Rockies Today, Aug. 12



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Elk Complex fire in Idaho burns its way to top priority in the nation
The Elk Complex fire burning a hundred miles east of Boise ran six miles on Saturday and is threatening hundreds of homes in Idaho.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 11

Louisiana firm files federal lawsuit in D.C. over Montana drilling leases
Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge has held a permit to drill for oil and gas in the Badger-Two Medicine area, located just south of Glacier National Park in Montana since 1982, but that lease was originally suspended for a year in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997, and was continued indefinitely in 1998, and in June, the Louisiana company filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., to get the drilling suspension lifted.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 11

Blackfeet Tribe members alarmed over energy leases on Montana mountain
Chief Mountain is a sacred site to the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana and the recent discovery of energy leases on the mountain which sits adjacent to Glacier National Park has opponents of drilling on the Rocky Mountain Front debating about their next move.
Missoulian; Aug. 11

Texas company to drill first oilshale well in Colorado county
La Plata County commissioners have decided to take a wait-and-see approach on drilling regulations and will monitor Swift Energy's oilshale well drilling process that would be the first of its kind in the western Colorado county.
Durango Herald; Aug. 12

Two companies edge closer to oilshale mining in NE Utah
The Green River Formation in northeastern Utah and adjacent areas in Colorado and Wyoming contains nearly all the kerogen-bearing shale in the United States, and two companies are proposing processes to get the oil out of the shale, but environmental groups oppose the projects, which require multiple steps, including strip mining, crushing, processing and then upgrading.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 10

Wyoming data indicate Power River Basin state's top oil producer
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission released data that says a third of all the oil produced in Wyoming comes from the Powder River Basin.
Casper Star-Tribune; Aug. 11

Nesting hawks delay completion of Montana-Alberta Tie Line
Enbridge crews had to put work on the Montana-Alberta Tie Line on hold in June, because a pair of ferruginous hawks that had been following construction crews through Southern Alberta, feasting on mice stirred up by the work, decided to nest in a lone tree near the transmission line's path, but on July 16, the hawks and their fledglings left the next, work began again, and next week, wind-generated power from Montana will flow through the $300-million transmission line to Lethbridge.
Edmonton Journal; Aug. 11

Navajo Nation disagrees with celebrities' stance on wild horses
Earlier this month, a campaign led by former-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and actor-director Robert Redford successfully convinced a federal judge to temporarily halt the opening of a horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico, citing their allegiance with Native Americans to protect wild horses, but Navajo Nation Ben Shelly and the National Congress of American Indians don't agree with that stance, citing the damage wild horses do to reservations in the American West.
New York Times; Aug. 11

Water-stressed cities in SW U.S. tell residents to ditch their lawns
To deal with dwindling water resources, officials in cities across the Southwest United States are paying homeowners to tear up their thirsty lawns and or are imposing strict restrictions on watering lawns.
New York Times; Aug. 12

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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