Groups petition USFWS to protect fishers in Montana, Idaho
Six environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect fishers, small weasel-like predators found in old-growth forests in Idaho and Montana, as a threatened or endangered species; a similar petition filed in 2009 was rejected in 2011.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 24
Montana DEQ sets meeting Monday to discuss Belt Creek water quality
Old coal mines near Belt are the source of acid and heavy metals that flow into Belt Creek, and on Monday, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting in Belt to discuss water-treatment options.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 22
U.S. working on 'Richter scale' to rank wildfires' intensity
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing a Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Scale, a ranking system similar to those used to warn residents about earthquakes and hurricanes, to advise people of the intensity of wildfires in their area.
Denver Post (AP); Sept. 24
GE subsidiary asks federal judge to rethink Idaho megaloads decision
The company that moved a 225-foot-long, 640,000-pound water evaporator through Idaho in August, prompting protests and a successful lawsuit to suspend future such shipments, filed an appeal of the decision, citing "imminent and continuing irreparable harm," if the second megaload cannot move through the state.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Sept. 22
Vice President Biden, Colorado governor take aerial survey of flooded areas
On Monday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper took Vice President Joe Biden on an aerial tour of the flood-ravaged areas of the state, a tour Hickenlooper said would give the federal government a firsthand look at the devastation and the need for federal funding to repair the damage.
Denver Post; Sept. 24
Chinese firm acquires company that owns Utah hog farm
The shareholders of Virginia-based Smithfield Inc., which owns the large massive Circle Four Farms hog operation in Milford, Utah, approved the sale of the company to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., with the $4.2-billion sale the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 24
Wyoming Game & Fish bans motorized boats on Snake River
At the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting Monday, commissioners voted to ban motorized boats on a stretch of the Snake River south of Grand Teton National Park between April 1 and Labor Day weekend.
Jackson Hole Daily; Sept. 24
Former Banff Park director says Albertans don't support Jasper hotel plan
Kevin Van Tighem, a former superintendent of Banff National Park in Alberta, said the proposed development of a 66-room hotel and 15 tent cabins on the shores of Maligne Lake in Jasper is not supported by the public, and said that 90 percent of the people who responded to a Parks Canada survey about the project said they opposed it.
Calgary Herald; Sept. 23
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.