The Rockies Today, Jan. 25



Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Heavy snow atop thin, weak layer in West's mountain raises avalanche risk
Recent storms that have dumped heavy, wet layers of snow on top of thin, weak snow covering mountains in the West have created high avalanche danger in parts of Colorado, Utah, Montana and California, and the risk of avalanches will likely remain high for the rest of the winter.
Washington Post (AP); Jan. 25

Montana city a hotbed of online businesses
There are a number of high-tech startups and businesses operating online in Bozeman, earning the Montana city the moniker "Silicon Prairie."
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Jan. 25

Media reports on EPA's study of hydraulic fracturing in Wyoming inaccurate
The Environmental Protection Agency's report detailing the findings of its three-year study of groundwater contamination in an area of Wyoming near Pavillion does not link problems with drinking water wells, but rather an aquifer 800 feet below the surface, and the contamination found in the aquifer was linked to oil and gas operations, but not the use of hydraulic fracturing. (E&E); Jan. 24

Residents of N. Idaho express their displeasure about USFWS caribou plan
Most of the 200 attendees of a meeting called Tuesday by the Bonner County Commission to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to designate 375,000 acres in Idaho's Bonner and Boundary counties and in Washington's Pend Oreille County as critical habitat for the herd of 40 woodland caribou that roam between that region of the U.S. and across the border in Canada, spoke out against the plan.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 25

Enbridge: About 40% First Nations have OK'd Northern Gateway route
Janet Holder, Enbridge’s executive vice-president of western access, said Tuesday that nearly 40 percent of the First Nations across whose lands the Northern Gateway Pipeline would cross have signed access agreements.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 25

Alberta First Nations weigh in on Northern Gateway project
The joint National Energy Board-Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel that is evaluating Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to ship Alberta bitumen west to a port on British Columbia's West Coast heard for the first time from First Nations in Alberta on Tuesday, where the Enoch Cree and Samson Cree leaders asked to work with the company to ensure land and water protection, and to give aboriginal workers preference in hiring for the construction process.
Edmonton Journal; Jan. 25

Boards back farmers in Utah water line project
After two boards recommended to the Utah County Commission that farmers' lands near American Forks not be condemned to allow the Central Utah Water Conservancy District to bury a water pipeline under the properties, the water district may have to find a new route for the pipeline.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 25

GOP dispute on legislative redistricting now in court
After Idaho Attorney General Ben Ysursa sided with two members of the state's redistricting panel when they refused to step down after House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko fired them, Denney and Semanko filed a lawsuit against Ysursa for denying they had the ability to fire the redistricting commissioners.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Jan. 25

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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