Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Monday, June 11, 2012
produced daily by Shellie Nelson
In the Rockies today, a Colorado wildfire believed to have been caused by lightning grew from two acres on Saturday to 37,000 acres Monday morning, chasing thousands out of their homes near Fort Collins, and may have caused one death.
High winds and dry fuels made for an explosive combination on the fire, and with other large fires burning in New Mexico, federal officials are worried about resources being stretched thin.
Also in the news, crews are at work trying to contain the oil spill from a pipeline into the Red Deer River; a federal judge in Idaho says the U.S. Forest Service failed to follow federal law when it redrew the boundaries of critical habitat for lynx, invalidating the map, and any forest management decisions based on that map.
Judge rules USFS violated federal law in approving Idaho logging project
The decision rendered last week by U.S. District Magistrate Candy Dale not only blocked the 7,000-acre Split Creek timber harvest in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho, but also invalidated the map the U.S. Forest Service created in 2005 that withdrew some 390,000 acres in the forest as critical habitat for lynx.
Idaho Press-Tribune (AP);
Rural Alberta landowners demand details on oil spill
Four days after a pipeline break released tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Red Deer River in Alberta, rural landowners are demanding the government provide concrete details about the spill, as well as information about what other pipelines cross the river.
Toronto Globe and Mail;
Grizzly bear management on agenda of USFS meeting in Montana
Randy Hojem, district ranger for the Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District, said there's a lot of misinformation circulating about the U.S. Forest Service’s Record of Decision regarding the Grizzly Access Amendment on the Kootenai National Forest and he's sure the plan will be among the issues discussed at a public meeting Tuesday in Thompson Falls, Mont.
Audit finds cops in Utah town targeted foreign tourists, collected cash fines
Springdale touts itself as the "Gateway to Zion National Park," and the bulk of the estimated 2.8 million visitors to the park in Utah make their way through the tiny burg, but an audit of the town's police department found that officers wrote citations to foreign tourists and collected cash fines on the spot, which violated local, county and federal laws.
Salt Lake Tribune;
Montana company formed to capture flared natural gas
A lack of pipeline capacity in North Dakota means about a third of the natural gas is flared off, but a new Montana company, G2G, has created what is essentially a mobile natural-gas processing unit that can capture, liquefy and store natural gas emissions.
Pipeline companies have more to do in Montana
The lesson learned in the Yellowstone Pipeline spill last year is that there was a lot the state -- and even the federal regulators -- didn't know about the underground infrastructure in Montana, a situation rectified by the panel appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and the next step is adopting the recommendations made by the panel.
Beyond the region
Appeals court rules NRC must revisit nuclear fuel storage issue
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Friday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission acted too hastily when deciding that spent fuel rods could be safely stored on site at nuclear power plants, and that the agency must consider options for storage of that fuel in the absence of a geologic national repository for such storage such as was proposed in Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
New York Times;
Arizona congressman criticized timing of wild horse roundup in Nevada
Arizona U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva criticized the Bureau of Land Management's emergency roundup of wild horses in Northern Nevada is not really an emergency, and is poorly timed as it's the height of foaling season and the helicopter roundups stampede foals, heavily pregnant mares and horses already stressed.
Idaho Statesman (AP);
Wyoming wildfire moves closer to Hartville
A wildfire that has burned six square miles in Guernsey State Park in southeast Wyoming is now threatening Hartville on the east side of the park and the 70 residents of the town have been put on notice they may need to evacuate.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP);
Fire crews gain ground on wildfires in S. Utah
Cooler weather over the weekend helped wildfire crews get the Box Elder Fire in southern Utah nearly 75 percent contained, the Lost Lake Fire is 55 percent contained, and the White Rock Fire on the Utah-Nevada border was 100 percent contained.
Salt Lake Tribune;
Ruidoso Fire in southern N.M. doubles in size
The Ruidoso wildfire in southern New Mexico is only 22,000 acres in size, much smaller than the Whitewater-Baldy wildfire that is now the largest in the state's history, but the smaller wildfire is burning much closer to populated areas.
Santa Fe New Mexican;
"I t's spread in almost every direction. It splinters to the south, and then it splinters to the east. I don't
know that we've ever seen anything like this before.
Mountain West Perspectives
Mountain West Voices
Hear weekly stories from the Rocky Mountain West as gathered by Clay Scott