Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Hearing on Montana senator's Rocky Mountain Front Act set for March 22
Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' Rocky Mountain Front Act, which would designate another 67,000 acres of wilderness lands to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and designate an additional 208,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service lands a conservation management areas, is set for hearing before the Public Lands and Forests subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next week.
Great Falls Tribune; March 12
House subcommittee holds hearing in Nevada on USFS road closures
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop chaired a field hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in Elko, Nev., on Monday, where Regional Forester Harv Forsgren, whose region includes Nevada, Utah, Idaho, western Wyoming, western Colorado and eastern California, defended the U.S. Forest Service's process in updating travel plans, and local officials criticized those processes.
Elko Daily Free Press; March 13
Interior Department, House Republicans spar over energy production
Republican U.S. House members charge that federal land policies are hamstringing domestic energy production, an charge Interior Department officials said is not borne out in production reports.
Denver Post; March 13
Watershed project in Montana national forest gets a green light
The Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project in the Gallatin National Forest in Montana, which would treat 4,800 acres of forest in the Hyalite and Bozeman Creek drainages that provides Bozeman with 80 percent of its drinking water, has survived three challenges from conservation groups, and will proceed, although one of those groups is consulting with an attorney about filing a federal lawsuit.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; March 13
Idaho university's computer science grads have pick of jobs
The 20 or so students who will graduate this spring from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science have either already found jobs locally thanks to internships, or are inundated with job offers, and the 21 computer science graduates from the University of Idaho last year found work easily, as jobs available far exceed qualified applicants.
Idaho Statesman; March 12
Documents indicate Hecla failed to conduct safety inspection in Idaho mine
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the paper received hundreds of pages of documents relating to Hecla Mining Co.'s Lucky Friday Mine and the rock burst that ultimately led to a yearlong shutdown of hte Idaho mine.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; March 12
Xcel execs' use of private jet questioned by Colorado PUC staff
Xcel Energy, the largest electricity utility in Colorado, has requested a $142-million rate increase, and Colorado Public Utilities Commission staff are questioning Colorado's $1.1-million share of the utilities' $5.7 million cost of use and maintenance of two corporate jets.
Denver Post; March 13
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