Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rockies Today, May 21

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

House bill paints sage grouse as major military disruptor

Republican House members' latest effort to fend off federal protection of sage grouse appears in the $612 billion military response bill with an amendment that says protection of the sage grouse would put military training in peril, although Mark E. Wright, a Defense
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 Department spokesman, said management of the species has not "resulted in unacceptable limits on our military readiness activities."

New York Times; May 21

Utah energy officials question cost analysis of EPA's Clean Energy Plan

Laura Nelson, director of the Utah Office of Energy Development, told members of the Legislature's Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee that the cost analysis of the federal Clean Energy Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, doesn't ring true in Utah, where consumers get most of their electricity from coal-fired power plants.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 21

U.S. 'shale-ionaires' feel the pain of dropping oil prices

Private landowners who leased their mineral rights to oil companies enjoyed the boom shale oil brought to their bottom lines, but in the new lower priced environment, their royalty checks are increasingly being replaced by bankruptcy notices.
Bloomberg Business; May 20

Alberta again leads Canada in new filings for unemployment benefits

For the third consecutive month, Alberta led Canadian provinces in new unemployment benefit filings, as lower oil and gas prices continue to exact a toll on the province's economy.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 21

Cheap gasoline not the economic driver for U.S. it was predicted to be

When oil prices fell, taking gasoline prices down with them, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other economic experts expected an economic uplift as U.S. consumers had more money to spend, but current conditions indicate that cheap gas and spending consumers aren't the economic drivers experts expected, but rather the energy industry and its corporate spending were—and the decline of the industry and its spending are now affecting the U.S. economy.
Calgary Herald (AP); May 21

Avista Corp., 26 agencies work to restore fish population in Montana river

The Cabinet-Gorge Dam on the Idaho-Montana border obstructs the passage of bull trout and cutthroat trout into the Lower Clark Fork River in Montana, but those two species of fish get a truck ride around the dam, thanks to a $10-million program funded by Avista Corp. and some 26 federal, state, local and private groups.
Missoulian; May 20

Bison advocates question reassignment of Montana FWP biologist

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said the decision to move Arnie Dood, a Bozeman-based native species biologist who has worked extensively on the state's bison management plan, to a different, lower-paid position to work on brucellosis, was the result of a 2013 legislative mandate to cut state agencies' budgets by 4 percent. Dood has not indicated if he will accept the position.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; May 20

Utah prison relocation panel hears old refrain at Salt Lake City meeting

Despite admonitions from Brad Wilson, a state legislator who co-chairs the Utah Prison Relocation Committee, that the committee would not revisit the question of leaving the prison in Draper at Wednesday's meeting of the Committee in Salt Lake City, that was the topic utmost on the minds of the 200 or so attendees.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 20

Colorado moves to the forefront in wildfire prediction technology

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill on Wednesday that provides $600,000 in funding to use technology developed over the past two decades by researchers led by the Boulder-based National Center for Atmospheric Research that could give Colorado wildfire responders hours of advance notice about fire behavior driven by atmospheric conditions.
Durango Herald; May 21

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 20, 2015

Rockies Today, May 20

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6:13 PM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Interior Dept. releases new wildfire plan to save sage grouse

On Tuesday, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was in Idaho, where she rolled out the federal government's 82-page plan to protect sage grouse habitat from wildfire that focuses primarily on lands in the Great Basin in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.
Flathead Beacon (AP); May 20

Review the Interior Department's Final Rangeland Fire Strategy

This link will allow you to download a pdf of the Final Report of the Interior Department's "Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy," released Tuesday, May 19.
U.S. Department of Interior; May 20

Federal wildfire plan latest tool in effort to stave off sage grouse listing

In advance of the Sept. 30 court-ordered deadline for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a decision on protection of sage grouse, the federal government and 11 western states continue to put policies in place to keep the species off the endangered species list, the latest of which was the plan released Tuesday by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to protect sage grouse habitat from wildfires.
Idaho Statesman; May 20

New coalition formed to counter extreme groups' stance in land fights

The armed standoff at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch last year and this year's confrontation at the Sugar Pine Mine in Oregon were cited by representatives of groups who have banded together to form the Ballots Not Bullets Coalition to counter such actions. Among the groups forming the BNBC are the Colorado-based Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, WildEarth Guardian, Alliance for a Better Utah and Center for Biological Diversity.
Durango Herald; May 20

