Friday, February 28, 2014

Rockies Today, Feb. 28

Posted By on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana DEQ proposes changes to aluminum plant's discharge permit
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is proposing changes to the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co.'s wastewater discharge permit, and is taking public comment on those updates through April 4.
Kalispell Daily InterLake; Feb. 28

Project supports transfer of disease-free bison from Yellowstone Park
An experiment to transfer bison found free of brucellosis from Yellowstone National Park to other areas of Montana appears to be working, according to the results of the pilot project.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Feb. 28

Researchers: Data reflect stable grizzly bear population in Yellowstone
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team said a re-evaluation of data collected on grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem over the past several decades indicates that the population is stable, and not in decline.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Feb. 28

Montana residents raise questions about drilling firm's record in Penn.
At the Montana Board of Oil and Gas hearing held Thursday in Billings, landowners near where West Virginia-based Energy Corporation of America plans to explore for oil raised the company's environmental record in Pennsylvania and questioned the state's ability to effectively monitor a level of energy development that ECA has described as "bringing the Bakken to the Beartooths."
Billings Gazette; Feb. 28

Parks Canada to implement overnight travel restriction in Banff NP
As first recommended in the two-year, $2-million Banff Bow Valley Study in 1997, Parks Canada has announced that it will implement seasonal travel restrictions on the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park in Alberta that will close 10.5 miles of the nearly 30-mile highway from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. between March 1 and June 25 to give wildlife undisturbed space in the spring.
Rocky Mountain Outlook; Feb. 28

Wyoming leads the U.S. in per capita CO2 emissions
Numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that Wyoming emitted 64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011, and when combined with the state's relatively small population, the Cowboy State ranks first in the nation in per-capita carbon-dioxide emissions.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Feb. 28

Hemp farming in Colorado becomes legal Saturday
While the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado has drawn considerable national scrutiny, Saturday's start date for farmers in the Centennial State to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp commercially or for research and development is just as noteworthy.
Denver Post; Feb. 28

Colorado marijuana shops bogart information on willing banks
The recreational and medicinal marijuana businesses in Colorado have a tough time when it comes to finding a financial institution that will deal with the primarily cash-basis businesses, and for those who have found a willing banker, they're not willing to share that information with other pot businesses.
Denver Post; Feb. 28

Gov. Herbert offers 'Utah solution' to Medicaid expansion
On Thursday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert offered his state's solution to Medicaid expansion, which would seek a block grant from the federal government to cover the same number of Utahns eligible for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, but would require those receiving Medicaid benefits under the "Healthy Utah" plan to pay $420 a year toward private insurance and medical expenses.
Deseret News; Feb. 28

T. Boone Pickens touts fossil fuels at B.C. energy summit
Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens told attendees at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit in British Columbia Thursday that fossil fuels are the future, that he believed the Keystone XL pipeline will be approved, and that the province should pursue its liquefied natural gas export plans.
Calgary Herald (Vancouver Sun); Feb. 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.

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