Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
In winter plan, Yellowstone Park puts a premium on quiet
Yellowstone National Park officials are working on a new winter-use plan, and the latest option is based on noise limits for snow machines, rather than restricting the number of those machines.
Jackson Hole Daily;
Utah House sends package of public lands bills to Senate
Four bills designed to give Utah control of 30 million acres of federal public lands easily passed in the Utah House on Wednesday, and will now be taken up by the Senate.
Salt Lake Tribune;
U.S. House advances bill to force USFS to sell Utah land for gondola project
On a 20-18 party-line vote on Wednesday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved legislation that would require the U.S. Forest Service to do an environmental analysis of the sale of a 30-acre parcel to Canada-based Talisker Mountain Inc., which owns Canyons Ski Resort in Utah near Park City, to allow the company to build an eight-person gondola to move skiers from Solitude to Canyons, and if the project passes environmental muster, force the USFS to sell the parcel; the bill now moves to the full House for action.
Salt Lake Tribune;
Alberta oilsands producers agree to share environmental info, technology
The "Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance," or COSIA, is a coalition of a dozen of oilsands operators in Alberta that have agreed to share information and technology designed to lessen the environmental effects of developing oilsands resources.
Toronto Globe and Mail;
Wyoming, Park County lawsuit against Yellowstone denied by appeals court
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal filed by Wyoming and Park County challenging Yellowstone National Park's 2009 winter-use plan, because the court said the state and county failed to prove economic losses due to the rule.
Denver Post (AP);
Montana FWP says there are at least 653 wolves in the state
A report issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the state has at least 653 wolves, with 130 verified packs and 39 breeding pairs, well above the state's wolf plan objectives of a minimum of 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves.
Helena Independent Record and Associated Press;
Despite months of work, benzene levels in Colorado waterways rise
Suncor Energy is increasing its efforts to stop the flow of benzene from its refinery north of Denver into Sand Creek, but after three months of work to stop contaminated water from reaching Sand Creek and the South Platte River in Colorado, benzene levels continue to rise.
BLM rejects $362M bid for 400M tons of Wyoming coal
The Bureau of Land Management declined to accept the bid of BTU Western Resources, a subsidiary of Peabody Energy and the sole bidder, for 400 million tons of coal in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP);
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