Utah state parks offer tourists an option during shutdown
Utah State Parks Director Fred Hayes said the federal government shutdown is giving Beehive State parks an opportunity to show tourists, who normally forgo state parks to visit the five national parks in the state, a chance to see what those parks offer, and on Thursday, Snow Canyon State Park near St. George and Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab reported dramatic increases in visitors.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 4
USFWS releases black-footed ferrets into prairie dog colony in Montana
Plague wiped out black-footed ferrets and their primary food source, prairie dogs, on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana in 1997 and 1998, and with prairie dogs now on the rebound, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 32 endangered black-footed ferrets in a prairie dog colony on the reservation on Thursday. Editor's note: The article has video footage of the release.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 4
U.S. House panel holds hearing on Montana land protection bill
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Thursday on Montana U.S. Rep. Steve Daines' companion bill to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' North Fork Watershed Protection Act, which codifies the U.S. portion of a 2010 agreement between Montana and British Columbia to keep mining and other industrial operations out of the Flathead River watershed.
Missoulian; Oct. 4
Private prison company won't bid on contract to operate Idaho prison
Tennessee-based Corrections Corp. of America's operation of the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise is under considerable scrutiny by the state government and is defending a lawsuit filed by inmates at the Idaho prison, and this week, the company put the state on notice that it would not be bidding on the new contract to operate the prison.
Idaho Statesman; Oct. 4
Idaho student, superintendent of schools to talk technology today
Burley High School senior Hayden Allred will meet today with Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna to discuss Allred's ideas on putting technology to use in the classroom.
Twin Falls Times-News; Oct. 4
Group sues BPA over new release plan on Idaho's Lake Pend Oreille
The Idaho Conservation League filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Bonneville Power Administration over its new operating plan for Lake Pend Oreille that allows for more variation in releases, a plan that the Idaho group said should have gone through an environmental review as it is increasing shoreline erosion and affecting wildlife habitat.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Oct. 4
Foundation gives $6.5-million for loon study in Wyoming, five other states
The Ricketts Conservation Foundation awarded Maine-based Biodiversity Research Institute $6.5 million to study loons in Wyoming and five other states to help figure out why the number of the iconic, fish-eating birds is dwindling in northwest Wyoming.
Jackson Hole Daily; Oct. 4
Energy work in NW Alberta unearths massive dinosaur skeleton
An employee of Tourmaline Oil Corp. unearthed the fossilized remains of a tail of what paleontologists believe is a duck-billed dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Period near Spirit Lake in northwestern Alberta, and a team from the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum and the Royal Tyrrell Museum are working together to excavate and remove the fossil.
Edmonton Journal; Oct. 4
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.