A new report by the US Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, other federal agencies, and university experts says the water-hogging reputation of the two species has little merit, but found that effects on wildlife are mixed.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
The 48 mines are also linked by the fact that most of their owners have been legally delaying action on the violations through appeals of the citations. The Mine Safety and Health Administration is faced with a backlog of approximately 16,000 appeals.
Scientists in Idaho have dug up living specimens of the giant Palouse earthworm -- a foot-long white worm said to smell like lilies and thought to be extinct.
"Controversy is swirling in Montana after the governor, Brian Schweitzer, requested in a letter sent to local officials that they voice support for 'coal money' from a proposed new mine in exchange for receiving funds to build roads and other infrastructure projects."
"With grizzly bears being found farther out from the Rocky Mountain Front than in past years, officials with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are holding community meetings — including one in Wolf Creek next month — to discuss better ways to co-exist with them."
"An energy company with government approvals to launch the first significant U.S. oil sands project is trying to raise money to build a plant in eastern Utah that would turn out 2,000 barrels of oil a day."
"The metal tungsten remains an important clue in research related to the Fallon [NV] leukemia cluster, which sickened 17 children and killed three of them between 1997 and 2004, scientists said Thursday."
"Scientific studies are turning up answers to a baffling mystery about the Great Salt Lake. The new findings help explain why concentrations of toxic mercury in the lake are higher than anywhere else in the country. The new studies suggest it's not so much our local pollution that's at fault -- it appears to be mainly the world's pollution."
"A federal judge has approved a first-of-its-kind settlement requiring the government to suspend 38,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana so it can gauge how oil field activities contribute to climate change."
Oil companies use carbon dioxide -- an industrial waste from gas operations, to boost production from played-out oil fields in Wyoming.