"The nation's largest wildfire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in a southern Utah mountain area home to a ski town and popular fishing lake."
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
Even though big proposed budget cuts may be DOA for the Interior Department, it doesn't mean there aren't a wide range of land and resource-related stories emerging from the debates. The latest TipSheet sets the scene and offers a half-dozen ways to localize the Interior Department funding story.
"Colstrip, Mont., is about 750 miles away from Seattle, as the crow flies. Politically, the two places may be even further apart. And yet, they're connected."
"Some of Nevada's largest solar installation companies plan to resume doing business in the state. For the past year-and-a-half Tesla (formerly SolarCity) and Sunrun stopped seeking new customers in this sunny part of the country because the state's Public Utilities Commission chose to phase out incentives for homeowners who install rooftop solar panels. Now, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval plans to sign into law a bill that brings back 'net metering.'"
"A federal judge in Montana has blocked the development of a contested mine next to a wilderness area in the northwestern part of the state, handing a victory to environmental activists who had argued the project could endanger grizzly bears and bull trout."
"Montana's Glacier National Park is quickly losing an important part of its natural beauty: Its glaciers. U.S. Geological Survey data released Wednesday shows the park's 37 glaciers, along with two others on federal Forest Service land, have shrunk an average of about 40% since 1966."
"SALT LAKE CITY — While protestors clogged the sidewalk outside, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he will be gathering perspectives of people on all sides of a deeply controversial issue as he reviews the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments."
Fire season is back, if it ever went away. And it's no longer a natural disaster story limited in geographic scope. Now it's a nationwide U.S. story touching on climate, money, politics, zoning, pollution and more. The latest Tipsheet runs down key information sources, plus what make a good peg for your local wildfire reporting.
"An abandoned pipeline that was cut off underground and left uncapped and connected to a natural gas well fueled an explosion that destroyed a Colorado home and killed two people last month, investigators said yesterday."