In the News

Company proposes mitigation project in Wyo.

May 15, 2013
The plan for a 600,000-acre mitigation bank in Wyoming would benefit environmentalists, the state and energy developers, according to the men behind the idea. The idea would allow companies to conserve land before they develop elsewhere. The current proposal involves a restoration project on a...

BLM cancels Nevada land deal

May 15, 2013
Bureau of Land Management officials said it would not issue a patent for 480 acres of federal land in southern Nevada that was once slated to be the future home of a professional sports complex. The agency Friday informed Silver State -- the lender to Texas developer Chris Milam -- and the city of...

Limited federal funds may mean cuts to local...

May 14, 2013
Lance Okeson at the Boise Fire Dispatch office had a surprise visit from the secretaries of the U.S. Agriculture and Interior departments Monday, and they came with bad news. Okeson is in charge of the fuels program for the Bureau of Land Management's Boise District. Agriculture Secretary Tom...

Colo. foundation gives $50k for Thompson Divide...

May 14, 2013
An Aspen, Colo.-based nonprofit foundation that has given away millions of dollars in the past decade for regional conservation projects has awarded its single largest grant yet to three conservation groups working to buy back oil and natural gas leases in the pristine Thompson Divide. The...

Supreme Court rules for chemical giant in seed...

May 14, 2013
The Supreme Court today rebuffed an Indiana farmer's challenge to Monsanto Co.'s patents for its genetically modified soybean seeds that now permeate American agriculture. In a unanimous ruling, justices held that the St. Louis chemical giant's patents remain in effect for seeds that were the...

Feds work to remove protections from northern...

May 14, 2013
Grizzly bears lack a reputation as a rule-following animal, but they sure inspire a lot of rule-making. The bears of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem have a draft 158-page rulebook up for public comment this summer as they move toward possible removal from federal Endangered Species Act...

Controversial uranium projects proceed near Grand...

May 13, 2013
Uranium mining will likely begin within weeks at a site in Mohave County, Ariz., near Grand Canyon National Park, the Bureau of Land Management said last week. Toronto-based Energy Fuels Inc.'s Pinenut facility is within the 1 million acres of land that the Obama administration last year withdrew...

Do we need a better yardstick to measure severe...

May 13, 2013
After more than a decade, the U.S. Drought Monitor might be due for a tuneup. As Illinois' State Climatologist Jim Angel puts it, it's like the scene in the 1984 parody of hard rock documentaries "This Is Spinal Tap" in which heavy metal guitarist Nigel Tufnel shows off his amplifiers with volume...

Montana tribes get $600k from U.S. EPA for cleanup

May 13, 2013
American Indian tribes on two Montana reservations have been awarded a combined $600,000 under a federal program to clean up contaminated properties. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement was part of $62 million in grants awarded nationwide. When the cleanup is done, the tribes plan...

Devils Tower prescribed burn ignites wildfire

May 13, 2013
Fire officials got more than they bargained for Wednesday afternoon when a prescribed burn at Devils Tower National Monument ignited a wildfire. The original, 300-acre planned fire burned Tuesday and was being mopped up ahead of schedule on Wednesday. It succumbed to late-afternoon high winds,...
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