Rockies Today, Oct. 7



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

AP review of audits finds financial misdealings in 124 tribal governments
While fraud and theft occur in many nonprofits and local governments that get federal funding, an Associated Press review of audits of groups that get federal grants found that tribal entities are five times more likely to have systemic weaknesses that provide opportunity for misuse of federal money, including tribes in Montana and Wyoming.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 6

Annual survey finds wealthy landowners like Montana, Wyoming
The 2013 Land Report 100, a survey of the largest landowners in the United States sponsored by Fay Ranches, a Montana-based real-estate brokerage, puts Liberty Media chairman John Malone at the top with 2.2 million acres of land in Wyoming, Colorado, Maine and Florida, followed by CNN-found Ted Turner, who owns 2 million acres, with more than 1 million of those acres represented by three ranches in New Mexico.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 5

Wyoming crude-to-rail link cleared for construction
The companies building the crude-only rail loading terminal on 700 acres near Casper had to get 20 permits to build the project, but work has begun the eight miles of railroad required by the Casper Crude to Rail terminal, which will take Alberta crude that arrives by pipeline, as well as oil trucked in from local operations, and load it onto rail cars where it will be transported to the East Coast, as well as to the Gulf and West coasts.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 7

Groups protest logging plan in watershed for Montana's capital city
The city of Helena and Helena National Forest officials said the Red Mountain Chessman Reservoir Project is needed to protect the Montana city's water source for about 30,000 residents from wildfire, but the Montana Ecosystems Defense Council and Native Ecosystems Council are objecting to the project because they do not believe building a new 1/2-mile of road and clearcutting 490 acres will do much to protect the city's water source.
Helena Independent Record; Oct. 5

Government shutdown puts a halt to timber sales on national forests
The U.S. Forest Service is expected to put 450 timber buyers across the nation that timber sales and stewardship contracts will be put on hold due to the federal government shut down, and Montana mill owners said their understanding of the cessation notice was that contractors would be given seven days to complete what they could.
Ravalli Republic; Oct. 5

Climate change fueling a shift in West's wildfires
Warmer, drier winters mean a longer wildfire season, and a shift in firefighting policy that includes trying to "herd" fires into previously burned areas are all working together to change how Rocky Mountain West lands regenerate after a wildfire.
Idaho Statesman; Oct. 7

Residents of 11 northern counties to vote on seceding from Colorado
Fed up with gun control laws and the legalization of marijuana, residents of 11 counties in Northern Colorado will vote this November to secede from the state and create a new one more in line with their own political views.
New York Times; Oct. 7

Colorado to review response to flooded oil, gas wells
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said last month's flooding resulted in 14 incidents that released 1,042 barrels of petroleum products and 13 releases totaling 430 barrels of "produced" water from oil and gas operations, and the state is currently examining if its regulations and reporting requirements were adequate and if its emergency plans measured up.
Denver Post; Oct. 7

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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