Rockies Today, May 22



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Grizzly bears in NW Montana face trio of obstacles
There are an estimated 45 grizzly bears in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem in the northwest corner of Montana, a majority of which can trace their lineage back to a female grizzly from British Columbia moved to the area in 1993 to augment the population, an effort that struggles today as the species struggles with isolation from other populations, conflicts with humans and habitat.
Missoula Independent; May 22

Mantle of federal regulations hangs heavy in Idaho's timber counties
Idaho counties where federal forest lands make up a good portion of their land base have seen their fortunes fall along with timber harvests, and a rise in distrust of and anger at the federal government.
Boise State Public Radio; May 22

Rockies today

President Obama designates national monument in New Mexico
At a press conference Wednesday, President Obama designated 500,000 acres in New Mexico along the state's border with Mexico the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, the 12th time he has used the Antiquities Act to protect lands, and he said he's not done yet.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 22

Power-plant developer wowed Wyoming officials with big words, power suits
WyoFile examines how Mike Ruffatto sold Wyoming on the proposed Two Elk Power Plant when the Colorado man came calling in 1997.; May 22

Wyoming power plant project consumed millions of state, federal dollars
Mike Ruffatto was able to convince two Wyoming governors to allocate $445 million of the state's tax-exempt industrial development bonds to finance the first stage of the Two Elk I power plant, the state spent more than $11 million to build the infrastructure to support the new power plant, and the federal government poured $9.9 million of stimulus funding into the project. A second in WyoFile's series on the Two Elk Power Plant.; May 22

Ute Tribe's proposed natural gas power plant would be Utah's 3rd-largest
The 1,000-megawatt natural-gas power plant the Ute Tribe is proposing to build on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah would tap into the natural gas resources of the tribe's lands.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 22

Utah judge rules against Park City Mountain Resort
On Wednesday, a state judge ruled that Park City Mountain Resort missed a deadline in 2011 to renew its lease on more than 2,800 acres of terrain with Talisker Corp., leaving Park City with just the base facilities and the lower portion of the mountain.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 22

Wind project in Alberta gets OK to delay project four years
Alberta-based BluEarth Renewables Inc. received approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission to delay its $200-million Hand Hills wind power project near Drumheller to give the Calgary company more time to get regulatory approval for transmission lines to the project, as well as to negotiate contracts for the power generated.
Calgary Herald; May 22

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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