Industry says proposed gas plant won't harm Wyoming area

Representatives of the Denver firm QEP Resources, which wants to build a natural gas processing plant to produce helium, methane and carbon dioxide planned in the Dry Piney Creek drainage of the Wyoming Range, said that the plant, as well as the wells and other infrastructure needed for it, present no threat to Colorado River cutthroat trout, as the species long ago disappeared from the heavily drilled area of Wyoming.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; May 20


British Columbia to continue killing wolves to save caribou herds

Documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request indicate that British Columbia plans to continue a controversial wolf cull launched last winter to protect dwindling caribou herds in the South Peace region of the province.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 20

Utah refinery agrees to clean up predecessor's contamination

All five refineries along Interstate 15 near the Salt Lake and Davis county line have had to deal with contamination left behind by their predecessors who operated in a much different regulatory environment, but Big West Oil LLC is the last to come with an agreement with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality on addressing contamination on lands it obtained from Husky Oil, and public comment will be taken through June 16 on the company's proposed settlement with the DEQ.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 20

Idaho congressman confident about wilderness bill this time

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has been working for years to protect the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains as wilderness, and at the Idaho Conservation League’s annual Wild Idaho conference on Sunday, Simpson said he believes the "The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act,” nicknamed SNRA Plus, which is set for a hearing before a Senate subcommittee on Thursday and before the House in June, will be passed this year. Simpson also said that he would actively resist any efforts to add amendments to the measure.
Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley); May 20

BNSF furloughs workers as freight traffic slows

Some of the 2,500 BNSF employees in Montana were among those furloughed by the rail carrier last week as the company adjusted operations to deal with less freight, including coal, metallic ores, grain and oil.
Flathead Beacon; May 20

Public comment period opens for EIS on Montana rail line to coal fields

The federal government released its 23-chapter environmental study of the proposed Tongue River Railroad, a 42-mile spur from existing lines to Montana's Otter Creek coal tracts, and public comment will be taken through June 23 on the proposal that contains 11 alternative paths for the rail line.
Missoulian (Billings Gazette); May 20

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.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 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.
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): James McNeil Whistler was an influential painter in the latter half of the 19th century. He advocated the "art for art's sake" credo, insisting that the best art doesn't need to teach or moralize. As far as he was concerned, its most important purpose was to bring forth "glorious harmony" from chaos. But the immediate reason I'm nominating him to be your patron saint for the coming weeks is the stylized signature he created: an elegant butterfly with a long tail that was actually a stinger. I think you'll thrive by embodying that dual spirit: being graceful, sensitive, and harmonious and yet also feisty, piquant, and provocative. Can you manage that much paradox? I think you can.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Renowned author George Bernard Shaw was secure in his feeling that he did good work. He didn't need the recognition of others to validate his self-worth. The British Prime Minister offered him a knighthood, but he refused it. When he found out he had been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature, he wanted to turn it down but his wife convinced him to accept it. The English government also sought to give him the prestigious Order of Merit, but he rejected it, saying, "I have already conferred this order upon myself." He's your role model for right now, Taurus. Congratulate yourself for your successes, whether or not anyone else does.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Aha!" is your mantra for the coming weeks, Gemini. Keep it on the tip of your tongue, ready to unleash. This always-ready-to-be-surprised-by-inspiration attitude will train you to expect the arrival of wonders and marvels. And that will be an effective way to actually attract wonders and marvels! With "Aha!" as your talisman, all of your wake-up calls will be benevolent, and all of the chaos you encounter—or at least most of it—will be fertile.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Do you chronically indulge in feelings of guilt? Do you berate yourself for the wrong turns and sad mistakes you made in the past? These behaviors may be sneaky ways of avoiding change. How can you summon enough energy to transform your life if you're wallowing in worries and regrets? In presenting the possibility that you might be caught in this trap, I want you to know that I'm not sitting in judgment of you. Not at all. Like you, I'm a Cancerian, and I have periodically gotten bogged down in the very morass I'm warning you against. The bad news is that right now you are especially susceptible to falling under this spell. The good news is that right now you have extra power to break this spell.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the TV comedy-drama Jane the Virgin, the fictional character known as Rogelio de la Vega is a vain but lovable actor who performs in telenovelas. "I'm very easy to dress," he tells the wardrobe supervisor of a new show he'll be working on. "Everything looks good on me. Except for peach. I don't pop in peach." What he means is that his charisma doesn't radiate vividly when he's wearing peach-colored clothes. Now I want to ask you, Leo: What don't you pop in? I'm not simply talking about the color of clothes that enable you to shine, but everything else, too. In the coming weeks, it's crucial that you surround yourself with influences that make you pop.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Are you willing to entertain an outlandish possibility? Here's my vision: You will soon be offered unexpected assistance, either through the machinations of a "guardian angel" or the messy blessings of a shape-shifting spirit. This divine intervention will make it possible for you to demolish a big, bad obstacle you've been trying to find a way around. Even if you have trouble believing in the literal factuality of my prophecy, here's what I suspect: It will at least come true in a metaphorical sense—which is the truest kind of truth of all.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rockies Today, May 19

