The Rockies Today, Oct. 31



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Utah Supreme Court upholds Alton Coal's expansion permit
The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, which challenged the state's permit for Alton Coal's proposed expansion of its mine on state and private lands near Panguitch, said it was disappointed with the Utah Supreme Court's decision, but said Alton has many more hurdles to clear before the Bureau of Land Management approves its expansion plans.
Deseret News; Oct. 31

More groups want to weigh in on Montana stream access lawsuit
The eight-year-old lawsuit over public access to waterways in Montana has drawn the interest of three new groups, with the United Property Owners of Montana and the Political Economy Research Center filing friends of court briefs asking the state Supreme Court uphold a Madison County district court decision, and Montana Trout Unlimited supporting the Public Lands Access Association on the other side of the dispute.
Montana Standard; Oct. 31

Megaload on its way from Idaho to Alberta arrives in Montana
A piece of water purification equipment bound from Idaho to Alberta's oilsands is now in Montana, and the 520,000-pound, 300-feet-long, 20-feet-wide and 22-feet-high megaload will travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. along the same route the disputed ConocoPhillips shipments would have taken.; Oct. 31

Downstream states post concern about energy development, Colorado River
State legislators in Arizona and Nevada have asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to limit oilshale leases in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah over concerns about how such development will affect Colorado River water supplies.
Denver Post (Grand Junction Sentinel); Oct. 31

Montana Supreme Court upholds decision on Rock Creek Mine permitting
The Montana Supreme Court upheld a state district court decision that requires Revett Minerals to go through a more thorough permitting process that allows public comment for its proposed Rock Creek Mine.
Spokane Spokesman-Review (AP); Oct. 31

Shortage of seed of native plants hinders West's wildfire remediation
The drought that fueled massive wildfires in the Rocky Mountain West also hindered seed production of such native plants as sagebrush, and replanting of burned areas has been hampered by a lack of seeds of native plants.
Durango Herald (Reno Gazette-Journal); Oct. 31

TransCanada: Pipeline can be converted to move Alberta crude east
On Tuesday, TransCanada Corp. officials said converting a portion of the company's natural gas pipeline to carry oil from Alberta east, and said that they will make a final decision on the Mainline Conversion Project by early next year.
Edmonton Journal; Oct. 30

BLM urged to surgically spay older mares
On Tuesday at the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board's meeting in Salt Lake City, the federal agency was urged to consider spaying older mares to help curb reproduction rates.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); Oct. 31

Disappearance of whitebark pine will cause hardship for bears, birds
Blister rust and bark beetles, along with warmer temperatures, have caused a marked decline of whitebark pines from British Columbia and Alberta into Yellowstone ecosystem in the United States, and as those pines decline, birds and bears that depend on the seeds face a changing future. Another in the Salt Lake Tribune's Dying Forests series.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 28

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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