Rockies Today, Nov. 18



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

EPA wants to slow down pace of ethanol mix in gasoline
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment on its proposal to slow down the pace of blending ethanol into gasoline mandated by the 2007 energy law.
New York Times; Nov. 18

Supervisor of Montana national forest lauds volunteers' work
The Bitterroot National Forest in Montana has had its budget for trail clearing cut by nearly a third over the past three years, yet the forest was able to clear 656 miles of trail this year, nearly double the agency's goal of 345 miles, with volunteers from a slate of groups pitching in to help.
Ravalli Republic; Nov. 18

'Wildfire wizard' assesses wildland fire risk to Montana homes
Another destructive wildfire season in the West has resulted in a number of methods being considered to assess the risk of a wildland fire burning homes built in rural areas, including the Wildfire Wizard developed by Jack Cohen, a scientist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, that assesses the likelihood of an ember igniting a house, using an on-the-ground analysis of the Montana property.
Missoulian; Nov. 18

USFWS's strategic plan puts Utah fish hatchery on the chopping block
On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Strategic Hatchery and Workforce Planning Report that reviews its 70 fish hatcheries in the light of ongoing budget cuts, and the priorities contained in the report makes the future of Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery in Utah uncertain, as its mission is propagation of non-native species, the lowest priority on the USFWS's plan.
Salt Lake Tribune; Nov. 18

U.S. Rep. Lummis' bill would allow kayaking in national parks in Wyoming
Managers of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are questioning the timing of Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis' legislation that would open up now-closed streams and creeks to whitewater rafting and boating as both parks have recently completed updating their management plans, and the park managers said such a change would have best been addressed during that process.
Jackson Hole Daily; Nov. 18

Two miners die, 20 injured in incident at Colorado mine
Carbon monoxide poisoning was cited as the cause of two miners' deaths at Star Mine's Revenue-Virginius Mine, six miles south of Ouray, and 20 other miners were also injured in the incident early Sunday morning at the Colorado silver, gold and sulfides mine.
Denver Post; Nov. 18

Idaho scientists track traffic's effect on birds
Last summer, researchers at Boise State University put speakers in an area 6,000 feet up an Idaho mountain to blare traffic sounds to see how the noise affected songbirds in the areas, and they found that some species left the area completely, while the overall population of songbird species declined by 25 percent.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Nov. 17

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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