EPA proposes protection for new areas under Clean Water Act
To clear up confusion created by disparate U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the federal government's regulation of waterways under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are proposing a rule that classifies most seasonal and rain-dependent streams and wetlands near streams as "navigable waters" protected under the Clean Water Act, a move that could have considerable effect in the American West.
Los Angeles Times; March 26
Interior Secretary releases $1.1B in angler, hunter revenues to states
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the release of $1.1 billion of federal funds to all 50 states through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs, with Colorado getting nearly $27 million; Idaho, $20.2 million; Montana will get more than $27.7 million; Utah, $28.68 million; and Wyoming will receive roughly $18.4 million.
Sierra Sun Times; March 25
Companies have already paid $2.6M for gas leases on Wyoming Range
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has already collected $2.6 million for gas leases underlying an area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in the Wyoming Range, and if groups are successful in getting drilling banned on those 41,554 acres, too, then that money would have to be repaid.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; March 26
U.S. House to vote today on bill to change Antiquities Act
The U.S. House is expected to vote today on legislation proposed by Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop that would require any proposal by a president to designate an area a national monument to go through a public comment period and other processes outlined under the National Environmental Protection Act and would limit such presidential designations to one per state per presidential term.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 26
Air Force's budget decisions could change missions for Idaho bases
The Air Force's plan to cut $3.5 billion from its budget by eliminating its entire A-10 fleet Thunderbolt II, 22 of which are now stationed at Gowen Air Force Base in Idaho, may mean that the Idaho Air National Guard will move its operations to Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Idaho Statesman; March 26
Report details efforts of 11 states to protect sage grouse, habitat
The Western Governors' Association's most recent inventory provides state-by-state details on projects and funds spent to protect sage grouse and habitat for the species in 11 states to fend off a listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Deseret News; March 25
Group pitches plan to turn Colorado landfill into a community garden
Aspen T.R.E.E., an agricultural program in Colorado's Roaring Fork Valley, is pitching a plan to turn Pitkin County's landfill into a community garden.
Aspen Times; March 26
Report says solar installations outpaced wind in 2013
For the first time since Clean Edge Inc. began tracking clean energy installations 14 years ago, more solar-power generating capacity than wind-power capacity was installed in 2013, although wind generation is still 2.5 times larger than solar. The Balance Sheet energy blog by the Denver Post's Mark Jaffe.
Denver Post; March 26
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.