The Rockies Today, Nov. 18



Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

BLM rejects Signal Energy's $5.3M bid for Montana coal lease
The Bureau of Land Management said the 35.5 million tons of coal that Signal Energy bid $5.3 million for on Wednesday was worth more than 15 cents a ton and rejected the bid for the Montana parcel that lies within the path of Signal Energy's Bull Mountain mine.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Nov. 18

Idaho executes Paul Ezra Rhoades for 1987 murders
Paul Ezra Rhodes was the first person executed by the state of Idaho since 1994.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Nov. 18

EPA says chemicals found in Wyoming monitoring wells 'a concern'
The Environmental Protection Agency found high levels of methane, benzene and chemicals in two water-monitoring wells in the Pavilion area of Wyoming, and in an interview that will be broadcast Saturday and Sunday on the Bloomburg cable news channel, EPA Director Lisa P. Jackson said the high levels may be related to the use of hydraulic fracturing.
Casper Star-Tribune; Nov. 18

Arizona researchers: Colorado tree rings reflect cycle of megadroughts
University of Arizona scientists analyzed tree rings from dead and living bristlecone pines in Colorado's San Juan Mountains that date from 268 BC to AD 2009, and found that megadroughts in the West occurred more often than previously thought.
Los Angeles Times (Greenspace); Nov. 18

USFS works on policy to guide summer activities at resorts
The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act amended the 1986 National Forest Ski Area Permit Act to allow ski resorts on public lands to offer summer activities, and Jim Bedwell, the national director of recreation and heritage resources for the U.S. Forest Service, is at work on a policy to provide a blueprint to resorts that want to develop summer recreation activities.
Denver Post; Nov. 18

Parks Canada's press for summer use at Banff's Mount Norquay questioned
Conservation groups are questioning why Parks Canada is entertaining a proposal to allow summer recreation activities on Mount Norquay in Banff after the former owner of the area traded away such development in 1989 for the right to develop Mystic Ridge, and subsequent lawsuits to overturn that agreement have failed as well.
Rocky Mountain Outlook; Nov. 18

Farmers Union: Power lines should pay annual leases on land
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union held a forum in Denver on Thursday, where the advocacy group for ranchers and farmers in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico said transmission lines should pay an annual lease for lands, a stance an official of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association said would raise costs of power to the consumer.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Nov. 18

More efficient methods for extracting oil from Alberta oilsands being tested
The extraction of oil from Alberta's oilsands is an energy- and carbon-heavy process, but there are new ways of separating the heavy oil from its sandy beds that are beginning to get noticed.
New York Times; Nov. 18

Headwaters 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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