Rockies Today, Feb. 4



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.


Amish community in Montana fights new route of Tongue River Railroad
The Tongue River Railroad is needed to ship coal from Arch Coal Inc.'s planned mine near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana to power plants in the Midwest, and the route of the privately-owned railroad was recently changed, and now passes through a small Amish community.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 4

U.S. Supreme Court: Crow tribal members can sue FBI agent
On Jan. 14th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that will allow two families from the Crow Nation to pursue a lawsuit against a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent that the families say improperly handled the investigation of the deaths of family members on the Montana reservation in 2004 and 2005.
New York Times; Feb. 3

BLM's sale of energy leases splits Colorado community
The North Fork Valley in central Colorado has earned the moniker "The American Provence" for its climate and agriculture, and now it's become the front line on the argument on domestic energy production, with thousands of acres of energy leases set to be auctioned off by the Bureau of Land Management next month.
New York Times; Feb. 3

U.S. portion of Montana-Alberta transmission line nearly complete
The Montana portion of the 30-kilovolt, 214-mile transmission line from Great Falls to Lethbridge, Alberta, known as the Montana-Alberta Tie Line, is on schedule to be completed by the middle of this month, then crews will move to Alberta to complete that portion, with electrification of the line planned mid-year.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 1

Idaho snowmobilers help fund wolverine research
Members of the Idaho Snowmobile Association know that, if the federal government decides to put wolverines on the federal endangered species list, some of their favorite backcountry trails will be off limits, but they said it's more important that wolverines survive and the group has helped fund a study that has already gathered four years of data on the species. Rocky Barker's "Letters from the West."
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 4

In fight to reduce air pollution, Utah targets consumer products
Utah is facing a federal deadline on reducing winter-time smog, and since the state can't do anything about the weather, which traps smog in the valleys—or the state's geography that lends itself to inversions, state officials are contemplating limits on pollution-causing chemicals in a wide range of consumer products.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 4

Cost of Alberta oilsands mine nearly $5 billion higher than original estimate
The Kearl oilsands mine in Alberta built by Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd. and its U.S. parent, ExxonMobil Corp., was originally estimated to cost $7.9 billion, but the cost was raised in May 2011 to $10.9 billion, which was $2 billion less than the $12.9 billion it ultimately cost, with latest $2-billion bump due in part to transportation expenses involved in getting modules made in South Korea trucked across Montana and Idaho.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 1

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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