USFS reports oil leak in Dixie National Forest in Utah
The oil leak discovered on March 24 by Forest Service workers in the Dixie National Forest in Utah is thought to have originated from a repair done by Citation Oil in November and the agency isn't sure if the amount of oil leaked had reached the 10-barrel threshold that prompts a reporting requirement; the recent leak discovered in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is also believed to have come from Citation Oil operations.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 3
Montana groups sue USFWS over lack of bull trout recovery plan
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Wild Swan put the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on notice a year ago that the Montana groups planned to sue the federal agency to get a bull trout recovery plan in place, but put the lawsuit on hold after the agency agreed to get a plan in place by Jan. 30, but since that deadline wasn't met, they proceeded to file the lawsuit in federal court in Portland, Ore.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; April 3
GAO upholds challenge of USFS's air-tanker pact with Montana company
On Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office said the U.S. Forest Service needs to beef up its explanation for awarding Missoula-based Neptune Aviation Services a nine-year contract for the exclusive use of two BAE-146 air-tankers or redo the bidding for that contract.
Missoulian (AP); April 3
Wyoming county increases fees to fund affordable housing
The Teton County Commission voted Tuesday to raise the fees charged developers to help fund affordable housing in the Wyoming county to levels similar to those in place in 2008, before the nation's housing market tanked, an indication that the housing market in western Wyoming is improving.
Jackson Hole Daily; April 3
W. Montana city files eminent domain lawsuit to gain control of water utility
On Wednesday, Missoula Mayor John Engen announced that the western Montana city had filed an eminent domain lawsuit seeking to wrest control of its water utility from the international investment firm The Carlyle Group.
Missoulian; April 3
Legislative audit finds Idaho misspent $2.5M in federal funds
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials disagree with the findings of the Legislative Services Office's Audits Division that said the department used $2.5 million of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds left over in 2008 to pay salaries rather than on direct aid to low-income families as required.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 3
EIA report says U.S. energy imports at lowest level in 2 decades
In its weekly report released Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Agency said that energy imports are at the lowest level in 20 years and that natural gas storage levels are 54 percent below their five-year average.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 3
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.