Monday, June 1, 2015

Rockies Today, June 1

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

TransCanada inks pipeline agreements with 3 B.C. First Nations

On June 1, TransCanada officials announced that they had reached agreements with the Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation and Yekooche First Nation to allow its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project to pass through their lands in northeastern British Columbia.
Business; May 30

Wyoming, Colorado seek injunction on BLM's hydraulic fracturing rules

Last Friday, Wyoming and Colorado filed an action in federal court in Wyoming seeking an order putting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's regulation of hydraulic fracturing on hold.
Durango Herald (AP); June 1

Nevada road fight emblematic in federal-state control issue

On July 4, 2000, hundreds of protesters, using donated shovels, gathered on a remote road near Jarbidge to remove a boulder place on the Nevada track by the U.S. Forest Service to close the road, and control of the road has been in contention since that time, with the latest round of litigation involving Nevada's Elko County and the U.S. Forest Service on one side and two environmental groups on the other.
Twin Falls Times-News; May 30

Western states join lawsuit over Utah's rules on prairie dogs

After a federal judge sided with private property owners in southern Utah over removal of federally endangered prairie dogs, the federal government appealed the decision, and last week, the Utah Attorney General filed a friend-of-court brief that sided with the property owners in the appeal, with attorneys general from eight other states joining the Beehive State: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Durango Herald (AP); June 1

Bighorn sheep herd in Montana again shows sign of pneumonia

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Bitterroot-based biologist Rebecca Mowry reported that an aerial survey done last week indicated somewhere between a fourth and a third of the bighorn sheep in the East Fork of the Bitterroot appear to be suffering from pneumonia and a ram euthanized in the area was dying of the disease, which caused a die-off in the herd in 2009.
Missoulian; May 29

Closing of 9 Safeway stores ripples through Metro Denver's retail centers

Retailers that lease space in shopping centers with grocery store anchors pay a premium for their space, and the announced closure of nine Safeway stores on June 13 in the Denver metro area that served as anchors is expected to resonate through the retail rental market in the Colorado city.
Denver Post; June 1

BLM puts closure of Idaho hot springs on hold

After considerable public outcry and a formal appeal of the Bureau of Land Management's decision to close Skinny Dipper Hot Springs in Idaho due to public health and safety concerns, Tate Fischer, manager of the Bureau’s local field office, said he has put the decision on hold, with the earliest possible closure of the area to public use pushed back to 2016.
Idaho Statesman; May 30

Idaho school district buys guns, trains staff, post signs

The Garden Valley School District is in a remote area where law enforcement response times can be up to 45 minutes, so the Idaho district hired a safety consultant, and based upon recommendations, trained five staff members to use guns, bought guns and safes for them, and plans to post signs around the school that the schools are protected by staffers with guns who aren't afraid to use them.
Idaho Statesman (Idaho Education News); May 30

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.

Why sand has become a black market commodity (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police said they received their “strongest investigative lead” in the case of 80 frozen pizzas stolen from a warehouse in Gambell, Alaska, when John Koozaata, 29, and Lewis Oozeva, 21, called the police station and tried to sell the pizzas to on-duty officers. (Anchorage’s Alaska Dispatch)

Police who found a 43-year-old man covered with blood in Suffern, N.Y., said the victim said his son stabbed him several times in the head with a screwdriver during an argument. After putting out a description of suspect Jared Hudson, 23, officers received a call from police headquarters that a man fitting Hudson’s description had just been spotted running into the station to use the bathroom. He was promptly arrested. (New York’s The Journal News)

Better World Without People
Nevada granted permission for Daimler to test self-driving trucks on public roads. Daimler’s Wolfgang Bernhard said autonomous trucks were likely to be on the road before driverless cars because they operate “in a less complicated traffic environment” on open highways, whereas passenger cars spend more time in congested urban settings. The 18-wheelers still need human drivers to perform more challenging off-highway maneuvers, such as backing into loading docks. Bernhard said he expects other states to join Nevada, resulting in a regulatory framework and providing an incentive to truck operators, who would save on fuel and wages. “These guys have to make money,” he pointed out. (Reuters)