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 4:03 PM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

EPA's role in marketing Clean Water Act changes under fire

Thomas Reynolds, an associate administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, says the social media campaign and other efforts to spread the word about proposed changes to the Clean Water Act are just methods to educate the public, but critics believe that the agency's actions violated federal lobbying laws.
New York Times; May 19

BLM releases final EIS on Wyoming-to-Nevada transmission line

The Wyoming Bureau of Land Management released the final environmental impact statement on the TransWest Express, a proposed 725-mile transmission line proposed to carry wind-generated power from Wyoming to a substation in Nevada, with ultimate delivery of power to two million homes in that state as well as California and Arizona. A final decision on the project, and the route it will take from Wyoming through Idaho, Utah and Nevada, is expected in September.
Deseret News; May 19

Agencies propose changes to federal Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service released proposed changes to the four-decades old Endangered Species Act, including one that would change the process by which species can be nominated for protection to give states more of a role in the process.
E&E Daily (Greenwire); May 19

Proposed revisions to the Endangered Species Act 
This is a pdf of the proposed changes to the federal Endangered Species Act, which is expected to be published in the Federal Register later this week, opening a 60-day comment period on the changes.
U.S. Department of Interior; May 19

Tribes band together to keep federal protections for Yellowstone grizzlies

Guardians of Our Ancestral Legacy, a coalition of 35 tribes in seven Western states, including all of those in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska, oppose the removal of federal protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the group also charges that Chris Servheen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's grizzly bear recovery coordinator, and state wildlife officials have been dismissive of tribes' concerns about the species.
WyoFile.com (Environment & Energy Daily); May 19

Colorado coyote hunter could face charges if DNA confirms wolf killed

The Colorado hunter who shot what he thought was a coyote on April 29 on federal land near Wolford Mountain Reservoir quickly reported the killing to federal officials, but he may still face federal charges if DNA tests confirm that the animal was a wolf.
Denver Post; May 19

Utah joins states' lawsuit challenging federal rule on hydraulic fracturing

On Monday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced that the Beehive State is joining Wyoming, Colorado and North Dakota in a lawsuit challenging a new federal regulation on hydraulic fracturing.
Deseret News; May 19


Autopsies find second cause for snow geese die-off in Idaho
When an estimated 2,200 snow geese near Mud Lake and Market Lake state wildlife management areas in Idaho were found dead around March 15, a deadly strain of avian flu was suspected, and autopsies conducted on some of the dead geese confirmed that, but others died from zinc phosphide, a rodenticide farmers use on their fields to kill voles and other rodents that damage their crops.
Missoulian; May 19

Crews clean up waxy crude spilled in Utah tanker crash

An estimated 5,000 gallon of crude oil spilled into a dry wash in Utah Saturday, when a tanker truck rolled off a curve and both tanks the truck was pulling ruptured. Crews continued on Monday to clean up the waxy crude, which has to be hauled hot from the thousands of wells in the Uinta Basin, which has not pipelines in place to move the oil.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 19

Wyoming data trespass law focused on grazing on public lands

The conflict between the nonprofit Western Watersheds Project and Wyoming ranchers who graze their livestock on public lands is at the foundation of the new law in Wyoming that criminalizes the collection of data on open lands, and the debate is now focused on whether that law can be used to oppose such data collection on federal lands.
WyoFile.com; May 19

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.

Happiest Hour: Imagine Nation Brewing

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 2:23 PM

Where you’re drinking: It’s been a little over two months since Imagine Nation threw open its doors on West Broadway. Neighborhood denizens and craft beer fanatics alike wasted no time elbowing up to the brewery’s serpentine bar, and the subsequent reviews have been largely positive. Owners Robert Rivers and Fernanda Krum even got in on the Craft Beer Week craze with several music- and culture-based events, solidifying their position in Missoula’s brewing community.
CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • Cathrine L. Walters

What you’re drinking:
You know a brewery has settled in when beers begin disappearing with the seasons. Imagine Nation hit that mark last week when it announced its Unifier Extra Special Brown—a well-balanced ale named for Nelson Mandela—would be departing from the taps until fall. Several staples from the original lineup remain including the light, crisp Merging Waters River Ale. Imagine Nation also recently released a new IPA dubbed the Wild Sublime in honor of conservation pioneer John Muir.

