Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Rockies Today, Sept. 18

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

New research questions effectiveness of prescribed burns
William Baker, a fire and landscape ecologist at the University of Wyoming, co-authored a paper with Mark Baker on their research that compared reports from agents of the federal General Land Office created in the mid-19th century on landscapes in Oregon, Colorado and Arizona with present-day conditions, and concluded that reducing fuels doesn't help limit the severity of fires much, and that big fires are inevitable and promote species diversity.
New York Times; Sept. 18

Idaho Wool Growers Association a plaintiff in grazing lawsuit in Idaho
The Idaho Wool Growers Association, industry groups and individual ranchers filed a federal lawsuit in Idaho against the U.S. Forest Service over its plan to protect bighorn sheep by reducing domestic sheep grazing in the Payette National Forest.
Idaho Statesman (Lewiston Tribune); Sept. 18

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Read this before tomorrow's (sold out) The Head and the Heart show

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM


Folks around these parts are pretty excited about tomorrow's show at the Wilma featuring The Head and the Heart, Blitzen Trapper and Bryan John Appleby. For one, it's a great lineup. Second, it's sold out, meaning the atmosphere should be special. Lastly — and stop us if you've heard this before — tonight's show is presented by the Indy as part of the paper's 21st anniversary celebration, so pardon us if we have a little extra excitement.

To help spread that excitement to everyone attending, check out the recent feature story in Seattle Weekly about tomorrow night's headliner. "The Headliners and the Heart" details the folk sextet's newfound success through hard work and the help of its record label, Sub Pop. Here's how the story opens:

Halfway through the second song of The Head and the Heart's set at The Cedar in Minneapolis, Jonathan Russell smashed his Martin guitar to pieces and walked offstage into a crowd of blood-stained half-humans.

It was Zombie pub-crawl night, and Russell, the band's co-frontman, spent the rest of the evening being cussed at by people in zombie suits because he wasn't in uniform.

"I was convinced I was going to fly home," Russell says, "[thinking] 'I don't give a shit. This is no longer the idea that I thought this was going to be. I'm over it.' "

It was October 2011, more than a year into the promotion of the band's self-titled debut, and The Head and the Heart was working harder than Scott Perlewitz, Sub Pop Records' head of commercial radio, had ever seen a band work.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Rockies Today, Sept. 17

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Report assesses wildfire risk in Western states, cities
CoreLogic released a report that assessed the wildfire risk to property in 13 states, including Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado and Utah, in the Western United States that found 2,000 homes in Wyoming were at high risk from wildfires.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 17

Declining moose populations in Montana, Wyoming under investigation
Moose populations in Montana and Wyoming, as well as Michigan and other states, are in a freefall, and some researchers say a changing climate may be the culprit.
Billings Gazette; Sept. 17

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

This week, Scrabble players on steroids.

Curses, Foiled Again
Less than an hour after Richard Owens, 18, was released from jail in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., a sheriff’s deputy saw him trying to break into a car in the jail parking lot. “He knows Richard because he released him from jail earlier in the evening,” the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported, adding the car belongs to another deputy. (Tampa Bay Times)

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Tonight: Who's the boss? Thunder Road is, that's who

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

For the snarky set, it’s easy to mock the world of tribute bands and the tribute fans. That is, until the snarky set has had enough to drink and happens to find themselves at, say, a Hells Belles (AC/DC) or Appetite for Destruction (G ‘n’ R) show. Headbanging ensues, horns are held high and memories of high school keg parties are as fresh as the day you stole the Appetite cassette from so-and-so’s red Ford pickup at the Strawberry Festival Hall.

A devil’s advocate might say that the musicians giving tribute often perform better than the original artists. Makes sense. I’ve heard bands play the crud out of Metallica’s Master of Puppets; Metallica hasn’t done that in 15 years, at least. Undoubtedly, there are Bob Dylan tributeers out there who have a pretty low bar to reach these days. However, it’s one thing to cover a band’s tune and quite another to mimic the band: the look, the patter, the winks and nods to legendary past performances. That’s what Thunder Road does.


The shoes they’ve chosen to fill are The Boss’s, and they fill them with New Jersey-born Josh Tanner performing as Bruce Springsteen. The San Diego-based group began playing because Springsteen and the E Street Band haven’t performed in their part of the world in nearly 30 years. Thunder Road includes 1977 UM School of Law grad John Farmer on lead guitar. Apparently he has remedied the dangerous lack of “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” covers for the legions of diehards in San Diego. Although the band focuses on the oldies and goodies, they cover some newer material as well.