Google Inc. disclosed that 11 of its driverless vehicles have been involved in minor accidents on California roads since testing began six years ago. The incidents involved “light damage, no injuries,” Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car project, explained. “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident.” (Associated Press)

Google announced that its self-driving cars are capable of interpreting the hand signals of bicyclists. A patent issued to the company says its system uses a combination of sensors to determine when a bicycle is present and to track arm angles indicating a turn. (The Washington Post)

Sons of Beaches
The world is running low on sand, a finite resource that’s the material basis of glass and concrete. Both are vital to construction, the prime user of sand. Sand is also used in detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, solar panels and silicon chips. Demand is causing riverbeds and beaches worldwide to be stripped bare to provide the more than 40 billion tons of sand that people consume every year. That figure is increasing due to the worldwide construction boom, particularly in the Arab world, whose abundant desert sand is unsuitable for concrete. As a result, criminal gangs in some 70 countries are dredging up tons of sand to sell on the black market. In India, for example, “sand mafias” have killed hundreds of people, including police officers and government officials, to capitalize on demand for sand. “The fundamental problem is the massive use of cement-based construction,” said Ritwick Dutta, an Indian environmental lawyer. “That’s why the sand mafia has become so huge.” (Wired)

Continue reading »

Friday, May 29, 2015

Rockies Today, May 29

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Interior Department releases conservation plans for sage grouse lands

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary Sally Jewell announced that nearly 100 management plans for Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands in 10 states designed to protect and conserve sage grouse habitat had been finalized, opening a 60-day comment period on the plans.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 28

Wyoming's sage grouse efforts wins Interior Secretary Jewell's praise

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell traveled to Wyoming for Thursday's announcement on the federal government's land management plans in 10 Western states, including Wyoming, to protect sage grouse where she said, "From the get-go, this state has understood that the healthy sagebrush ecosystem and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand."
Twin Falls Times-News (AP); May 29

Idaho releases draft management plan for Columbian sharp-tailed grouse

There are an estimated 51,000 Columbian sharp-tailed grouse left in the United States, with 30,000 of those in southeastern Idaho, and the Idaho Fish and Game released its draft plan to manage the species on Thursday, and will take public comment on the plan through June 24. The plan drew immediate criticism from a local conservation group because it does too little to protect habitat and it does not end hunting the birds, with annual takes ranging between 3,500 to 6,900 birds since 2000.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); May 29

Teck Resources to suspend operations at 6 Canadian coal mines
The price for metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, has dropped 70 percent over the past four years, and to deal with reduced demand and an increasing supply of the coal on the international market, Teck Resources officials said its five mines in British Columbia and its Alberta mine will each suspend operations for three weeks over the summer months of June, July and August.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 28

Scientists: U. of Alberta study of oilsands heavy metal contamination flawed

A study done by University of Alberta researcher William Shotyk in 2014 contradicts the findings of a groundbreaking study done by the same university's international water expert David Schindler and colleague Erin Kelly that found snow samples taken 12.5 miles from oilsands plants had heavy concentrations of 13 heavy metals, including cadmium, copper, mercury, lead, far higher than naturally occurring levels, and that samples taken 31 miles from the plants had lower levels, but a review of Shotyk's study done by University of Ottawa toxicologist Jules Blais and Alberta water expert William Donahue said that the 2014 study was fundamentally flawed because it was based on moss samples taken from areas 12.5 miles from operating oilsands plants.
Calgary Herald (Edmonton Journal); May 29

Utah to auction off 6 parcels of state lands June 3

Three of the six parcels of School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration lands to be sold at auction on June 3 are three 80-acre parcels in Garfield County with "spectacular views" of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 29

Bridger-Teton NF approves suite of trails near W. Wyoming community

Four of the five trail projects near Jackson got the go ahead from Bridger-Teton National Forest officials Thursday, including the 5.5-mile Skyline Trail on high ridge above the Wyoming community.
Jackson Hole News and Guide; May 29

