Western governors struggle with longer wildfire seasons, dwindling budgets
Colorado had its worst wildfire season ever, with the Waldo Canyon fire destroying 350 homes in four hours and a wildfire still burning in Rocky Mountain National Park forced the evacuation of homes near Estes Park on Dec. 1, and governors across the West are facing a hotter, drier future with less funding for fighting wildfires.
Great Falls Tribune (Stateline.org); Dec. 14
Montana's wolf trapping season opens Saturday
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said 2,400 people took the classes necessary to be certified to trap wolves in the state's first mandated trapping season that opens Saturday.
Great Falls Tribune; Dec. 14
Montana wildlife commission's closure of wolf hunt areas questioned
The decision made Monday by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to close wolf hunts in areas bordering Yellowstone National Park may have violated state law in that the item on the agenda was identified as informational and not an action item.
Helena Independent Record; Dec. 14
Coal opponents pack Seattle meeting on study of port
The final public hearing on a proposal to export coal from Montana and Wyoming through a port in Washington state's Whatcom County was held on Thursday, and the majority of the estimated crowd of 2,300 were there to show their opposition to the plan.
Seattle Times; Dec. 14
Rocky Mountain West bear panel says hunting must be an option
At the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting in Missoula on Thursday, the panel voted to approve a policy that opens the doors to an eventual hunt of grizzly bears after the species is deemed recovered to the point where federal protections are removed.
Missoulian; Dec. 14
Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.