Rockies Today, June 5

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Slate of solar projects planned on Utah state, private land
At the Energy Development Summit hosted by Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday, it was announced that several commercial-scale solar projects were poised to begin construction on state and private lands, and although there are three areas in Utah identified by the federal Bureau of Land Management to be Solar Energy Zones, Tim Charters, a staffer with the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, said the federal permitting process was so onerous no solar projects on those lands were moving forward.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 5

Wyoming governor shares his views on coal, port with Washington newspaper
On the second day of his visit to Longview to tout the importance of Millennium Bulk Terminals' proposed $643 million coal export project to Wyoming, Gov. Matt Mead met with members of The Daily News' Editorial Board, where he said a coal export port is a good fit for the industrial area in Washington state, that Wyoming's plan to send coal to China would not have much of an effect on worldwide carbon emissions, and said the debate on coal should not be focused on whether or not China burns coal, but whether the coal that China uses originates in America or somewhere else.
Casper Star-Tribune (Longview Daily News); June 5

Utah, Arizona cities earn praise for work to end veterans' homelessness
At an event Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by mayors of 77 mayors, four governors and four county officials at a White House ceremony to roll out the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, and Mrs. Obama praised Phoenix and Salt Lake City for their work to get veterans into housing.
New York Times; June 5

Foreclosure filings in Colorado fell nearly 25% in the first quarter
The Colorado Department of Housing reported Wednesday that foreclosure filings in the first quarter of this year were 24.7 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2013, and that foreclosure sales were down 41.3 percent during the same period.
Denver Post; June 5

U.S. temperature data find Nevada, Idaho cities warmed the most
The analysis of federal temperature data collected since 1984 found that the Southwest and Northeast areas of the United States warmed the most, with Carson City, Nevada and Boise, Idaho, showing the highest increase in average temperatures, while Dickinson, N.D., saw its average temperature decline two degrees over the past 30 years.
Idaho Statesman (AP); June 5

Wyoming wraps up its public meetings on water strategy
Wednesday's Wyoming Water Strategy Conference in Casper was the last in a series of meetings held around the state to get input on the 50 water initiatives in four main categories—development, management conservation and watershed restoration—identified by state officials, and now work begins on winnowing those 50 initiatives down to 10, which will become the new water strategy for the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 5

International study says Utah city's traffic not that bad
A worldwide study of traffic congestion done by TomTom, a manufacturer of navigational systems for vehicles, found that, in the 63 metro areas with more than 800,000 residents, Salt Lake City ranked 48th for commute delays, with Los Angeles ranked 4th, the worst in the United States.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 5

Colorado AG sides with company on firing of medical-marijuana patient
The state of Colorado filed a friend of court brief in a state Supreme Court case that supported a satellite television company's decision to fire a medical-marijuana patient and said zero-tolerance policies such as the one in place at Dish Network must be respected to allow companies to ensure workers are safe.
Denver Post; June 5

Wolverine study prompts call for Alberta to do more to protect species
Researchers said that their study of wolverines on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies in Alberta found that the occupancy rate of wolverines in the southwestern area of the province from Highway 3 in the Crowsnest Pass south to the U.S border was just 8 percent, compared to 84 percent occupancy rate in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.
Calgary Herald; June 5

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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