CEOs of Idaho's publicly traded companies got big raises last year
In 2014, there were just seven publicly traded companies based in Idaho, and CEOs of those companies received a median raise of 37 percent from 2013 to 2014, while Idaho workers' median raise was 1.7 percent. Mark Durcan of Micron Technology led the seven CEOs with $11.4 million; Thomas Carlile of Boise Cascade Co. earned nearly $5.7 million; Phillips S. Baker Jr., Hecla Mining Co., $5.4 million; Darrel T. Anderson, IdaCorp, $2.1 million; Dennis Gilles, U.S. Geothermal, $825,284; Jeffrey R. Feeler, U.S. Ecology Inc., $787,092; and Paul Dircksen, Timberline Resources, $288,934.
Idaho Statesman; May 29

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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rockies Today, May 28

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Group begins campaign to designate Montana rivers wild and scenic

There are currently 370 miles of rivers in Montana protected under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers program, and Healthy Rivers Montana plans to begin holding meetings around the state to gauge public interest in protecting a stretch of Rock Creek; the North Fork of the Blackfoot River and Monture Creek in the Blackfoot drainage; Cache Creek, Straight Creek and the west and north forks of Fish Creek in the Great Burn; and 8 miles of the Upper Swan River with such a designation. The first meeting will be held June 2 at the Seeley Lake Community Hall and the second on June 3 at the Missoula Holiday Inn Downtown. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m.
Missoula Independent; May 28

Idaho U.S. Rep. Labrador needs to support wilderness measure

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act, which is probably the last iteration of Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's decade-long effort to protect the Boulder-White Cloud mountains, has the support of both Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch and Rick Johnson of the Idaho Conservation League, which should be evidence enough of its collaborative nature, and Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador should get behind this bill.
Idaho Statesman; May 28

Clean Water Act changes draw cheers, jeers in Utah

On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized changes to the Clean Water Act designed to clarify exactly what waters the federal act applies to after two conflicting Supreme Court opinions were issued, and the changes drew cheers from conservation groups, but conservative groups protested the changes calling them federal overreach.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 28

Wyoming governor gets recommendations from sage grouse team

On Wednesday, the day before Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will join Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to make an announcement about sage grouse conservation, the state's Sage Grouse Implementation Team submitted several recommendations about revisions to the state's conservation plan for the species.; May 28

Idaho governor signs executive order on sage grouse conservation plan

On Wednesday, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed an executive order requiring state agencies adopt the state's Sage-Grouse Management Plan.
Idaho Statesman (AP); May 28

Report provides details of 124 train derailments in B.C. in 2014

Federal reports indicate that there were 124 train derailments in British Columbia in 2014, up from the 110 that occurred in 2013, and the derailments spilled a wide range of cargo, from the relatively innocuous, like lumber and aluminum, to the hazardous, including hydrochloric acid, sodium chlorate, sodium hydroxide, ethanol, crude oil, glycol and diesel fuel.
Vancouver Sun; May 28

Colorado governor says pressure for fracking initiative easing

At an event in Denver hosted by the oil and gas industry, Gov. John Hickenlooper said that he believed the public's desire for a statewide initiative on limiting hydraulic fracturing operation had waned, due in part to Colorado's work on regulating those operations, but Sam Schabacker, spokesman for Food and Water Watch, one of the groups that is still contemplating such an initiative, called the governor's statement "hot air."
Durango Herald; May 28

San Juan County commissioners want Utah to help with Lyman's legal bills

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman incurred considerable legal bills fighting the criminal charges arising out of his organization of the 2014 off-highway vehicle ride into Utah's Recapture Canyon to protest the Bureau of Land Management's closure of that canyon to motorized vehicles, and at the May 19 meeting of the San Juan County Commission, Lyman's two colleagues passed a resolution approving a request that the Utah Association of Counties (UAC) and Kanab Republican Rep. Mike Noel, request money from the state's Constitutional Defense Council (CDC) to aid in Lyman's appeal.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 28

