Rockies Today, June 20



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Canada says pipeline's risk to grizzly bears, caribou 'justified'
The Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would run from Alberta's oilsands country to Kitimat, B.C. on the West Coast, is likely to affect grizzly bears, a species of special concern in Canada, and the woodland caribou, which is considered "threatened," but given the economic benefits of the project, such effects were considered justified.
Vancouver Sun (Ottawa Citizen); June 20

Montana settles tax dispute with Charter Communications
The Montana Department of Revenue and Charter Communications reached an agreement on retroactive and current tax payments due the state by the cable company, who also agreed to drop its proposed ballot initiative to reverse a state Supreme Court decision on how the company's assets were taxed.
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); June 20

BLM seeks public comment on Utah leases to be auctioned
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management received nominations for oil and gas leases on 150 parcels of land in eastern Utah, but concerns about sage grouse habitat and conflicts with coal resources winnowed the list down to 70 parcels, and the BLM is taking public comment on those proposed parcels through July 14, with the auction set for Nov. 14.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 20

Concept of solar gardens pioneered in Colorado spreads elsewhere
Community solar gardens, which provide solar-generated power to renters and other people whose roofs aren't amenable to solar panels, were pioneered in Colorado, and now they're cropping up in Massachusetts, California and Washington, D.C., and coming soon to New York State.
New York Times; June 20

Report details construction's effect on Alberta city's economy
A report on the construction industry in Calgary found housing starts, the value of those homes built and wages paid in 2013 a bit lower than those values in 2012, and the owner of one construction company said that the lack of land available for new housing is beginning to slow that sector of the economy in the Alberta city.
Calgary Herald; June 19

Wyoming congresswoman co-sponsors USFS trail maintenance bill
The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, introduced by Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, would codify how the U.S. Forest Service prioritizes its backlog of trail maintenance projects and would expand the use of volunteer help on trail maintenance projects.
Ravalli Republic (Missoulian); June 20

Idaho works to address concerns as oil, gas drilling activity increases
While Idaho doesn't have the natural gas and oil resources Wyoming and other states have, drilling activity has picked up in recent years, and the state is working to fine-tune its regulatory framework to address concerns from residents and environmental groups.
Twin Falls Times-News; June 20

Wyoming State Parks continues 8-year project to expand trail system
Over the past eight years, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails has added miles and miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails in state parks in eastern Wyoming, and that effort has paid off in an increase of visitors to those parks.
Casper Star-Tribune; June 20

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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