Record number of raptors fly through Montana's Bitterroot Valley
A raptor researcher in Montana said a slow-moving California storm funneled a record-setting number of turkey vultures, osprey and other raptors through the Bitterroot Valley this fall.
Ravalli Republic; Nov. 12
FDA regulations could squash Montana's small food producers
Comments on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposed standards for "Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption," are due Nov. 15, and farmers market producers in Montana said the regulations aimed at large producers could put them out of business.
Ravalli Republic; Nov. 12
Curses, Foiled Again
Police who broke up a dog-fighting ring in Florence County, S.C., apprehended fleeing suspect Edward Windham, 32, after one of the dogs involved “took him down,” according to Sheriff Kenney Boone. (Myrtle Beach’s WMBF-TV)
Police who accused Joseph Reardon, 22, of robbing a crowded convenience store in Seabrook, N.H., said that he forced his way to the front of the line at the cash register and then ran out of the store with cash. He left behind a jacket, a loaded handgun and a car key. Detective Scott Mendes said officers found the intended getaway car parked nearby and spotted their keyless suspect hiding in a tree. (Manchester’s WMUR-TV)
Panel supports removal of ESA protections for Yellowstone grizzlies
At its meeting on Thursday in Bozeman, the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee voted 10-4 to accept the findings that a decline in whitebark pine forests had not had a detrimental effect on grizzly bear numbers, and recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service take steps to remove federal endangered species protections for the bears.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Nov. 8
Female grizzly shot, killed in Montana, 2 of 3 cubs captured
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking information on who shot and killed a female grizzly bear near Ovando in early November, and are also asking area residents to be on the watch for the sow's third cub, which MWP personnel were unable to catch. The other two cubs will be sent to Bronx Zoo.
Helena Independent Record (AP); Nov. 8
Wind farm in Montana uses radar to curb raptor deaths
NaturEner USA, the owner of the Rim Rock Wind Facility, Montana's largest wind farm, says the radar-detection and human-monitoring systems on the 126-turbine wind farm allows the control center in California to shut down turbines in less than 30 seconds to prevent a collision with raptors.
Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 8
Fellow Westerners: We are pathetic! Sure, we’ve got our redeeming qualities, I guess, but one of them is not our ability to mitigate the environmental impact of our commute. We Westerners are a tribe of steering-wheel-gripped, fossil-fuel-burning, trapped-in-a-tin-can-in-traffic creatures, guided along highways not by eyes and mind, but by the tinny, seductive voice of our iPhone GPS.
At least that’s what the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests, which I will present to you shortly, in groovy graphic form, if you can keep your eyes off the road for that long. In the meantime, you may have already heard the good news: We’re getting better. Americans collectively are driving a little bit less, even those of us in most of the rural West, where the combustion engine is king. And, says the advocacy group that published the findings, the wane in our driving addiction has little to do with the fact that we can’t afford it, thanks to the crappy economy.
When the Driving Boom first stalled out in the middle of the last decade, it appeared to be the direct result of increasing gas prices followed by economic collapse. People simply could no longer afford to drive as much as they had before. As the economy revved back up, so too, it seemed, would our collective vehicles. And in some isolated cases, that’s exactly what happened: North Dakotans drive more miles now than they ever have before, and 12 percent more than in 2005. Yet that’s a special case, surely driven by the oil and gas boom and all the extra driving the boom requires.
Meanwhile, even as other states have clawed their way back from the Recession’s abyss, they haven’t gotten back in the station wagon. Indeed, the Recession appears to have had the effect of decoupling mileage driven from the economy. Nevada, for example, is the only other Western state where driving has increased since 2005, and they were hit harder than anyone by the economic collapse. New Mexico’s economy has flatlined, but the impact to mileage driven has been negligible. Meanwhile, in stronger economies like Utah, folks continue to drive fewer and fewer miles.
But the West’s masses aren’t exactly sending their cars to the junkyards. The latest Census data on commuting shows that commuters continue to prefer the solo drive to carpooling, transit or biking or walking (even though that’s slowly changing). Inspired by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities, I dug into the Census data and threw the applicable stuff into info.gram so that you, too, can see how your community stacks up in the race (or crawl?) to get out of those cars and onto the trains, bikes and buses. Click on one of the circles above the graphs and then move your mouse over the graphs to see how residents of Western states and cities (along with some other states, as a comparison) get to work.
Cross-posted from High Country News, hcn.org. The author is solely responsible for the content.
