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Gallatin River, Gallatin Canyon
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
produced daily by Shellie Nelson

Editor's Notes...

West map In the Rockies today, Wyoming wolves, wild horses and shipping oil by rail are all in the news again.

A federal court judge on Tuesday declined to reverse her decision that put wolves in Wyoming back under federal authority, which means the wolf hunt scheduled to begin today in the Cowboy State is on hold.

The state may either appeal the decision or revise its wolf management policy, both options that will take some time.

The New York Times takes a look at increasing wild horse populations and how they're affecting ranges in the West, with Robert Garrott, a professor of wildlife management and ecology at Montana State University, calling the situation a "train wreck."

On Tuesday, the oil and rail industries teamed up to ask the U.S. Transportation Department to give the industries more time to make changes to tank cars used to transport oil.

And the U.S. Transportation Department released its report on the state of transportation in the United States that provides details and rankings of states on such issues as miles driven, use of mass transit, and percentage of commuters who drive to work alone.

Today in "On the Bookshelf," Barbara Theroux provides a preview of seven of the books that will be highlighted at HumanitiesMontana's 15th annual Festival of the Book scheduled Oct. 9-11 in Downtown Missoula.

Tonight on Montana Public Radio, Mountain West Voices will air at 7:30.

This evening's broadcast features Clay Scott's conversation with Montana resident Goose Gregson, who has spent his entire life in professional baseball, and Gregson recalls the long and circuitous path he took from a North Carolina cornfield in the 1950's to the major leagues.

Tune into Montana Public Radio this evening at 7:30 or listen online via the Mountain West Voices website.

Rockies today

U.S. oil, rail industries seek longer timeline on tank car fix
The American Petroleum Institute and the Association of American Railroads have jointly requested the U.S. Transportation Department give tank car manufacturers six months to a year to gear up to fix design defects on older tank cars that make them prone to rupture during derailments and three years to complete those fixes, as well as an additional three years to retrofit newer cars built since 2011, known as "1232s."
Flathead Beacon (AP); Oct. 1

Judge declines to put wolves back under Wyoming's authority
Following Tuesday's hearing on her decision issued Sept. 23 that put wolves in Wyoming back under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson declined to overturn her previous decision, leaving Wyoming the option of appealing the decision or revising its plan, which could take years, and the state's wolf hunt set to start today, will not go on.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Oct. 1

Utah ranchers worry wild horses wearing down the range
The Bureau of Land Management's efforts to hobble wild horse populations are not keeping up, and in Wyoming, ranchers won their lawsuit to force the BLM to remove hundreds of horses from the range there, while Utah ranchers' lawsuit is just in the initial stages, but some in the Beehive State could not graze their herds on BLM grazing allotments this summer because there was simply no grass as wild horses had grazed it all off.
New York Times; Oct. 1

Disposal facility for oilfield waste to open in Wyoming this month
Grasslands Environmental, which is fully owned subsidiary of Georgia-based Green Group Holdings, began the sale of non-potable water for energy operations in Wyoming in August, and this month, its facility near Bill will begin accepting processed water from drilling operations with plans to accept solid waste for disposal from oilfield operations, and company officials said they plan to open a second such operation in Wyoming.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 30

Study: Utahns logged 26.53M miles behind the wheel in 2012
The U.S. Department of Transportation's annual State Transportation Statistics is full of fascinating tidbits about transportation and transit, including that, in 2012, Utahns drove a collective 26.35 million miles, which is roughly the equivalent of 111 trips to the moon and back, that the state ranked 34th in the nation for miles driven per capita, and that 75 percent of Utahns drove to work alone.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 1

Studies link sagebrush lands, Western states'economies
The results of two studies released this week underline the importance of healthy sagebrush lands in Western states, with the "Recreation Spending and BLM Sagebrush Lands,” finding that hunters, anglers and other visitors to those lands spent hundreds of millions of dollars in communities in 11 Western states in 2013, and "Conserving Migratory Mule Deer Through the Umbrella of Sage-grouse," found that protecting sage grouse habitat also helped protect important migration routes of mule deer.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 1

Western Watersheds Project applauds decision in Idaho grazing lawsuit
The decision rendered this week by U.S. District Court B. Lynn Winmill found that the Bureau of Land Management should have considered a "no grazing" option on four grazing allotments in southern Idaho.
Twin Falls Times-News; Oct. 1

Canada's National Energy Board warns Plains Midstream pipeline co.
Plains Midstream Canada, a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., of Houston, which has operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana, was warned by the National Energy Board that the company's failure to complete a corrective action plan may lead to a shutdown of its operations in Canada.
Calgary Herald; Oct. 1

Beyond the region

Federal judge affirms decision on uranium mine ban near Grand Canyon
U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell ruled Tuesday that the 20-year ban on new uranium mines in an area around the Grand Canyon will stay in place, rejecting claims that the federal government acted improperly when imposing the moratorium in 2012.
Cronkite News; Oct. 1

Ford Motor Co. to add 1,000 new jobs at plant in Canada
The 1,000 new employees at Ford Motor Co.'s plant in Toronto will be assembling the 2015 Ford Edge crossover SUV for the company's international market.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); Oct. 1

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"I t's not a horse issue. It's a range health issue. This land is getting beat up pretty good. Sure, it's easy to blame the ranchers, but if you took us all off the land, you still wouldn't solve the problem. The horses would just continue to expand. And then what?"

Tammy Pearson, a rancher who could not graze her cattle on a BLM grazing allotment in Utah this year because wild horses had grazed off the grass.
- New York Times

On The Bookshelf
Barbara Theroux provides a preview of titles from HumanitiesMontana 15th Festival of the Book


Mountain West Perspectives
Fifty years after the Wilderness Act became law, it's time again for Capital W Wilderness


Mountain West Voices
Hear weekly stories from the Rocky Mountain West as gathered by Clay Scott

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

at the

The University of Montana