The atmosphere: Rivers and Krum put months of hard work into erasing any trace of the used car shop that previously occupied Imagine Nation’s digs. It paid off. Every wood surface has a warm, weathered look that fits nicely with the book-lined shelves and copper tap piping. There’s always an abundance of free popcorn by the door. The 900-square-foot patio out back has been open for weeks, offering a pleasant view of the Clark Fork and the Milwaukee Trail beyond. Imagine Nation has already proven it can draw a sizable crowd, but if you’re thirsting for solitude or a peaceful workspace, the brewery’s young enough that there’s still ample quiet time to be found.

Where to find it: Point your feet, bike, car or dirigible to 1151 West Broadway, and keep your eyes trained on Imagine Nation’s Facebook page for music announcements and regular growler specials. #

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

That "Naked and Afraid" episode with the Missoula paramedic aired last night

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 11:50 AM

Last night marked the premiere of Missoula paramedic and Aerie instructor Trenton Harper's episode of "Naked and Afraid" on the Discovery Channel, and the promo clips alone are both tantalizing and hilarious. 

For those who missed the Indy story a couple weeks back, Harper pitted his primitive survival skills—and his skin—against everything northern India had to throw at him over a 21-day period. He had to contend with severe hunger, contaminated water and frigid nighttime temperatures. Harper acknowledged that in the face of such physical stressors, it was hard to keep his cool with the camera and with his survival partner Jen, who the program noted had "limited experience" with survival skills prior to the trip. Harper told us he and his partner eventually found harmony in the mountains of India, still keep in touch and get along very well these days. But as the clip below shows, "Naked and Afraid" has a reputation for pushing people to their physical and mental limit, then pushing them over it. 


The episode, titled "Fire on the Mountain," airs again several times over the next week, starting tonight at 7 p.m. Check out the Discovery Channel's schedule here for more details.

How the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight KO'd Filipino refrigerators (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police were able to link Christopher Furay, 33, to six bank robberies in Pittsburgh, Pa., by his distinctive red beard. After media coverage of the first four robberies, he wore a fake red beard over his real one for the next two. He was arrested anyway after the sixth robbery when a detective recognized his getaway vehicle as the same one used for previous heists. (Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV)
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Tyler Trammell, 27, was arrested as the “Average Joe Bandit” when he robbed a Phoenix, Ariz., bank he’d robbed only weeks earlier. This time, a detective standing “approximately 15-20 feet away” said he recognized Trammell as the suspect and saw him accepting money from the teller in a small blue bag. Trammell explained he robbed the bank a second time because he needed money “because the country is so fucked up.” (Phoenix’s KPHO-TV)

What Could Go Wrong?
After the Rubbin’ Buttz BBQ in Milliken, Colo., announced that the restaurant would celebrate White Appreciation Day on June 11 by offering white customers a 10 percent discount, co-owners Edgar Antillon and Miguel Jiminez began receiving threats, including one bomb scare. “It’s been phone calls, it’s been emails, it’s been on social media,” Antillon said. “Some are just, ‘Hey, you’re an idiot,’ and others have been legit threats.” He added, however, that the messages have been “overwhelmingly positive.” Antillon said the idea for White Appreciation Day was to “highlight a double standard,” where African American and Hispanic Americans have month-long celebrations of their heritage, but he emphasized that the discount would apply to all patrons. All they have to do is ask. (The Washington Times)

Firebuggery
Federal authorities were forced to drop criminal charges against a California man accused of starting a wildfire because two key witnesses died within months of his indictment. The 2013 blaze burned 400 square miles, including parts of Yosemite National Park, destroyed 11 homes and cost $125 million to fight. One of the witnesses died in a workplace accident, the other of a heart attack. Prosecutors said statements they made implicating Matthew Emerald, 33, can’t be used in court. (Associated Press)

Utah authorities arrested Weston Frank Vetere, 25, after he told them he started a brush fire that burned 40 acres of old-growth cottonwood trees and threatened several buildings. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said Vetere explained that he set the fire to signal for help after his car got stuck. (Reuters)

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rockies Today, May 14

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 6:20 PM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Notley orders all Alberta government agencies to stop shredding documents