After watching a few YouTube clips of the Thunder in action, one can see that Tanner has the moves down. He shakes his hips like Bruce. He holds his Tele neck in the air like Bruce, and most importantly, he sounds like Bruce. The likelihood of The Boss playing Missoula in the next 30 years is slim, may as well check out the next best thing.

WHO: Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen tribute band
WHAT: Pre-Homecoming concert
WHERE: The Dennison Theatre on the University of Montana campus
WHEN: Fri., Sept. 14, at 8 PM
HOW MUCH: $20, tickets available at Griztix outlets

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 14

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Wildlife refuge in Montana grows by 12,352 acres
On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a $3.6-million addition to the Rock Lakes Wildlife Refuge in Montana near the Montana-Idaho border.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Sept. 14

Montana DEQ releases report on water quality in Lower Gallatin River
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality completed its review of 15 streams that flow into the Lower Gallatin River and, on Thursday, released its report on those streams, 11 of which had high sediment levels.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Sept. 14

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Montana poll gives Tester, Bullock, Daines slight edge

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Montanans, get used to hearing the phrases "toss up" and "neck and neck" between now and Election Day.

Public Policy Polling has released new polling results for the big seats up for grabs, and every race is close.

Testers sweating it out

In the Montana Senate race—one of the most closely watched races in the country—PPP gives Democratic Sen. Jon Tester a 45-43 advantage over U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, the Republican challenger.

Montana voters aren't actually happy with the job Tester's doing. The negative ads have taken a toll and only 46% of voters approve of him to 48% who disapprove. But Rehberg's even more unpopular with just 42% of voters happy with the job he's doing in the House to 52% who disapprove...Both candidates have their party base pretty much locked up—Tester's winning 89% of Democrats and Rehberg has 88% of Republicans behind him. Tipping the balance to Tester overall is a 41-33 advantage with independents.

In the race for Rehberg's House seat, Republican Steve Daines holds a narrow 40-37 lead over Democrat Kim Gillan. PPP found that likely voters barely know these two candidates. When voters were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Daines and Gillan, 56 percent were unsure about Daines, a Bozeman businessman, and 59 percent were unsure about Gillan, a veteran state legislator from Billings.

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Kinko's founder selling $25 million Montana ranch

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

The $25 million Montana ranch owned by the founder of Kinko's is on the market. I can only imagine the real estate listing info is printed on super glossy paper with one of those fancy spiral bindings. Anyway, here's how Forbes describes the property:

Grizzly Creek—a collection of nearly a dozen buildings surrounded by wildflower-studded fields, natural springs, trout-filled creeks and evergreen forests—hugs the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park at a starting altitude of 6,300 feet.

Of those not-quite-a-dozen buildings, you'll find a main compound that sleeps up to 30 people, a tractor barn-turned-event space good for seating 125 people (it can be rented out), a nearby horse barn with sleeping lofts, and an outbuilding off the main house that's now a yoga studio with a massage room.

The owners, Natalie Orfalea and her husband, Paul, are selling because their nonprofit foundation has moved its operations to California. Natalie says the couple is looking to find “someone who has the same sense of stewardship," according to Forbes. And, ahem, someone with $25 million.

If you're in the market, check out this slideshow of the property.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 13

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana wildfire kills bison on Fort Peck Reservation
A fast-moving wildfire that quickly burned across 13,000 acres of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana on Tuesday and Wednesday killed two of the 82 wild bison that had been moved earlier this year from holding facilities near Yellowstone National Park onto tribal lands.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 13

Montana group seeks evidence of grizzly bears in Tobacco Root Mountains
Bozeman-based Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation sponsored a two-day trip into Montana's Tobacco Root Mountains last weekend, where volunteers sought and bagged bear scat in an effort to find out if grizzly bears had indeed moved into the area.
Billings Gazette; Sept. 13

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vote McGovern! (Plus every other presidential campaign commercial)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:25 AM


I don't care who you are or how much you geek out on politics, the last 60 days before an election can be a little tough to handle. With Tester/Rehberg dominating the local airwaves (and pages), and Gillan/Daines starting to heat up, and the presidential campaigns in full swing following the conventions, we all need a little breather and perhaps some perspective.

The Living Room Candidate provides plenty of both without letting you stick your head in the sand.

Specifically, the site offers presidential campaign commercials dating from 1952 all the way to 2008. That means you can see when western Montana resident and former Democratic candidate George McGovern went negative against Nixon in 1972 (below), or the famous Willie Horton ad that helped bury Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Kennedy ads from 1960 will have you wishing all campaigns would be so cheerful (the second video), while the Dwight D. Eisenhower's commercials in 1952 will remind you more of superhero cartoons (also the second video) than mudslinging.

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