Rockies Today, April 18



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.


Montana tribes teeter on cusp of Bakken oil boom
The Fort Peck Indian Reservation is just 71 miles away from Williston, N.D., the bull's eye of the Bakken oil boom, but the seven wells drilled thus far on the Montana reservation have produced more water than oil, although nearly a third of tribally held lands are under lease to oil companies and tribal officials believe tapping into the land's resources is the best route to economic sovereignty.
Missoula Independent; April 18

Wyoming groups appeal hydraulic fracturing ruling to state Supreme Court
The Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Wyoming Outdoor Council are among the groups that filed an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court a state district court decision that affirmed state law that chemicals used during the hydraulic fracturing drilling process are protected as trade secrets.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 18

Few attend USFS's public meeting in Colorado on ski areas' water rights
The U.S. Forest Service was ordered by a federal court in December to rewrite its policy on ski areas' water rights and to include the public in that process, and on Tuesday, the agency held a listening session on the policy at its headquarters in Lakewood, which drew a few representatives of ski areas in Colorado.
Denver Post; April 18

Recent storms increase snowpack levels in Wyoming to near normal
Yogi and Wanda, the latest named winter storms to make their way through Wyoming, dumped enough snow to raise snowpack levels reported to be 80 percent of normal on April 1 to 95 percent of normal now — and there may be more snow on the way.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 18

Idaho senators helped defeat string of gun-control amendments
The seven amendments to the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 voted on Wednesday by the U.S. Senate required 60 votes to pass, and Idaho's U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted no on all seven of the amendments, all of which failed to meet the 60-vote requirement.
Idaho Statesman; April 18

Colorado board rejects push to force companies to clean up uranium mines
The Information Network for Responsible Mining asked the Mined Land Reclamation Board to not allow Cotter Corp. and Energy Fuels put their uranium mines in Colorado on inactive status, which would allow the companies to delay cleanup activities on those lands, but on a 4-2 vote the board approved the companies' request for inactive status.
Durango Herald; April 18

BLM considers boat, campground fees at Montana national monument
At a Central Resource Advisory Council in May in Havre, Bureau of Land Management officials will float a proposal to impose a number of fees for users of the 149-mile Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, including a $5-per-boat fee at a number of launches and a camping fees at two campgrounds.
Great Falls Tribune; April 18

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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