The map and report on known greater sage grouse high-density breeding populations is a starting point that can be refined with the input of state fish and wildlife agencies. But you can use it right away as you cover various land use and environmental issues.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"A small environmental miracle has occurred in Beatty, Nev., a former mining town that sits on the eastern edge of Death Valley between Jackass Flats and Sober Up Gulch. The people of Beatty have helped revive the Amargosa toad, a warty, speckled, palm-sized creature that's unique to the area and, just a few years ago, seemed headed for extinction."
"The 2.5 million cubic yards of fine-grained sediment dredged from the former reservoir east of Missoula has been spread 2 feet thick over more than 600 acres of wasteland between Anaconda and its satellite community of Opportunity. But it won’t grow grass."
USDA and USGS researchers found about one of every five acres of rangelands in 17 western states, as well as portions of Louisiana and Florida, has some degree of degradation of at least one factor (soil and site stability, hydrologic integrity, and biotic integrity).
"A roundup of wild horses began Monday in northwestern Colorado over the objections of animal advocacy groups."
"The need for rare-earth minerals like neodymium could define the relationship between the United States and China and elevate Idaho into a critical role in the nation’s industrial future."
"Across the northern Rocky Mountains, bighorn sheep are dying by the hundreds from pneumonia and alarmed wildlife officials are hunting and killing the majestic animals to halt the spread of the disease."
"A proposal to designate more than 300,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho appears to be in a political tailspin, dashing hopes among wilderness advocates that the Gem State could soon resolve a decades-long debate over management of its public lands."
EPA warns Pavillion, WY residents not to drink or cook with their well water, and that the presence of methane (the main ingredient in natural gas) is so high that they should ventilate any room in which a shower is operating, and to not ignite anything in a closed room in which water is running.