Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Rockies Today, March 8

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Editor's Note: Apologies for keeping you waiting for today's post.

Manager blamed for unused VA facility in Montana
After the Billings Gazette reported on Sunday that the $7-million, 8-bed psychiatric wing at Fort Harrison has sat unused since it opened in June of 2011 due to a lack of staffing, former high-level managers have gone public with their complaints about Director Robin Korogi, whom they said created such a toxic work environment it was impossible to recruit needed staff.
Billings Gazette;
March 8

Wish list for Land and Conservation Fund contains $29M for Montana
President Obama released his list of land to be protected in 2013 through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with $29 million dedicated to Montana projects, including acquiring private parcels of land within Glacier National Park and funding conservation easements to protect farms and ranches from development in the Blackfoot and Swan valleys and along the Rocky Mountain Front.
March 8

Idaho governor tells Congress states need more money to manage wolves
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter was in Washington, D.C., last week, where he told members of Congress that the federal government needs to provide Idaho and other states that host wolves with more money to deal with livestock predation and managing wolves and elk.
Idaho Statesman;March 8

Wyoming governor signs bill on wolf management into law
On Wednesday, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed into law legislation on managing wolves, an important step on the path toward putting the state in the driver's seat on managing the species.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP);March 8

Montana FWP officials say more aggressive wolf hunts on the way
At a meeting Wednesday between the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and county commissioners from across the state, FWP officials said they planned to make changes to wolf hunt regulations that would increase hunters' success rates.
Helena Independent Record;March 8

Colorado community passes 180-day moratorium on drilling permits
After a study done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found high levels of butane and propone in Erie's air, the Colorado community's Board of Trustees reversed their position and voted Wednesday night to impose a 180-day moratorium on new energy permits that took effect immediately.
Boulder Daily Camera;March 8

Study details USFS's contribution to Montana counties
Krista Gebert, the regional economist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region, recently completed a study of the Bitterroot National Forest's contribution to the economies of Missoula and Ravalli counties that found the forest provided 651 full- and part-time jobs and poured $23.5 million into the two Montana counties.
Ravalli Republic;
March 8

Legislators questions Montana governor's decision on Taiwan trade office
Gov. Brian Schweitzer said his decision to close the trade office Montana has maintained in Taiwan since 1988 was done to save money, and that the state will open virtual offices in that country as well as Hong Kong and Korea for half the cost, but legislative leaders aren't happy with the governor's unilateral action and said he should have at least consulted with them, the business community and the Taiwanese government before making the decision.
Missoulian (AP);
March 8

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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