Rockies Today, March 13

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Idaho governor signs bill allowing guns on campuses into law
On Wednesday, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law a bill that will allow people with the state's enhanced concealed carry permit to bring their guns onto public university and college campuses.
Idaho Statesman; March 13

EPA, tribe team up to remove hazardous waste in Montana community
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Blackfeet Environmental Office (BEO) worked together to remove 28 containers of hazardous waste from various buildings in Browning prior to those buildings being demolished, including containers of organic peroxide, a highly volatile compound, from a building that once housed Radiance Technologies, which launched a business on the Montana reservation in 2007 to make high-tech, light-weight plastics that failed before delivering the 400 jobs promised.
Great Falls Tribune; March 13

Wyoming Supreme Court reverses ruling on disclosure of fracking chemicals
On Wednesday, the Wyoming Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision that reversed a lower court decision that said chemicals used in the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing were not subject to public disclosure laws, but the high court stopped short of ruling on whether those chemicals could be protected as trade secrets, and sent the case back to the lower court.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 13

Colorado U.S. Rep. Tipton's water-rights bill draws White House veto threat
The U.S. Forest Service has sought to obtain water rights held by ski areas that operate on Forest Service lands for decades, and a policy that tied the transfer of such water rights to Forest Service permit extensions was tossed last year in court, and the U.S. House will hold a hearing today on Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton's bill that would prohibit federal land agencies from tying water rights to land use decisions, but a companion bill in the Colorado Senate has been put on hold due to concerns that it unfairly singles out the U.S. Forest Service.
Cortez Journal; March 13

Wyoming, N.D. senators' bill would push pipeline permits to curb flaring
On Wednesday, Wyoming U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and N.D. Sen. John Hoeven introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Depts. of Agriculture and Interior to approve the majority of applications for permits to build natural gas pipelines within 60 days, a move the senators said is necessary to allow rapid expansion of pipelines needed to capture and carry natural gas that is now flared off.
The Hill.com; March 13

U.S. House panel issues subpoena demanding wind farm info on bird deaths
On Tuesday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee issued a subpoena directing the Obama administration to produce internal documents related to its enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms, where eagles and other protected bird species have been killed.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); March 13

Federal judge tosses WildEarth Guardian's lawsuit over Utah's bad air
On Wednesday, a federal district court judge dismissed the complaint filed by WildEarth Guardians last year charging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should have acted sooner to force Utah to meet a 2011 deadline to come up with a plan to clean up its air.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 13

Restored wetlands in Idaho draws thousands of tundra swans
A conservation easement put in place in 2007 on wetlands on Mike Schlepp's farm south of Rose Lake to provide migrating tundra swans clean feedgrounds is working as envisioned, as thousands of the swans landed in the area this week.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; March 13

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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