The Rockies Today, Oct. 29



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Oil boom changes life in tiny Montana town
An Alberta company is building a rail loading facility and a man camp near Bainville that will more than double the population of the tiny northeastern Montana town in the next couple of years.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 29

Pine beetles' march West has foresters in the East on alert
Pine beetles have infested forests from British Columbia south through the Rocky Mountain West, munching on a wider variety of pines than previously thought, and with no sign that the infestations are slowing, foresters in the Northeast United States are concerned.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 28

Alberta attacks beetle invasion with axes, fire
After watching pine bark beetles turn British Columbia's forests red with dead and dying trees, Alberta drew a hard line against the burrowing bug with an aggressive logging plan to stop the infestation.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 28

Wyoming researchers try to track bat paths in advance of wind farm
The silver-haired, hoary and eastern red bats are the most likely in Wyoming to be killed by barotrauma, the change in pressure caused by spinning wind turbines, which essentially bursts blood vessels in bats' lungs causing them to drown, and researchers are working to track bats near the 1,000-turbine proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in southeastern Wyoming to figure out where turbines would cause the least harm to bat populations.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 29

Utah legislators get wish list of water projects
The Utah divisions of water quality and water resources, along with other public agencies, provided state legislators with a list of needed water and sewer projects worth a total of $13.7 billion.
Deseret News; Oct. 27

Panel recommends Idaho create its own health-insurance exchange
The task force appointed by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to study the state's options for a health-care exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act told the governor on Friday that a state-run, nonprofit exchange is the state's best option.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Oct. 29

Wyoming awards contracts in 11 highway projects
At its meeting earlier this month, the Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded $36 million in contracts for 11 projects around the state, with a Utah company winning the largest contract: A $14.5-million contract to make improvements to three miles of U.S. 191 southwest of Rock Springs.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 29

New pipeline project proposed for Alberta oilsands country
A $3-billion pipeline proposed by TransCanada and Phoenix Energy Holdings will address a bottleneck from Fort McMurray to oilsands operations in northwest Alberta.
Toronto Globe and Mail (Canadian Press); Oct. 29

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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