Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana judge suspends future bison transfers from Yellowstone Park
Montana District Judge John McKeon sided with Montana ranchers and property owners who had sought a restraining order to halt transfers of bison held in quarantine facilities north of Yellowstone National Park to reservations, and put future transfers on hold but would not order the bison already transferred back to the holding facility.Great Falls Tribune (AP); March 23
Idaho Fish and Game approves new wolf hunt rules
On Thursday, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved changes to the state's rules on hunting and trapping wolves designed to increase the number of wolves taken during the 2012-13 season.
Spokane Spokesman-Review (AP); March 23
Montana senator's Rocky Mountain Front Act gets Senate hearing
Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act was heard by the Senate Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee on Thursday, with the Montana Democrat leading off the testimony in favor of the legislation, which also earned support from the Bureau of Land Management and qualified support from the U.S. Forest Service, but was opposed by Matthew Koehler of the Missoula-based Wild West Institute, who said the bill protected too little of the Front.
Missoulian; March 23
Nevada rules SNWA can pump water from four valleys
On Thursday, Nevada State Engineer Jason King ruled that Southern Nevada Water Authority can pump groundwater from the Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys in northern and central Nevada to supply Las Vegas with water, but the ruling did not touch on SNWA's request for water from the Snake Valley, a watershed that straddles Nevada's border with Utah.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 23
Iron County withdraws from water-pipeline project in Utah
After two communities in Iron County voted against participating in the Lake Powell pipeline project, the Utah county had no choice but to withdraw from the project as well, although Kane and Washington counties pledged to pursue the 150-mile-long pipeline that would carry 100,000 acre-feet of water annually from Lake Powell to a reservoir in Washington County.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 22
USFS may close roads at private landowners' request
District Ranger Wendy Fuell for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada told members of the Elko County Commission that the U.S. Forest Service has left some roads that cross private property off travel management plan maps, effectively closing those roads to public access.
Elko Daily Free Press; March 23
Alberta-based Enbridge buys solar farm in Nevada
Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. purchased another solar-energy farm from First Solar, Inc., this one in Nevada, and Alberta pipeline and energy company said it has plans to purchase more renewable-energy assets in the United States.
Calgary Herald; March 23
Four Western states among 9 cited by HHS for excessive insurance increases
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cited insurance companies in nine states for excessive premium increases, including companies in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona.
Idaho Statesman (AP); March 23
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.