Rockies Today, Oct. 23



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Yellowstone Park's winter-use plan ready for Dec. 15 opening day
The new winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park that takes effect Dec. 15 allows a mix of snowmobiles and snow coaches into the park, and will set new limits for the 2014-15 winter season, and ups the standards for machines used to the best available technology by the 2015-16 season.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Oct. 23

Federal appeals court issues injunction on Montana logging project
On Monday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a two-week injunction to halt a logging project in the Kootenai National Forest in Northwest Montana to give U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy time to consider the Alliance for the Wild Rockies request to halt the project until the group's appeal of Molloy's decision allowing the Grizzly Project is resolved.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Oct. 23

USGS report details best habitat for sturgeon survival in Idaho, Montana
A report issued by the U.S. Geological Survey said that flow changes caused by Libby Dam and other human activities make it less likely that white sturgeon eggs in Idaho and Montana will survive as the eggs adhere best to algae-free rocks and waterlogged wood, and not at all in sand and the algae on rocks put the eggs at risk of contamination from bacteria.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Oct. 23

USFS salvage logging study finds benefits highest in 4 N. Rockies states
A multiyear analysis done by the scientists and researchers with the U.S. Forest Service's Southern Research Station of the economics of ramping up logging of beetle-killed and damaged timber found that 75 percent of the dead timber in the West is located in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah, with most of the dead trees on federal lands, and that Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho have the most salvageable timberland.
Deseret News; Oct. 23

Alberta Environment says Cold Lake bitumen leak reached aquifer
In its enforcement order issued Monday, Alberta Environment said that the bitumen leak from CNRL's Cold Lake lease has leached into groundwater and the agency ordered the company to take immediate action to stop the leak into subsurface soil and groundwater.
Calgary Herald (Edmonton Journal); Oct. 23

Bicycle routes in Wyoming wilderness study area questioned
Bridger-Teton National Forest officials said the management plan for the Wyoming forest specifically allows mountain bike routes in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area, but conservationists are questioning that decision, and said that if the area should be designated wilderness by Congress, then the mountain bike routes would have to be closed.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Oct. 23

Alberta residents allowed to return home after railcar fire extinguished
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada linked Saturday's derailment of nine cars of liquefied propane and four cars carrying crude oil near Gainford to a problem with the train's emergency brakes, and on Tuesday afternoon, the more than 100 residents of the Alberta community forced from their homes by the resulting explosion and fire were allowed to return home.
Edmonton Journal; Oct. 23

Alberta pledges $81 million to help restore parks damaged by flooding
Flooding in June caused major damage to parks southern Alberta, including Kananaskis Country and Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary, and the province has pledged $81 million over the next four years to restore those parks, with approximately $60 million allocated to Kananaskis Country.
Calgary Herald; Oct. 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.

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