Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Scientists, economists seek halt to oilsands operations
In an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 100 economists and scientists urged that Canada put a halt to new oilsands operations until carbon emissions can be reined in, and that Canada use this time of low oil prices to develop more sustainable processes for energy development to protect fragile ecosystems and to rebuilt relations with First Nations whose treaty rights have been eroded by energy operations.
Calgary Herald (Edmonton Journal); June 11
Outfitters with federal permits seek waiver of new wage mandate
Utah U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart is working with outfitters, who hold federal permits for running river trips and bicycle tours and other seasonal outfitters, to get them the same wage exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act from wage and hour laws that ski businesses now enjoy. Rep. Stewart introduced the measure on Wednesday.
Salt Lake Tribune; June 11
U.S. Senate panel hears 2 bills on federal parks shutdown
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources’ subcommittee on National Parks heard two bills introduced by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake: One that would reimburse states for the money they spent keeping national parks open during the 2013 government shutdown, and a second that would protect public lands from being shut down should another budget impasse put federal operations on hold.
Durango Herald; June 11
Montana's AG examining claim against Utah Rep. Ken Ivory
The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability requested the attorneys general for Utah, Arizona and Montana investigate Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory and his American Lands Council, which lists its mission on its website "... to secure local control of western public lands by transferring federal public lands," charging that Ivory and his group are defrauding those local officials, but no Montana counties or communities are dues-paying members of the ALC, making the state somewhat of an outlier.
Missoula Independent; June 11
Change in how Wyoming counts moose drops numbers
The number of moose in Western Wyoming near Jackson Hole skyrocketed in 1990 due to the use of Wyoming's computer modeling for estimating populations, but the state dropped that method when Microsoft stopped supporting the software in 2011, and at its meeting on June 3, Wyoming Game and Fish officials rolled out their plan to do a hard count of moose in mid-winter over the next three years—a move that is anticipated to result in much lower, but realistic, population counts.
Jackson Hole Daily; June 11
Workers at Colorado dairy farm fired after abuse video released
Los Angeles-based Mercy For Animals released video recorded at the Cactus-Acres Holsteins dairy farm near Fort Morgan that showed workers punching, kicking and poking the animals with screwdrivers and other tools, prompting the owners of the Colorado dairy to fire workers shown in the video.
Denver Post; June 11
Group releases report ranking trails on most of Colorado's 14ers
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative released its first ever "report card" Wednesday on the condition of trails to most of the 53 peaks in Colorado over 14,000 feet in elevation, and calling for $24 million in funding for work on those trains and "future sustainability." North Maroon Peak, Pyramid Peak and Capitol Peak all received high grades, while Snowmass Mountain's trail via Snowmass Creek got an "F," primarily because it was a user-created trail.
Aspen Times; June 11
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.