Rockies Today, May 12


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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Western states worry that sage-grouse listing could curb economy
As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mulls protection of sage grouse, western states have put in place their own plans to protect the species as there are concerns that federal measures could halt grazing, mining and energy development on sage-grouse habitat.
Washington Post; May 12

Montana study finds cows, grouse co-existing just fine
A four-year study done by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks of sage grouse in Powder and Carter counties found that the species is doing well in the southeastern counties in areas well-used for grazing.
Billings Gazette (AP); May 11

USFWS mines public comments on wolf delisting for new data
Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson said he believed that if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decides not to remove wolves from the endangered species list, Congress will step in and give states more authority to manage wolves, while Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, who said he does not believe the federal agency relied on the best science when proposing to delist the species, said he said if Congress does decide to give states more management authority, it will be a political, not a scientific decision.
Portland Oregonian; May 12

BLM seeks bids for short-term holding corrals for wild horses
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is taking bids for multiple short-term holding corrals that can each hold up to 200 wild horses after they are removed from western lands, and the agency also extended the deadline for submitting proposals for birth control for the horses to May 28.
Durango Herald (AP); May 12

Dozens of ATVs make illegal trek through Utah's Recapture Canyon
San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, who stressed his role Saturday was as a private citizen, led an estimated 50 all-terrain vehicles on a ride along a road into Recapture Canyon in Utah closed seven years ago by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to protect prehistoric sites.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 16

AP: GAO finds fault with BLM's inspection of high-risk oil, gas wells
The Associated Press obtained the findings of a Government Accountability Office's investigation into the Bureau of Land Management's inspections of oil and gas drilling operations in 14 states including Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, and found that oversight was so lax that it was impossible to ascertain whether federal and tribal lands were adequately protected.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); April 16

British Columbia reports increase of flammable materials shipped by rail
Between 2011 and 2013, the number of railcar shipments of oil by rail increased from 41 to 3,381, and during the same period, the number of shipments of petroleum products other than oil increased from 30,613 to 39,540, and officials from communities through which those shipment pass are pressing Transport Canada to require railways provide more information about such shipments in advance and to provide more resources to deal with derailments and spills.
Vancouver Sun; May 12

Crews clean up oil from derailed train in Colorado
On Saturday, six railcars of a 100-car train carrying oil from the Niobrara formation derailed in Colorado, spilling an estimated 5,300 gallons of oil into a ditch along the South Platte River.
Lincoln Journal Star; May 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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