Rockies Today, Dec. 20



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Groups want wolf buffer zones around Yellowstone, Grand Teton parks
After several wolves that had been collared by researchers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, conservation groups are asking federal officials to create buffer zones around those parks in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to protect wolves from hunters.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Dec. 20

Federal judge sides with ski areas on USFS water-rights policy
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez ruled that the Forest Service violated federal procedure when it revised ski area permit regulations to require that the water rights attached to those permits be transferred to the Forest Service.
Denver Post; Dec. 20

IEA: Coal will supplant oil as world's most popular fuel
As coal use rises in China and India, the International Energy Association predicted that coal will replace oil as the most widely used fuel in the world within the next decade.
Christian Science Monitor; Dec. 20

Oilsands operators reverse decision on cutting environmental funding
The Oil Sands Developers Group in Alberta announced that it was reversing an earlier decision to halve the $5 million yearly budget for the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), and would pay the full $5 million.
Edmonton Journal; Dec. 20

Texas firm dedicates pipeline to carry CO2 to Montana, Wyoming oil fields
The Greencore Pipeline will carry carbon dioxide 232 miles from the Lost Cabin gas plant owned by ConocoPhillips in Wyoming to the Bell Creek oil field in southeast Montana, where the carbon dioxide will be used to increase production in the aging oilfield.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 20

Alberta makes budget corrections to deal with lower oil, natural gas prices
Lower natural gas and oil prices prompted Alberta to reduce revenue projections and to call for leaner budgets, joining British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the federal government in belt-tightening mode.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Dec. 20

Conservation easement protects 28,000 acres in NW Montana
Using a blend of funds from both the federal and Montana government, as well as a land donation from Stimson Lumber Co., 28,000 acres of former Stimson land in the northwest corner of Montana will be forever protected from development.
Missoulian; Dec. 20

Report tracks Idaho cities', counties' dependency on business tax revenue
The tax on business equipment has been called Idaho's "most hated tax," and a pro-business group is lobbying legislators hard to eliminate the tax, but a new report shows the percentage of cities' and counties' budgets that the revenue from the tax funds.
Spokane Spokesman-Review (AP); Dec. 20

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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