Friday, April 11, 2014

Rockies Today, April 11

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana FWP Commission gives tentative OK to elk plan
Over the objections of several groups, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission voted 3-2 to approve a plan proposed by Paradise Valley landowners to allow later elk hunts and additional fencing to keep elk off their lands as the state now turns its attention to elk in its fight to keep brucellosis out of the state.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; April 11

Yellowstone NP mulls restart of bison-quarantine program
At the meeting Thursday of the Interagency Bison Management Plan partners, a Yellowstone Park official said the park is contemplating restarting its bison quarantine program in the interim as the park and the state of Montana work on updating the Interagency Bison Management Plan put in place in 2000.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; April 11

USDA official: Montana watershed project a learning experience
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Arthur “Butch” Blazer was in Helena on Thursday, where he told officials of Montana's Capital City, Lewis and Clark County, state and the Helena National Forest that Washington, D.C. would be watching the restoration work done on the Ten Mile Creek watershed to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area that provides Helena with 80 percent of its water as the project could be used as a template for future projects.
Helena Independent Record; April 11

Louisiana company gears up to open Montana detention facility
The Two Rivers Detentions Facility in Hardin has set empty since being built with $27 million in bond money from Two Rivers Authority, the tax-funded economic development agency for the Montana city, but this week, a Louisiana-based corrections company said it plans to open a therapeutic treatment center for Bureau of Indian Affairs inmates in the facility, with a job fair planned April 16 and a planned opening for May 15.
Billings Gazette; April 11

Montana U.S. senators among 11 Democrats pushing for Keystone XL
Both Montana U.S. Sens. John Walsh and Jon Tester were among the 11 Democratic senators who urged President Obama on Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through Montana on its way from Alberta to a hub in Cushing, Okla., which would provide a path for oil from the province to reach refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); April 11

BLM to work with Iron County to gather horses in Utah
After a fractious start, Iron County and the Bureau of Land Management agreed to work together to gather some of the 1,200 horses roaming in the Utah county, by building a corral on private land and baiting it with water to capture some of the feral and astray horses that have joined wild herds.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 11

More oil deposits found in Utah national monument
After hikers discovered oil in the Little Valley Wash in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, Bureau of Land Management agents explored areas adjacent to that wash and discovered oil in Pet Hollow, Horse Spring Canyon, Canaan Wash and Bear Hollow, which spokesman Larry Crutchfield said appears to be deliberately covered by sand and gravel consistent with remediation procedures dating back to the 1970s.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 11

USFWS extends comment deadline on western cuckoo protection
Dams and other development has affected 90 percent of the Western habitat of the yellow-billed cuckoo, and groups have been pushing for the species protection since 1986, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declaring in 2001 that protection was "warranted but precluded" by other priorities, and the agency is taking public comment through April 25 on a proposal to declare areas of critical habitat for the bird.
Boulder Daily Camera (Denver Post); April 11

Companies invest $26M in Montana-based Rivertop Renewables
Missoula-based Rivertop Renewables, which uses natural plant sugars to make chemicals such as detergents and corrosion inhibitors, announced it had received $26 million from investors, including Cargill Inc. and Minnesota-based First Green Partners, to allow it to hire 20 more employees in Montana to move production to a commercial scale.
Missoulian; April 11

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.

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