Colorado-based Veterans to Farmers group builds on success

Seven years ago, Marine veteran Buck Adams launched the nonprofit Veterans to Farmers group in Colorado to help veterans develop skills needed to start their own business, and the group has expanded its operations in Colorado, and now the plan is to open an agro-park on 50 acres in the Denver metro area that would ultimately provide 300 veterans with jobs.
Denver Post; May 28

Report criticizes B.C.'s progress in reducing wildfire risk

A new report found that little progress has been made in the five years since the Forest Practices Board urged the British Columbia government and municipal governments within the province to support efforts to remove fuels in wildland-urban interface areas to reduce wildfire risk to communities, and called the $67 million spent by the province on such efforts since 2004, a "drop in the bucket."
Vancouver Sun; May 28

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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rockies Today, May 27

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Arizona cotton fields in Sonoran Desert a drain on the Colorado River

ProPublica kicks off its five-part series on "Killing the Colorado", about the Colorado River water crisis, with an examination of federal funding for Arizona's cotton farmers that keep draining away water resources for a thirsty crop that is no longer in much demand.; May 27

Judge gives BLM 3 years to prove Utah OHV plan doesn't harm sites

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball issued an order in a lawsuit filed challenging the travel management component of the Bureau of Land Management's Richfield Resource Management Plan that allows a "spiderweb" of off-highway vehicle routes on the 2.1 million acres of land in Sevier, Garfield, Wayne and Piute counties that gives the BLM three years to prove that the travel plan does not threaten wildlife or archaeological sites.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 27

Alberta's current wildfire situation, by the numbers

Thirty-three new wildfires were reported in Alberta on Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 62 fires, 14 of which are burning out of control, down six from the 20 that were considered out of control Tuesday evening.
Calgary Herald (Edmonton Journal); May 27

B.C. First Nation's report questions KinderMorgan's pipeline assessment

An environmental assessment of Kinder Morgan Canada's $5.4-billion oilsands pipeline expansion done by the 570-member Tsleil-Waututh First Nation of North Vancouver said that KinderMorgan has underestimated the threat major and minor oil spills in Burrard Inlet pose to the environment and public health, and the authors of the report urge the chief and members of the First Nation to oppose the project in British Columbia.
Vancouver Sun; May 27

Bear by bear, grizzly population in NW Montana on the rise

The grizzly bear population in the Cabinet-Yaak mountains of northwest Montana is small, at about 50 bears, and the loss of a single bear can set back recovery efforts considerably, but this year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the population is edging into positive territory, with two female bears relocated there last year, staying put, and a male and female bear set to be put there later this year.
Missoulian; May 27

USFS names Leanne Marten as Northern Region forester

Last Friday, U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell, announced that Leanne Marten, a University of Idaho graduate who has spent 20 years with the agency, will replace Faye Krueger as the new regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Region.
Missoulian; May 23

Grand Teton NP restores sagebrush, native grasses to parklands

On a parcel-by-parcel basis, Grand Teton National Park is working to restore native grasses and sagebrush to areas of the park in Wyoming that were planted to hay crops decades ago.
Jackson Hole News and Guide; May 27

Boise's Trailhead brings entrepreneurs together to pave path to success

The Trailhead is a nonprofit based in Downtown Boise that provides space to entrepreneurs working to get their technology businesses funded and developed, and the Trailhead was able to get Gordon Jones, who started Harvard University's Harvard Innovation Lab and who was recently hired away by Boise State University, to serve on its board with a plan to start a for-pay coding school in the basement of its building in Idaho's capital city. A sidebar to this story notes Micron Technology's $250,000 grant to the Trailhead.
Idaho Statesman; May 27

Startups feed the need for local food delivery in Denver

Denver is a hotspot for new food delivery services, with half a dozen of the companies opening their doors in the Colorado city in the past year, with Austin, Texas-based Favor the latest to enter the scene.
Denver Post; May 27

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.

Dolack Gallery closing after 22 years

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:10 AM

As David Letterman ended his two-decade run as the host of “Late Show” on CBS last week, Missoula-based artist Monte Dolack was watching—and preparing for a shift in his own career. He plans on closing his popular Front Street gallery in the beginning of July and will host its last First Friday reception next week.

