Natural Resources & Energy

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United States Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced farmers who lost crops due to the irrigation tunnel collapse in eastern Wyoming are able to use their crop insurance policies.

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A mountain lion attacked an eight-year-old boy in Colorado on Wednesday, bringing the total attacks in that state to three this year – the most Colorado has seen since 1998.


Bureau of Land Management via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

On August 23, the Friends of a Legacy will be celebrating the official completion of a wild horse educational kiosk and highway designation.

View of the southeastern part of the Black Thunder ranch - land considered in the appraisal document
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

The First Judicial District Court in Wyoming ruled in favor of a landowners group in a case considering the release of previously confidential reclamation documents to the public. It helps shed light on how Contura Coal West, LLC (Contura) is backing 20 percent of its reclamation obligations for the Belle Ayr mine in the Powder River Basin.

In 2017, Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) accepted the real property collateral bond. A certified appraiser showed that nearly 50,000 acres of property were collectively worth $26.7 million. It was appraised twice, and then reviewed by another appraiser, according to the DEQ.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from Sacramento, US

Gov. Mark Gordon has signed a new executive order outlining the state's sage grouse protections. The new order reaffirms previous executive orders, clearing up some of the language.

Wildfires are still burning across the Mountain West, but far fewer than in the last few years.


Petition
Citizens Supporting Wyoming Coal

A Washington state appeals court dealt another blow to a controversial coal export terminal. It reaffirms a regulator's decision made back in 2017. Judge Lisa Sutton found the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) acted properly in denying the Millennium Bulk Terminal necessary leases to begin development.

In 2012, Millennium introduced a full plan to build the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast and was seeking to ship about 44 million metric tons of coal per year. It hoped to add two large docks to its property in Longview, Washington.

Catherine Wheeler

A U.S. Department of Energy official visited the state this week after an invitation from Gov. Mark Gordon.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

Several state departments are warning Wyoming residents about the risks of algal blooms.

Identical Business Address from three LLCs - all linked to Tom Clarke
Multiple Secretary of State Websites

Virginia businessman Tom Clarke, who recently came close to owning Westmoreland's Kemmerer mine, appears to be the back-up bidder in Cloud Peak Energy's asset sale. That comes despite his name not being immediately connected to the LLC in public court documents.

The business address of Aspen Coal & Energy, LCC (Aspen) matches up with two other Tom Clarke-led LLCs in Merida Natural Resources and Western Coal Acquisition Partners in Roanoke, Virginia. In the articles of organization for the company, the entity forming the company was Clarke Investments, LLC.

Wild animals are protected within dozens of wildlife refuges across the Mountain West. But some of those areas are contaminated, because they used to be nuclear sites.

Shipments from the Navajo Mine to its only customer Four Corners Power Plant
US Energy Information Administration

After more than nine months of searching for a buyer, Cloud Peak Energy has chosen its winning bidder. U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware Judge Kevin Gross approved the sale today with NTEC taking on all of Cloud Peak's assets including its Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines. 

Sheridan County

Sheridan County has put partial fire restrictions in place for the time being.

Catherine Wheeler

Ten Sleep Canyon sits on the southwestern edge of the Bighorn National Forest, and it's always been a destination for rock climbers.

Savannah Maher

Earlier this summer, the Northern Arapaho Tribe came out against a proposal by the energy company Aetheon to discharge oilfield waste upstream of the Wind River. But the opposition was not for the reasons that some tribal members would like.

National Park Service

In the past month, Yellowstone National Park has gone viral a couple of times on social media with videos of bison charging at visitors. Bison-human incidents happen every season sometimes causing injuries. Yellowstone is always trying to figure out how to get the message across that the bison, elk, bears and even badgers that people encounter in the park are wild and dangerous. But why are people continually getting too close to wildlife?

Jessica Ulysses Grant

Boreal toads were once common in the western part of the United States. Today, the toads, and many other amphibians, are under attack from a deadly skin disease known as chytrid fungus, which limits their ability to obtain oxygen and may lead to cardiac arrest. But somehow toads found in Western Wyoming appear to be fighting back against the disease.

Cooper McKim

The sun is starting to set over a gravel road next to a ranch south of Casper. The evening reflects purple in nearby puddles on the road. Project leader Katrina Cook, along with her field technician Becky Blankenship, is preparing for the first nocturnal call survey of the night, three-minute intervals where they stand in a single spot and just listens for frogs of any kind, in any direction.

Invasive insects and diseases are killing tree species in forests across the U.S., and in turn, weakening one of the planet's natural ways to fight climate change. That's according to a new report published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nathan Maier

In a recent collaboration with University of Montana, University of Wyoming (UW) researchers headed out to explore a little-studied area of the Greenland ice sheet. The team was headed by Neil Humphrey, a UW professor of geology and geophysics, and his graduate student, Nathan Maier.

Contura Energy logo
Contura Energy

Contura Energy is not yet the owner of Blackjewel's two Wyoming mines. But, in an earnings call, the company did give insight into their expectations for the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines.

A bipartisan bill is moving forward through the Senate. It specifically tackles the impacts of climate change on our nation’s roads and bridges. 

The logo set on letters regarding 401(k) termination
Blackjewel

The West Virginia court overseeing Blackjewel's bankruptcy has authorized the end of 401(k) plans for all the company's miners. It was one condition of Contura Energy's purchase of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines. Many Blackjewel workers responded to the news with thanks on Facebook, one commenting "Hallelujah."

Federal officials have announced changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could have big impacts on wildlife and habitat throughout our region.

Forest Service / Paul A. Robbins

The U.S. Forest Service wants to cut out parts of its environmental review process. The agency says it's a way to speed up certain projects. But that has conservationists worried.

Sara Armstrong / USFWS Mountain-Prairie

What do you think about proposed reforms to the Endangered Species Act?

View ESA Regulation Revisions here.

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

Tom Koerner/USFWS via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

The Trump administration has made several rule changes to the Endangered Species Act that they say will provide transparency while protecting species.

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management logo
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration is trying to relocate the bulk of the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington to Colorado, which is getting cheers from Wyoming lawmakers. But Democrats view the move as problematic and a way to gut the agency.

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