Biologists report a 'good year' for grizzly bears in Yellowstone ecosystem
At a meeting of the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the regional Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee in Bozeman on Wednesday, biologists from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, as well as Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, reported that there were fewer human-bear conflicts and an increase in reproduction rates.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Nov. 7
B.C. wildlife official disputes conclusions of grizzly bear study
Biologists from Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation examined the data from grizzly bear hunts in 50 of British Columbia's 57 population units from 2001 to 2011, and found that the number of grizzly bears killed exceeded government targets in half of the areas where hunting was allowed, and that the number of female bears killed were higher than government objectives, a conclusion the province does not agree with given that there are 15,000 grizzlies in B.C, and hunters generally only kill an average of 300 a year.
Vancouver Sun; Nov. 7
Failed factory looms over Idaho town
When China-based Hoku Corporation broke ground on a $700-million polysilicon factory in 2007 in Pocatello, the Idaho town's economy seemed poised to take flight, but the factory never produced polysilicon, the bankrupt company left creditors owed hundreds of millions of dollars, and given that the bankruptcy auction held last month drew a top bid of $3.7 million, it's likely most creditors will go unpaid.
New York Times; Nov. 6
Voters approve four marijuana-tax related measures in Colorado
On Tuesday, a statewide sales tax on marijuana sales was approved by Colorado voters, and residents of Boulder, Denver and Littleton approved city sales taxes on marijuana in those communities.
Denver Post; Nov. 6
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): I'm not a big fan of fear. It gets far more attention than it deserves. The media and entertainment industries practically worship it, and many of us allow ourselves to be riddled with toxic amounts of the stuff. Having said that, though, I do want to put in a good word for fear. Now and then, it keeps us from doing stupid things. It prods us to be wiser and act with more integrity. It forces us to see the truth when we might prefer to wallow in delusion. Now is one of those times for you, Aries. Thank your fear for helping to wake you up.
Josh Quick's "Camp Sleepover" appears every Tuesday online, and can be seen in the Indy's printed pages every Thursday.
Montana judge sides with Wyoming company on coal tax computation
On Monday, District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock ordered Montana to recompute the taxes due from Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy and said that the tax should be based on the price of the coal at the time the contract for it was signed, not when it was shipped.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Nov. 5
Report says grizzly bear deaths in Yellowstone area down by half
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team said that 24 grizzly bears have died in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem so far this year, less than half the 56 that died in the area in 2012.
Casper Star-Tribune; Nov. 5
Lawsuit against BNSF claims spray to contain coal dust not working
A lawsuit filed last summer by a coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, claims the spray used on railcars full of coal does not keep coal dust from flying from the railcars, but BNSF officials said the surfactant reduces coal dust escape by 85 percent and that the litigation is just another attack on coal.
Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 3
What you're drinking: The Kettlehouse's Spruce Tip Ale tastes like the smell of a snowy Montana forest. Some spruce tip beers can be overwhelming—as in, "Did I just inhale a Christmas tree?"—but this one is mellow enough to encourage a second or third pint while still giving you a blast of spruce.
Why you're drinking it: Drinking the Spruce Tip Ale will help support the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, a nonprofit that works as a steward for places like the River of No Return and other wildlands in Montana and Idaho. Its mission is to connect businesses, individuals, universities, tribes and the Forest Service and it does trail maintenance, invasive weed eradication, restoration, education and other projects.
How it's made: Kettlehouse brewer Pablo Alvarez partnered with Sockeye Brewing out of Boise, Idaho, to help support the foundation with a spruce tip recipe. "It's a fall style beer,” he says. “It’s kind of malty and it’s a little darker than an amber. We ended up using 18 pounds of spruce tips from last harvest season picked by the foundation. I threw all of that into the beer at the end of the boil. It's quite piney.”
Historical sidenote on scurvy: Indigenous people of North America used spruce tips in beverages as a source of Vitamin C, and European sailors adopted the practice for fighting scurvy. Spruce tip beer was a popular Colonial beverage.
When you're drinking it: The ale will be released Nov. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the southside Kettlehouse (602 Myrtle St). The event is free, but $1 from each pint purchased goes to support work in the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank-Church wilderness areas. It's a limited brew, so get it while you can.
Just for the record, it's a 750 ml bottle. Which makes it just that much…
Jamie Olson you are a disgusting filthy waste of human skin. I hope you break…
Congratulations from Artisan Craft Distilling Institute!!