Rockies Today, Feb. 24

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

President Obama to propose treating wildfires like other natural disasters
At a meeting today with Western governors, President Obama will roll out his budget proposal for the federal government to pay the costs of fighting wildfires like it does for hurricanes and tornadoes.
New York Times; Feb. 22

Colorado county gets pro-active on wildfire-risk reduction
Boulder County is earmarking $250,000 of the $980,000 grant the county received from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources for wildfire risk mitigation to use as incentives for homeowners who participate in the county's new Wildfire Partners program.
Boulder Daily Camera; Feb. 24

Fourteen Idaho cities file lawsuit against trout farm over water call
If Rangen Inc. doesn't get the water to satisfy its water call or agree to some other settlement, the Idaho Department of Water Resources will have no recourse other than to abide by its ruling and shut off groundwater access to 157,000 acres in Southern Idaho, which will affect 2,300 water right holders: 14 cities, five school districts, irrigators, dairies, Jerome Cheese Co. and Glanbia, as well as others.
Twin Falls Times News; Feb. 23

Colorado first state to adopt rules on methane emissions from energy operations
On Sunday, the Colorado state air-quality commission voted 8-1 to adopt new regulations that require energy operations to capture require 95 percent of emissions — both volatile organic compounds and methane. making the Centennial State first in the nation to have such a regulation on methane.
Denver Post; Feb. 23

Conservationists say B.C. grizzly bears will be easy targets in resumed hunts
The decision of British Columbia to reopen grizzly bear hunts in four wildlife management units, two in the Cariboo and two in the Kootenays, is being resisted by conservationists who said that bears in the Cariboo that have not experienced a hunt for more than a decade will make for easy pickings in the spring hunt.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Feb. 24

Washington governor's targeting of coal-fired power hits Montana community
Gov. Jay Inslee's mission to end "coal-by-wire" imports by Washington state utilities paints a big target on the coal-fired plants in Colstrip, Mont., the largest-emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the Northwest United States, and ranks 15th nationally for those emissions.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Feb. 23

U.S. railroads agree to 8 steps to make shipping oil by rail safer
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that major railroads had agreed to take eight voluntary steps to make shipping oil by rail safer, including lowering the speed limit for such trains in certain areas, increasing the frequency of track inspections and improving training for emergency response personnel.
New York Times; Feb. 22

Billionaire Tom Steyer discusses his opposition to Keystone XL pipeline
Following David Greene's interview on Friday with Marcia McNutt, the former head of the U.S. Geological Survey, about her change in position on the Keystone XL pipeline, the NPR journalist sits down with Tom Steyer, a billionaire financier and liberal activist, about why he opposes the pipeline that would move Alberta crude south to U.S. refineries and then onto international markets.
NPR.org; Feb. 24

Idaho State U. president warns guns on campus could end nuclear mission
At a meeting on Friday with Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, the president of Idaho State University told the governor that if legislation passes allowing guns on campuses, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission could pull its contract for research at the Idaho university given the Commission's "zero-tolerance" policy about guns at licensed nuclear research facilities.
Idaho Statesman (Idaho State Journal); Feb. 24

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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