The Rockies Today, Sept. 11



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Wildfire season drags on in drought-stricken West
Wildfire season continues to rage in the Western United States, with new wildfires reported in Washington, and fires threatening homes in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Sept. 11

USFS releases good news, bad news report on pine-bark beetles
The U.S. Forest Service said Monday that the number of acres of trees infested by pine bark beetles in the West in 2011 decreased to 3.8 million acres, about a third of the nearly 9 million acres reported affected in 2009, but infestations are occurring at higher elevations as warmer temperatures make those elevations more habitable by beetles.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Sept. 11

Report: U.S. oil production to increase 74% in next decade
A report released Monday said that by 2016, the U.S. will be producing 9.6 million barrels of oil each day, and by 2022, daily domestic production will reach 11.6 million barrels, which means sales of Canadian oil to the U.S. could slow considerably by 2018.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Sept. 11

Study tracks $14.7B in business activity in oilfields in Interior West
An analysis done by accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of energy companies' mergers and acquisitions in the Interior West found $14.7-billion worth of deals in 2011 and the first half of 2012, with most of the deals associated with the Niobrara in Colorado and Wyoming and the Bakken formation in Montana and North Dakota.
Denver Post; Sept. 11

Songbirds' return a benchmark for Alberta oilsands reclamation project
For the past two years, Ken Foster and Christine Godwin have been roaming Syncrude's former oilsands mine that is being reclaimed in Alberta to net and band migrating songbirds to compare returning populations to that of undisturbed areas to see how those reclamation efforts are working, and the numbers so far have been comparable.
Edmonton Journal; Sept. 11

Alberta Energy Board hires firm to do pipeline review
Following three pipeline-related oil spills in Alberta this summer, the province's Energy Resources Conservation Board promised to hire an independent firm to review the province's pipeline system, and the Board announced that Calgary-based Group 10 Engineering had been hired to do the review, with results expected by the end of November.
Edmonton Journal; Sept. 11

Idaho Parks cancels yurt reservations, in talks with USFS
When crews from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation scrambled this summer to remove fuels near six yurts operated by the state agency, the U.S. Forest Service realized that the state never got any permits for those yurts, and reservations for the yurts had to be canceled while the state and Forest Service resolve the situation.
Idaho Statesman; Sept. 11

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.

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