EPA director steers clear of coal states on her road trip for climate rules
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp invited Environmental Protection Agency Director Gina McCarthy to the state to meet with representatives of the coal and oil and gas industries to explain her agency's new round of climate change regulations, the first stop in a coal-producing state for the EPA director, an omission that Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso has noted.
New York Times; March 24
Consistent winds make construction of Montana wind farm tricky
The winds that come down the Rocky Mountain Front are a steady gale, making the area around Fairfield a perfect place for a wind farm, but those winds also make putting up the 430-foot-tall towers on which the turbines will spin challenging.
Great Falls Tribune; March 24
Potential wilderness designation divides Montana neighbors, friends
A 16,000-acre strip of Dearborn River canyon at the southern edge of the Rocky Mountain Front known as Devil's Glen didn't get a wilderness designation during two previous bills to protect that area of Montana, and while some believe it's time to pass the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and protect the area with a wilderness designation, others say the area's just fine as it is.
Missoulian; March 24
Study planned for oil, gas leases in Wyoming Range
A notice published Friday in the Federal Register indicates that the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management plan an environmental study of oil and gas leases in the last area of the Wyoming Range to be considered for such leasing, and outside of the acres covered by the Wyoming Range Legacy Act.
Jackson Hole Daily; March 24
Bill would allow Colorado to buy 3 helicopters to fight wildfires this year
Senate Bill 164, proposed by Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, and Republican Sen. Steve King on Friday, would authorize the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control to purchase, lease or contract three firefighting helicopters this year, and up to four "large firefighting planes" next year.
Denver Post; March 24
Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska senators tour Idaho National Laboratory
The three senior Republican members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Jim Risch of Idaho, along with his GOP colleague, Sen. Mike Crapo, toured the Idaho National Laboratory on Friday, where all four expressed concerns about the nation's continued problem of disposing of nuclear waste.
Twin Falls Times-News (Idaho Falls Post-Register); March 24
U.S. scales back Provo River Delta plan in Utah
Opponents of the U.S. Department of Interior's plan to restore an area of the Provo River Delta for the endangered June sucker still aren't thrilled with the preferred plan, which halves the amount of land that will revert to marshland.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 24
Scientists believe Yellowstone's volcano may hold secret of origin of life
The volcano that underlies Yellowstone National Park is the world's largest, and a team of scientists have recently applied for a nearly $3-million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the origin of life in the park.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 24
Colorado scientists say CO2 readings in Hawaii reach early record high
The scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Boulder laboratory said carbon dioxide levels recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii exceeded 400 parts per million on Sunday, March 23, and continued to exceed that level through Thursday, the earliest such levels have been recorded at the Hawaii site.
Boulder Daily Camera; March 24
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.