After receiving reports that documents at Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development were being shredded after last week's defeat of the Tory government, the province's Public Interest commissioner and the Information and Privacy commissioner launched a joint investigation into the matter, and premier-designate Rachel Notley ordered that all shredding of documents at all agencies be put on hold.
Calgary Herald; May 14

Group files lawsuit challenging timber sale in national forest in Montana

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana against the Kootenai National Forest alleging that the East Reservoir Project, which will commercially log 8,845 acres, do pre-commercial thinning of 5,563 acres, recommission 35.5 miles of roads to be non-motorized trail, treat 10,049 acres to remove fuels or improve wildlife habitat and harvest 78 million cubic board feet of timber. The group charges that the project violates provisions of National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act and the Administrative Policy Act.
Ravalli Republic; May 14

Colorado governor signs federal-land bill into law

On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 1225, which provides state assistance to local governments to coordinate land-use efforts with the federal government, and arose out of a compromise with sportsmen and conservation groups who feared other measures would have pushed the state down the road of pressing for the transfer of federal lands to state control.
Durango Herald; May 14


Hunters criticize BLM's management plan for Montana's Hi-Line

Conservation and hunting groups are urging the Bureau of Land Management to make changes to its management plan for the 2.4 million acres along Montana's Hi-Line, arguing that it allows wide swaths of important wildlife lands unprotected, but BLM officials said the plan will be printed on Friday, opening a 30-day protest period and that Gov. Steve Bullock will have 60 days to review the plan.
Great Falls Tribune; May 14

USDA releases guidelines, label for GMO-free foods

The U.S. Department of Agriculture now has a certification program and voluntary labeling system for GMO-free foods.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); May 14

April was hottest month for B.C. home sales in a decade

The British Columbia Real Estate Association's press release Thursday reported $6.3 billion in housing sales in the Canadian province in April, a 45.5 percent increase over the same month last year.
Vancouver Sun; May 14

Apartment rental rates in Metro Denver race to historic highs

An economist who has been analyzing Metro Denver's rental market since the 1980s and through the tech boom in the 1990s, said those days don't have anything on the apartment rental market in the Colorado city today, where rental rates increased 12.2 percent in the last quarter of 2014 and are up 12.4 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same quarter last year.
Denver Post; May 14

Four companies buy land in heavy industrial park in Montana city

The Great Falls Development Authority has been pressing for development at the Great Falls AgriTech Park, a heavy industrial park in the Montana city, for years, and this year four companies have purchased parcels in the park, including Pacific Steel and Recycling and Montana Specialty Mills, which are moving their local operations to the park to allow them to expand, and two agriculture-related companies, including Helena Chemical, which produces fertilizer products. The fourth company is an international agricultural company that does not want to disclose its identity at this time.
Great Falls Tribune; May 14

Colorado raises hunting limits to reflect increase in big game animals

At the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission's meeting last week, the commission approved changes to hunting limits for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and black bear, with 400 more licenses for deer approved, 1,300 more for elk 1,600 more for pronghorn, 55 more for moose and 3,000 for black bear.
Denver Post; May 13

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 13, 2015

Rockies Today, May 13

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2015 at 4:58 PM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

USDA's annual survey finds more bad news about bees
An annual survey of beekeepers done in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that more than 40 percent of honeybee colonies died last year, and that, for the first time, the worst losses occurred during the summer months.
Deseret News (AP); May 13

American Petroleum Industry appeals rule on oil tankcars, braking systems
Late Monday, the American Petroleum Industry petitioned the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., to set aside new regulations for oil tankcars designed to make them more resistant to failure in the case of a derailment and the new braking-system requirement for fuel trains. The oil industry group agrees that action must be taken, but questions the timeline of the actions required.
Flathead Beacon (AP); May 13

Researcher tracks energy development's effect on Wyoming stream

After noticing larvae of the normally streambed-bound caddis fly float down Dry Piney Creek in the Wyoming Range and then learning that there had been an oil spill from a pipeline in the area, Carlin Girard, then a graduate student with the University of Wyoming’s Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, decided to study the effects of oil and gas development on aquatic life and he recently completed his thesis: "The effects of oil and natural gas development on water quality, aquatic habitat, and native fish in streams along the Wyoming Range.”
Jackson Hole News & Guide; May 13



Nuclear scientists at Idaho laboratory confident about new research project

As former governors of Idaho resist the U.S. Department of Energy's proposal to ship 50 spent nuclear fuel rods to the Idaho National Laboratory to better understand "high burnup" fuel rods, which produce more energy at nuclear power plants but come out more radioactive and hotter, the nuclear scientists at the laboratory are confident that the facility can safely handle the rods, which will arrive in two shipments of 25 each.
Idaho Statesman (AP); May 13

