preservation released a list of 10 sites saved and 10 lost in 2013, with the Upper Missouri River Breaks in Central Montana making the saved list, and Pompey's Pillar in Montana, making the lost list due to vandalism that occurred in October during the government shutdown.
New York Times; Jan. 3

Alberta-bound megaload picks up the pace in Idaho
The first of three massive pieces of equipment bound from Oregon's Port of Umatilla through Idaho, Montana and then on to Alberta made quicker progress as it moved through Idaho, traveling 123 miles Monday night to near Butte City, where it remained parked over the New Year's holiday until Thursday night, and the second piece of equipment was expected to enter Idaho that night.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); Jan. 3

Colorado gun magazine maker moves to Wyoming, Texas
Magpul Industries officials vowed to move their gun-magazine manufacturing operations out of Colorado if legislation limiting the capacity of gun magazines to 15 bullets passed, and after the law was put in place, Magpul began searching for a new site and on Thursday, the company announced it will move its manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Wyoming, and will relocate its corporate headquarters to Texas.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 3

Idaho's export market hampered by lack of trucks
Farmers in Idaho said that they could export much more wheat, vegetables and dairy products, which lead the state in agricultural exports, if they had more access to freight, port and trucking routes.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 3

London-based company buys Idaho biogas plant
There are five biogas plants in Idaho's Magic Valley that converts manure from the nearly 400,000 dairy cows in the valley into electricity, and one of those plants, Cargill Inc.'s in Hansen, is now owned by London-based Camco Clean Energy.
Twin Falls Times-News; Jan. 3

Proposed ballot measure gives Colorado communities more authority
The Colorado Community Rights Network is pushing to get a ballot initiative on ballots across the state in November that gives communities the authority to ban certain activities believed to be a threat to public health and safety, with the primary target the use of the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, but organizers said the authority could extend to communities' need to ban the use of cyanide in gold mining or to prevent the planting of genetically modified crops.
Boulder Daily Camera; Jan. 3

Rancher in SE Alberta seeks easement on grasslands
Alberta is currently taking public comment through Jan. 15 on its proposed South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, which will direct land use on nearly 20.7-million acres in southern Alberta, and Milk River ridge rancher, Audrey Taylor, is seeking a heritage rangeland designation for her family's land to protect it from future development. Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles the Calgary Herald is doing on the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan.
Calgary Herald; Jan. 3

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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