Federal judge rules work on pipeline in Montana can continue
In a ruling issued last week, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Haddon said that Wyoming-based Butte Pipe Line Company can continue work installing a 16-inch pipeline to carry Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to Wyoming on a stretch of land across the Owen Ranch in southeastern Montana, denying the Owens' request for a temporary injunction.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 7
Transplant operations help revive bighorn sheep populations in the West
At the peak of their population, an estimated two million bighorn sheep, the descendants of wild Siberian sheep that made their way across the Bering land bridge to North America more than 100,000 years ago, roamed the American West, but numbers plummeted to less than 20,000, in small herds in pockets of the West by the 1940s, due to commingling with domestic sheep that introduced diseases against which their wild cousins had no defenses, and now states are working to move sheep to viable habitat areas to boost the species in the West.
New York Times; Jan. 7
Elk hunters form foundation to pay trappers in Idaho for wolves trapped
The Foundation For Wildlife Management, formed by elk hunters to help Idaho manage wolves, pays trappers $500 for each wolf trapped, and foundation members will provide a report to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission meeting in Boise on Jan. 16, as well has hold an informational meeting in Lewiston on Jan. 23.
Montana Standard (Lewiston Tribune); Jan. 7
Scientists say Utah landslide that triggered earthquakes a first
A study done by scientists at the University of Utah, published Monday in GSA Today, the Geological Society of America's magazine, found that the massive landslide in Kennecott's Bingham Canyon mine in April triggered 16 small earthquakes, which the scientists said was a first.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 7
Wyoming petitions EPA to reconsider reservation-boundary ruling
The state of Wyoming has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its ruling issued last month that more than one million acres around Riverton remains tribal lands, putting that community within the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Billings Gazette (AP); Jan. 7
Idaho, Washington cities express concern over Spokane Tribe's water regs
Members of the Spokane Tribe eat a subsistence diet that contains nearly two pounds of fish each day, and the tribe says its new water quality standards for the Spokane River that flows through the 159,000-acre Spokane Indian Reservation are needed to protect the health of its members, but for cities and companies that have discharge permits into the river, they believe the standards are impossible to meet.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Jan. 7
Coal industry in the U.S. isn't going away, it's consolidating
While 2013 was not a stellar year for the U.S. coal industry, as mines closed down or changed hands and natural gas took a bite out its power-generation market, coal is still the major source of power generation in the United States and exports are growing fast, and in Wyoming, where two counties produce 40 percent of the coal produced in the nation, four companies control 52 percent of that output.
Wall Street Journal; Jan. 6
Wyoming DEQ approves natural-gas processing plant in Douglas
Opponents of the Converse County Natural Gas Processing Plant, which was approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, said the state board did not adequately assess the effect the plant would have on local air quality.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 7
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.