Rockies Today, Jan. 23



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.


Montana legislator reminds university officials of natural resources' import
Before the top officials of the Montana University System spoke before the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, Rep. Roy Hollandsworth, chairman of the panel, urged those officials to be mindful of their role in promoting development of the state's natural resources, and he commended Higher Education Commissioner Clayton Christian, Montana State University President Waded Cruzado and University of Montana President Royce Engstrom for wearing their lapel pins promoting coal.
Ravalli Republic; Jan. 23

Bill to allow bison in Montana to be shot on sight inspires vigorous debate
Montana Rep. Alan Doane said his House Bill 249, which would allow private property owners to shoot bison that wander onto their property, is a private-property bill, but opponents of the bill said it wrongly classifies bison as vermin.
Helena Independent Record; Jan. 23

USFS drops plan to merge Wyoming, Idaho national forests
The proposed merger of the Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee national forests in Wyoming and Idaho has been dropped after Forest Service officials determined that the merger would not be cost effective and would impair forest management. Jackson Hole News & Guide; Jan. 23

Greenpeace study: Alberta oilsands fifth in global carbon emissions
Using International Energy Agency data, Greenpeace ranked what it considered to be the top 14 growth areas for fossil fuel production, and ranked those areas on their estimated carbon emissions, and leading the pack were coal development projects in China and Australia, where those projects would emit an additional 1,400 million tons and 720 million tons, respectively, of additional greenhouse gases within the next seven years.
Calgary Herald (Canadian Press); Jan. 23

Bill would require groundwater testing in Wyoming before drilling
Wyoming state Sen. Floyd Esquibel's Senate File 157 would require baseline groundwater tests before all oil and gas development in the state, and would give citizens the right to challenge trade secret exemptions claimed by operators that use hydraulic fracturing toi tap oil and gas resources.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 23

Wyoming judge hears arguments in hydraulic fracturing 'trade secrets' case
Wyoming state District Court Judge Catherine Wilking heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit about the state law that allows companies to withhold information about some of the chemicals used in the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and said she'll issue her ruling within the next couple of months.
Casper Star-Tribune; Jan. 23

Utah legislator introduces bill on climate change, wildfire
State Rep. Kraig Powell's HB77 would require mangers of Utah's state lands to consider how climate change is affecting wildfire behavior when making management decisions on how best to curb wildfires.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 23

Groups sue BLM over drilling plan near Utah's Desolation Canyon
The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and other environmental groups filed a lawsuit last week in federal court challenging the Bureau of Land Management's approval of gas wells in an unroaded area of Utah near Desolation Canyon, alleging that the plan would add more air pollution to an area where air quality is already a problem.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 23

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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