Artist Monte Dolack plans to close his Front Street gallery, but will continue to paint new works and operate an online store. - CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • Cathrine L. Walters
  • Artist Monte Dolack plans to close his Front Street gallery, but will continue to paint new works and operate an online store.

“It’s funny, the ‘Late Show’ started within a month or two of when we opened our gallery,” Dolack says. “So it’s been interesting. You know how it is, you have mixed emotions, but when you make a change, things open up and it can be really great.”

Since the 1970s, Dolack has established himself as one of the West’s most renowned artists, known for vibrantly hued portrayals of Montana landscapes and wildlife. He and his wife, Mary Beth Percival, have showcased their works at the Front Street location since 1993.

Dolack, 65, emphasizes that he’s not retiring, but stepping back from a brick-and-mortar retail presence to focus on more time to paint and spend with family. He’ll continue running an online store and offering private viewings in the basement offices of the building, but the street-level gallery is already set to be leased by a new fabric shop.

Reflecting on the last 22 years, Dolack remembers when downtown was a considerably more run-down neighborhood. “But there was cheap space,” he says. He rented the Top Hat’s second floor for his studio, and artists like Jay Rummel and Rudy Autio would sometimes stop by. It was a “wonderful art deco space,” he says, but the secondhand smoke from the bar below started to bother him. One day, he looked across the street and saw that the Front Street building was for sale.

After remodeling the small building, Dolack and Percival collaborated with other downtown galleries to help establish the First Friday art walk. In the years since, Dolack estimates they’ve hosted hundreds of First Friday receptions and watched as Missoula’s downtown has grown into a flourishing arts scene. It’s much easier these days to be a Missoula-based artist and still establish a national reputation, he says, recalling the pre-Internet days of mailing sketches to clients in Los Angeles and New York. “I remember wishing the technology existed that could send an image instantly somehow,” he says.

Tom Bensen, executive director with the Missoula Cultural Council, says the Dolack Gallery will be missed. “He’s an iconic figure in terms of the art world here in Missoula,” he says. “He’s been successful as an artist and a great ambassador for the arts.”

The Dolack Gallery’s final First Friday reception is June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Kate Whittle

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Keith Moon played drums for the rock band the Who. He was once voted the second-greatest drummer in history. But his erratic behavior, often provoked by drugs or alcohol, sometimes interfered with his abilities. In 1973, the Who was doing a live concert near San Francisco when the horse tranquilizer that Moon had taken earlier caused him to pass out. The band appealed to the audience for help. "Can anybody play the drums?" asked guitarist Pete Townshend. "I mean somebody good?" A 19-year-old amateur drummer named Scot Halpin volunteered. He played well enough to finish the show. I suspect that sometime soon, Aries, you may also get an unexpected opportunity to play the role of a substitute. Be ready!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The weta is a very large insect whose habitat is New Zealand. It looks like a robotic grasshopper, with giant black eyes on a long red face, enlarged hind legs bearing spikes, and floppy, oversized antennae. The native Maori people call it "the god of the ugly things." Please note that this is a term of respect. The weta's title is not "the most monstrous of the ugly things," or "the worst" or "the scariest" or "the most worthless of the ugly things." Rather, the Maori say it's the god—the highest, the best, the most glorious. I suspect that in the coming days, Taurus, you will have a close encounter with your own version of a "god of ugly things." Doesn't it deserve your love and welcome?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You have successfully made the transition from brooding caterpillar to social butterfly. Soon you will be in your full, fluttery glory, never lingering too long with one thought, one friend, or one identity. Some heavy-duty, level-headed stalwarts might wish you would be more earthy and anchored, but I don't share their concern. At least for now, having a long attention span is overrated. You have entered the fidgety, inquisitive part of your cycle, when flitting and flirting and flickering make perfect sense.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Only one fear is worthy of you. Only one fear is real enough and important enough to awaken and activate the numb part of your intelligence. So for now, I suggest that you retire all lesser fears. Stuff them in a garbage bag and hide them in a closet. Then put on your brave champion face, gather the allies and resources you need, and go forth into glorious battle. Wrestle with your one fear. Reason with it. If necessary, use guile and trickery to gain an advantage. Call on divine inspiration and be a wickedly good truth-teller. And this is crucial: Use your fear to awaken and activate the numb part of your intelligence.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the coming nights, try to see your shadow as it's cast on the ground by the moon. Not by the sun, mind you. Look for the shadow that's made by the light of the moon. It might sound farfetched, but I suspect this experience will have a potent impact on your subconscious mind. It may jostle loose secrets that you have been hiding from yourself. I bet it will give you access to emotions and intuitions you have been repressing. It could also help you realize that some of the deep, dark stuff you wrestle with is not bad and scary, but rather fertile and fascinating.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The ancient Greek statesman Demosthenes was regarded as a supremely skilled orator. His speeches were so powerful that he was compared to a "blazing thunderbolt." And yet as a youngster he spoke awkwardly. His voice was weak and his enunciation weird. To transform himself, he took drastic measures. He put pebbles in his mouth to force himself to formulate his words with great care. He recited poems as he ran up and down hills. At the beach, he learned to outshout the pounding surf. Take inspiration from him, Virgo. Now would be an excellent time for you to plan and launch strenuous efforts that will enable you to eventually accomplish one of your long-range goals.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happiest Hour: Glacier Ginger Brew

