Rockies Today, April 7

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Idaho submits list of 50 forest-restoration projects to USDA
Contained within the Farm Bill signed into law this year is a measure that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant a governor's request to treat up to 3,000 acres of forest lands affected by insects or invasive species, and Idaho submitted a list of 50 such projects covering 1.7 million acres of the state's 20 million acres of national forest lands.
Idaho Statesman; April 5

BLM's budget reflects agency's priorities
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's $1.1-billion budget contains $2.8-million more for the agency's wild horse management program that would allow it to step up birth control measures and retains the level of funding for sage grouse habitat protection.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 5

Dispute on wild horses on public lands in Nevada, Utah heats up
The drought in Nevada and Utah has dwindled forage available for both wild horses and cattle on the range in those states, and heightened the level of engagement and rhetoric between ranchers and wild horse advocates.
Twin Falls Times-News (AP); April 7

Agencies release report on Northern Rockies wolf numbers
State and federal agencies released a report on Friday that said there were a minimum of 1,691 wolves roaming the six-state Northern Rockies region at the end of 2013, down just 6 percent since federal protections of the species ended in 2011.
Missoulian (AP); April 5

Wyoming senator seeks GAO audit of NPS spending
U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming joined Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn have asked the Government Accountability Office to review how the National Park Service spends its budget to see if there are ways to help pay for the Park Service's $11.5 backlog of needed repairs and maintenance work.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 4

Oil boom shatters quiet life of some Wyoming landowners
While the oil boom in Wyoming isn't quite at the level of the Bakken boom in North Dakota, the development in the Cowboy State is occurring in areas close to communities, where residents had moved decades ago to escape the lights and activities of big cities, which oil development has now brought to their backyards.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 6

Dozens of high-tech businesses thrive in Wyoming city
There are currently 70 high-tech businesses in Laramie, where employees earn upwards of $60,000 annually, although entrepreneurs admit they have to field questions such as "do you ride horses to work?"
Casper Star-Tribune; April 5

Wyoming high court sides with state on online sales-tax dispute
While a number of states are locked in disputes about online companies' collection and remittance of sales tax on online sales, the dispute before the Wyoming Supreme Court between the state and online travel sites didn't focus on whether sales taxes applied, but whether the amount should be computed on the amount online companies paid hotels for rooms or the amount those companies charged consumers, and last week, the state's high court said the sales tax applied to the amount charged consumers.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); April 6

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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