District judge dismisses Montana's lawsuit against online travel companies
Montana Department of Revenue Director Mike Kadas said he's considering an appeal of a district court decision that rejected the state's claim against 10 online travel companies that they are not paying their fair share of taxes on hotels and car rentals.
Flathead Beacon (AP); March 18
Montana board to vote on population-based Yellowstone bison plan
The Montana Board of Livestock will vote today on a plan that will allow Yellowstone bison more room to roam in the Big Sky State whenever the number of bison in the park falls below 3,300, but more access would not be granted when the bison number 4,000 or more.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); March 17
Idaho, Oregon lawmakers pitch new proposal on funding wildfire fights
At an event Monday at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell met with Idaho U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Oregon U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to discuss their bipartisan bill that would tap into federal natural disaster funds to fight large wildfires, with Idaho's U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador sponsoring a companion bill in the U.S. House.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); March 18
Interior secretary seeks invite from Idaho on Boulder-White Clouds plan
While visiting Stanley on Monday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said she'd welcome an opportunity to discuss the proposal to designate the Boulder-White Clouds area as a national monument, an invite that's more likely to come from local officials rather than the state's federal delegation of lawmakers given that all four have said they would oppose President Barack Obama's use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create the national monument.
Idaho Statesman; March 17
USFS's review could extend life of Utah's oldest coal mine
The U.S. Forest Service issued a favorable environmental assessment of a proposed coal lease on Utah's Wasatch Plateau that could keep the Sufco mine, which has been in operation since 1941, continuing on for an additional nine years.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 18
Groups file lawsuit challenging proposed copper mine in Montana
On Monday, Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthworks filed a lawsuit challenging the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's environmental assessment of the Black Butte Copper Project near Sheep Creek, a tributary of the Smith, proposed by British Columbia-based Tintina Alaska Exploration Inc.
Helena Independent Record; March 18
BLM to host open houses in Utah on Wyoming-to-Utah power line project
The Gateway South transmission line project is a 412-mile-long line proposed by Rocky Mountain Power to move electricity from the Aeolus substation in southeastern Wyoming to Rocky Mountain Power's new Clover substation in Utah's Juab County, and the Bureau of Land Management is hosting three open houses on the project in Utah this week, with Tuesday's set in Price, Wednesday's in Mount Pleasant, and Thursday in Nelphi.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 18
Groups challenge Idaho's 'ag-gag' bill in federal court
Nearly a dozen groups, a handful of individuals and one publication have joined together to file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new law in Idaho that prohibits the video or audio recording of agricultural operations without permission.
Idaho Statesman; March 18
Wyoming county releases draft plan for Snake River management
Teton County commissioned Confluence Research & Consulting to develop management alternatives for the 36 miles of the Snake River that passes through the Wyoming county as a prerequisite for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to transfer some of the 2,000 acres it owns along the Snake River to the county.
Jackson Hole Daily; March 18
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.