The Rockies Today, March 14



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana wildfires burn thousands of acres on Tuesday
High winds roared through northcentral Montana on Tuesday, downing power lines that sparked wildfires, one that forced the evacuation of nearly 100 residents north of Great Falls, and another that burned thousands of acres between Chinook and Havre.
Great Falls Tribune; March 14

USFS: Efforts to stave off beetles on Idaho's Bald Mountain successful
For the past two years, the U.S. Forest Service has used helicopters to drop methylcyclohexenone pellets, which is a pheromone produced by pine beetles, on Bald Mountain in the Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho, and Forest Service officials said that just two trees were found to have beetles in the treated area and only eight in the untreated areas.
Idaho Mountain Express; March 14

B.C. first nations promise lawsuit over Gateway West pipeline
Representatives of first nations bands in British Columbia across whose lands the Gateway West pipeline would cross on its path from Alberta's oilsands country to a port on the B.C. coast met with members of Parliament to help win support for their opposition to the pipeline.
Toronto Globe and Mail; March 14

Campaign is on to add 100K acres to U.S.-Canada peace park
At a seminar on transboundary science in Whitefish this week, ecologists and conservationists are making their case for protecting a 100,000-acre parcel of Canadian wilderness that lies adjacent to Waterton National Park by making it a part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
Missoulian; March 14

Critics: B.C. Forests Minister's stance on exports costing local jobs
B.C. Forests Minister Steve Thomson's decision to export raw timber to Asian countries is under fire, as local sawmills are cutting shifts due to a lack of logs to process.
Toronto Globe and Mail; March 14

Bill to extend wind tax credit fails on 49-49 vote in U.S. Senate
An amendment to the federal transportation bill that would have extended the production tax credit for wind energy projects failed on a 49-49 vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, with neither of Wyoming's U.S. senators voting for the amendment, who cited the measure's cost for their decision.
Casper Star-Tribune and Associated Press; March 14

Idaho Power asks Idaho PUC to suspend renewable-energy contracts
Idaho Power Co. has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow it to immediately stop buying electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewable-energy projects, because the utility said the costs of purchasing that power is too high.
Idaho Statesman; March 14

Sen. Hatch, Rep. Bishop promise support on Utah's federal-land legislation
At a meeting with Utah legislators on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop promised to help them wrest control of federal lands from Washington, D.C.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 14

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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