Rockies Today, Jan. 6

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana FWP explores changes at Lost River Ranch WMA
Initial work done by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the Lost River Ranch Wildlife Management Area uncovered some opportunities to expand access to the 2,992-acre area acquired by the state in 2012, and the department is asking the state's Wildlife Commission for permission to explore opportunities with adjacent landowners for conservation easements, land exchanges and leases to facilitate access and management.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 5

Colorado River states look ahead to drier future
As the populations of states that depend on Colorado River flows grows, and the climate returns to drier times, the gap between what the states need and what the river will provide is growing, and states have already begun conservation measures.
New York Times; Jan. 6

U.S. Supreme Court halts gay marriage in Utah
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an injunction that will halt county clerks in Utah from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issues a decision on Utah's appeal of a federal court decision that found the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutional; there is no word yet how the high court's ruling will affect the hundreds of marriage licenses issued to gay couples in the state in recent days.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 6

Officials say W. Montana city prepared to handle railcar fuel disasters
The shutdown of a stretch of the Yellowstone Pipeline by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in the 1990s forced the shipment by rail of fuels carried in that pipeline, and the city of Missoula to develop a plan to deal with any disaster caused by the transport of those volatile fuels through the western Montana city, and ready to handle any problems that could occur with the shipment of Bakken oil by rail.
Missoulian; Jan. 3

Idaho governor says state will run privately owned prison
When Corrections Corp. of America's contract to Idaho's largest prison, the 2,080-bed Idaho Correctional Center, expires at the end of June, the state will take over its operation.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 5

Acid run-off from B.C. highway threatens world's best trout spawning river
Pennask Creek, which provides more than a million eggs annually of wild rainbow trout, is threatened by run-off from pyrite-bearing rocks near Pennask Summit cut into by crews building the $225-million Okanagan Connector, Highway 97C in British Columbia, and the millions of dollars the province has already spent on remediation have fallen short of necessary protections for the stream.
Vancouver Sun; Jan. 3

Alberta not among provinces praised for protecting boreal forests
The Canadian Boreal Initiative said that the areas of boreal forests in Canada protected has doubled since 2007 to 12 percent, and the environmental group singled out Manitoba and Ontario for efforts to protect the forests within their borders, but Alberta earned criticism for industrial and forestry development that is hammering the boreal forests in that province, which the group said is at the frontline of boreal forest issues.
Calgary Herald (Canada Press); Jan. 5

Land-use plan for southern Alberta worries wildlife advocates
The draft South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, which will guide land-use decisions in much of southern Alberta does too little to protect the fish, wildlife and plant species that the plan acknowledges exist in the area, and wildlife advocates are urging the plan do more to protect the wildlife that draws tourists to the region. This is another article in the Calgary Herald's series about the proposed regional plan.
Calgary Herald; Jan. 5

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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