"On a remote Utah ridge covered in sagebrush, pines and wild grasses, a Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum."
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"U.S. crews battling a flurry of wildfires raging unchecked across the Pacific Northwest contended with high winds on Thursday, a day after three firefighters were killed and four others were injured in Washington state."
"A poll by Envision Utah suggests Utahns want to be more self-sufficient when it comes to food and preserving farming."
"A stretch of river fouled by toxic waste from an abandoned gold mine in southwestern Colorado last week was reopened to kayaking and rafting on Friday while water from river-fed irrigation canals was deemed safe for crops and livestock."
"A mother grizzly bear, linked by DNA testing to the fatal mauling of a hiker whose body was found partially eaten in Yellowstone National Park, was euthanized on Thursday, park officials said."
Abrahm Lustgarten (left) wrote a nine-part series delving into farm subsidies and water policy. But his efforts to get the actual names of farm subsidy recipients or individual water users were largely thwarted. Read how info flows less quickly to the public than money and water flow to farmers in SPJ's FOI blog. Photo credit: Lars Klove.
"The facts show the state's purpose in enacting the statute was to protect industrial animal agriculture by silencing its critics," district Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote. Sometimes investigative journalists need to go undercover. And sometimes muckraking journalists need undercover whistleblowers to tip them to abuses.
"DENVER — A million-gallon mine waste spill that sent a plume of orange-ish muck down a river in southwest Colorado on Thursday was caused by a federal mine cleanup crew."
"Conservationists declared victory on Wednesday in a legal battle over Idaho's systematic killing of wolves in a national wilderness area after the state notified federal land managers it did not intend to reinstate a controversial kill program."