Rockies Today, April 24



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana FWP to consider smaller-scale bison plan
On Wednesday, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Jeff Hagener told the Associated Press that the state's plan to restore wild bison may start with a pilot project of 50 to 100 animals, rather than the earlier proposal of 1,000 bison to restore the wild bison.
Billings Gazette (AP); April 24

Group files lawsuit to reclassify grizzlies in Montana's Yaak area
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana seeking reclassification of the Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears in northwestern Montana from threatened to endangered.
Flathead Beacon (AP); April 24

B.C. agrees to pay mining company $10M for lost leases in watershed
Cline Mining officials announced that the now-bankrupt company will get $10 million in an out-of-court settlement with the province of British Columbia for lost leases under the Flathead Watershed Area Conservation Act passed in 2010 to protect the headwaters of the Flathead River, while a similar bill to protect acres in the watershed in Montana has stalled in U.S. Senate.
Missoulian; April 24

Dispute about road tangles debate on Utah county's plan for 'grand bargain'
Hundreds of people attended a public meeting on Wednesday on the Grand County Council's three alternatives for inclusion in Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop's public lands initiative, with all three options calling for a paved, 15-mile highway through Sego Canyon to provide a shortcut for oil trucks and equipment between the Uinta Basin and Interstate 70.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 24

Safety of oil shipments caught in track vs. tank car debate
The American Petroleum Industry is resisting regulations requiring that tank cars used to ship oil by rail be upgraded or replaced, saying that if railroad systems were repaired and upgraded and positive train controls installed, shipping oil by rail would be safer.
Flathead Beacon (AP); April 23

Explosion at natural-gas plant forces evacuation of Wyoming town
An explosion Wednesday afternoon at a natural-gas processing plant forced the evacuation of Opal, a town of about 100 residents in southwestern Wyoming, and while no injuries were reported, the town remains evacuated today as the plant continues to burn.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); April 24

Alberta mulls offset program for protecting wetlands
Andy Ridge, executive director of water policy with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, said the focus of the province will still remain on protecting wetlands but its pilot project to be rolled out this year will allow protection of wetlands in southern Alberta as an offset for affecting wetlands elsewhere.
Calgary Herald; April 24

Wyoming coal town booms again
The slowdown in the coal industry hasn't hampered growth and development in Wright in Wyoming's Campbell County, as oil and gas, as well as the uranium industry, are now contributing to the area's economy.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 24

Former BLM director, Utah legislator square off in debate
At Wednesday's Trib Talk, former Bureau of Land Management Director Pat Shea and Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory argued their respective positions on whether states should take over management of federal lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 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.

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