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 4:05 PM

What you’re drinking: A spicy and sweet, organic, nonalcoholic ginger beer made with Peruvian ginger, water, Madagascar vanilla, sugar and lemon. The logo featuring a donkey reads: “Careful, she kicks!” And it’s true.

Where it came from: Glacier Ginger Brew is the brainchild of two friends, Lesley Thompson and Jen Cronin, whose love for Moscow Mules led them to make their own mixer for the popular drink. They hand-peel and juice their ingredients to make the beer, which means each batch is a little different.

Where you’re getting it: A few months ago, Missoula’s Liquid Planet set up a Glacier Ginger Brew tap inside its Higgins Avenue store where customers can fill growlers full of the heavenly drink. A 64 oz. growler is $32.99 and refills are $22.99. A 32 oz. growler is $18.99 and refills are $11.99. You can also get a 24 oz. cup to go for $5.50 and a 16 oz. cup to go for $4.50.

How to mix it: At least three employees at Liquid Planet attest to Glacier Ginger Brew being the best they’ve ever tasted. That means it’s pretty damn good on its own. But if you want to spike it, there’s no better drink than the Moscow Mule: add 2 oz. of high quality vodka and the juice of half a fresh lime to 3 oz. of ginger beer and you’re golden.

Where to find it: At Liquid Planet, 223 N. Higgins Ave. Visit Glacier Ginger Brew’s Facebook page for more info.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

Rockies Today, May 26

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Report says British Columbia's LNG export plan exceeds resources

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report on Monday that said British Columbia's plans for five liquefied natural gas export terminals would use four times the province's proven natural gas reserves, and that the plan would turn the province into a net importer of energy within a decade.
Vancouver Sun; May 26

AP: Petroleum production up, pipeline accidents down in Colorado

While oil production has surged above the national average in Colorado, the number of spills in the Centennial State has fallen, as an Associated Press analysis of data gathered by the U.S. Energy Administration indicates that, since 2009, the amount of oil produced in the United States has increased 62 percent, and that, nationally, there's been a nearly identical increase in "significant accidents" involving oil and petroleum pipelines, but in Colorado, where oil production has increased 188 percent since 2009, only three accidents have occurred.
Denver Post; May 26

Raging wildfire shuts down oilsands operations in Alberta

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. both shut down production this weekend at their oilsands operations on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in northeastern Alberta due to an out-of-control wildfire.
Calgary Herald; May 26

Low oil prices stall pipeline projects to move Utah's waxy crude

The oil in Utah's Uinta Basin is bound in wax, which makes moving the crude from field to refinery problematic as the crude must be kept warm to maintain its fluid state, and recently three separate pipeline projects were on the drawing board, but the recent drop in oil prices has put those projects on hold as only a handful of the more than two dozen drilling rigs in the area are still operating.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 26