Utah PSC to again consider surcharge for solar-power producers

This past legislative session, Utah lawmakers passed a measure requiring a cost-benefit analysis of solar power added to the state's transmission grid, and Rocky Mountain Power is again asking the state Public Service Commission to allow the utility to levy a surcharge for customers with solar-power installations that feed unused power back into the grid.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 13

Another pest is eating its way through Colorado's pine forests

Sawfly wasps are leaving areas of Colorado's ponderosa pines looking as sad as a collection of Charlie Brown Christmas trees, with the pest defoliating ponderosas on 7,200 acres in Elbert County, 210 acres in El Paso County, and 20 acres in Douglas County.
Denver Post; May 13

Frontier Airlines CEO David Siegel resigns

After Frontier Airlines President and CEO David Siegel announced he was stepping down for personal reasons, the board of the beleaguered airline—which ranks as the worst among the 12 U.S. airlines—announced it was creating an Office of the Chief Executive, which will run Frontier with board oversight.
Denver Post; May 13

New Alberta premier may drive changes in coal use

Rachel Notley, the premier-designate of Alberta, has long been a critic of the province's reliance on coal-fired power plants and called for an accelerated phase-out of coal-fired power in the past and as she campaigned.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 13

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.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 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.
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): The danger of resisting a temptation too strenuously is that the temptation might depart. I suggest that you prevent that from happening. Without throwing yourself at the mercy of the temptation, see if you can coax it to stick around for a while longer. Why? In my view, it's playing a useful role in your life. It's motivating you to change some things that really do need to be changed. On the other hand, I'm not yet sure that it should become anything more than a temptation. It might serve you best that way, not as an object of your satisfied desire.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): My astrological colleagues discourage me from talking to you Bulls about financial matters. "Most Tauruses know ten times more about the mystery of money than you will ever know," said one. "Their excellent instincts trump any tips you could offer." Another astrologer concurred, noting, "The financial advice you give Tauruses will at best be redundant and at worst simplistic." A third colleague summed it up: "Offering Tauruses guidance about money is like counseling Scorpios about sex." So although I'm shy about providing recommendations, I will say this: The next five weeks will be a favorable time to set in motion the plans to GET RICHER QUICKER!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Endings to be useful must be inconclusive," wrote science fiction novelist Samuel R. Delany. I endorse that theory for your use in the coming weeks. Interweave it with this advice from playwright Sam Shepard: "The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning." In other words, Gemini, don't be attached to neat finales and splashy climaxes. Consider the possibility that you can simply slip free of the complicated past and head toward the future without much fanfare.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In mythic terms, you should be headed for the winner's circle, which is inside the pleasure dome. The parade in your honor should follow the award ceremony, and let's hope you will be on the lead float wearing a gold crown and holding a real magic wand while being sung to by a choir of people you love and who love you. If for any reason you are not experiencing some version of these metaphors, I urge you to find out why. Or better yet, get busy on planning a homecoming or graduation party or award ceremony for yourself. From an astrological perspective, you have a mandate to be recognized and appreciated for the gifts you offer the world.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): British Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley was a brilliant military commander. Renowned for his ability to beat larger armies, he also had great skill at minimizing loss of life among his own troops. His most famous triumph took place in 1815, when he led the forces that defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo. In the aftermath, the French tyrant lost his power and went into exile. What was the secret of Wellesley's success? "Bonaparte's plans were made in wire," he said. "Mine were made in string." In other words, Wellesley's strategy was more flexible and adaptable. As circumstances changed, it could be rearranged with greater ease. That's the approach I recommend for you in the coming days.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You may not be strong enough to take a shot at a daunting challenge that's five levels beyond your previous best. But I think you are at least ready to try a tricky challenge that's one level higher than where you have been operating. And that, in my opinion, is a more practical use of your courage. I think it would be a waste of your energy to get wrapped up in grandiose fantasies about impossible perfections. As long as you don't overreach, you can accomplish small miracles.

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  • Re: Your future, a little early

    • Thx! So far, I've found some nice free astrology personalized (natal charts) and some really…

    • on May 22, 2015
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    • I would suggest to Doctor Pysher that he refrain from lionizing himself as a "backcountry"…

    • on May 14, 2015
  • Re: Your future, a little early

    • Thx! So far, I've found some nice free astrology personalized (natal charts) and some really…

    • on May 14, 2015
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