Federal judge issues warrant for Idaho nuclear project developer

Don Gillespie, who is facing federal charges stemming from his proposed development of a nuclear power plant in southwest Idaho and the sale of stock to fund that project, missed a couple of court hearings last week, and U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Twin Falls Times-News (Idaho Statesman); May 26

Utah Prison Relocation panel's picks of Tooele County sites angers locals

When the Utah Prison Relocation Commission first expressed interest in moving the prison out of Draper to a site in Tooele County, many legislators—and local officials—assumed the prison would be built far out in the desert, but the sites under consideration are one near a major distribution center for Wal-Mart and another near the Miller Motorsports Park, neither of which appeal to local leaders and residents, who are concerned about how the prison will affect scant water resources and build an image of the county as the place to send projects not wanted elsewhere in Utah.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 26

Montana FWP proposes changes to its 20-year-old mountain lion plan

A lot has changed in Montana since the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks developed its management plan for mountain lions, including the number of the big cats that roam the state, an increase in folks who hunt the lions and more lions following deer into urban areas, so the state is working on an update of its management plan.
Missoulian; May 25

Comments sought for restored wetlands area in Montana

As part of its settlement with Montana and the federal government for mining damage done over a century, Atlantic Richfield Co. had to restore at least 400 acres of wetlands near Anaconda. Arco purchased a 3,000-acre ranch near the Montana community a decade ago, and restored 2,400 acres of wetlands on that property and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently taking public comment on a management plan for that area.
Missoulian; May 25

Montana community eyes federal parcel for expansion

West Yellowstone is landlocked by Yellowstone National Park and Gallatin National Forest completely surrounding the small Montana community, which is contemplating spending $1.4 million to buy 80 acres of Gallatin National Forest lands to give the town room to grow.
Idaho Statesman (Billings Gazette); May 25

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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

How a mango can get you a new apartment in Venezuela (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Moments after robbing a tourist of her gold chain on a street in Miami Beach, Fla., the gunman returned to the scene in his Mercedes and confronted the victim about the poor quality of the jewelry, complaining it was fake. The victim flagged down police and pointed out Daniel Sion Palmer, 26. “That was a brazen move,” Det. Ernesto Rodriguez said, “and because of that, he was able to be apprehended.” (Miami’s WTVJ-TV)

The suspect fled after fatally shooting a man outside a convenience store in Fairfield, Ala., but his car broke down. He abandoned the vehicle, which police found and towed to the impound lot. The next day, Willie Lee Brown, 29, showed up at the police station to retrieve his car. Police Chief Leon Davis said that Brown, who was wearing the same clothes as the suspect in surveillance photos, was immediately recognized and arrested. (

Fruitful Gesture
Hoping for a new home in Venezuela’s Anzoategui state, Marleni Olivo, 54, wrote her name and phone number on a mango and threw it at visiting President Nicolas Maduro, hitting him in the head. Maduro kept the mango and later announced that he had approved a new apartment for Olivo. “Tomorrow, no later than the day after tomorrow, we will give it to you,” he promised. Olivo later explained that she wanted to write her request on a note but lacked paper: “What I had was a mango that I was about to eat because I was hungry.” (CNN)

Do the Math
Claiming racial bias in undergraduate admissions, a coalition of Asian-American groups filed a federal discrimination complaint against Harvard University. They pointed out that Asian Americans represent 5.6 percent of the U.S. population but constitute only 21 percent of Harvard’s incoming freshman class (up from 17.7 in 2006). (Bloomberg News)

Mind Like an Ostrich
After Marsha Yumi Perry, 36, struck a 5-year-old boy with her pickup truck in Washougal, Ore., she left the injured victim at the scene and then hid from police by crawling into a shallow hole and covering herself with dirt. A police dog tracking her scent indicated her location, and the handler warned that he was about to unleash the dog. “The ground moved, and she sat up,” police Sgt. Geoff Reijonen said. (Portland’s The Oregonian)

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