Rockies Today, Oct. 24



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana Commerce Dept. awards $500K in tourism grants
The Montana Department of Commerce issued $500,000 in grants from its Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program to eight tourism sites, including $132,500 to Bridger Bowl Ski Area for the construction of the Alpine Cabin near two upgraded lifts on the mountain, $54,000 for improvements to the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary in Red Lodge, and $80,000 to help restore the Blackfeet Tribe's Chewing Blackbones Campground near Glacier National Park.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Oct. 24

Another Montana homeowner wins lawsuit for Corral Fire damage
The landowner whose slash pile fire reignited in 2012 and sparked the Corral Fire near Helena that burned 1,800 acres and destroyed four homes has $1.3 million in insurance to pay claims resulting from the Montana wildfire, but so far two lawsuits filed have resulted in $2.4 million in judgments, and with more than 30 other property owners seeking compensation, the insurance money won't go far.
Helena Independent Record; Oct. 24

Montana PSC rejects utility's claim of lost revenue due to conservation
On Tuesday, the Montana Public Service Commission ruled that NorthWestern Energy had overstated its claims of lost revenue due to conservation programs, a claim that the utility's officials said sends a conflicting message about conservation programs, and an official with the Montana Environmental Information Center said the ruling indicated the PSC's hostility toward conservation programs.
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); Oct. 24

Wyoming governor says Taiwan, S. Korea want state's coal
Gov. Matt Mead returned from his tour of Asian countries with the news that Taiwan and South Korea intend to increase their demand for Wyoming coal by 250 percent in the next decade, making it imperative that the state find a way to deal with the opposition in Oregon and Washington state to the deep-water ports needed to export the coal.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 24

Utah kills feral pigs to keep them off Antelope Island
Exotic species of pigs and sheep were released for hunting on the privately owned Fremont Island in the Great Salt Lake, but the company offering the hunts went broke leaving the feral animals on their own, and concerns that they may make their way off the island during low water prompted Utah officials to kill the remaining feral pigs, and concerns linger about the sheep escaping the island as well.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 24

Staffing concerns at private prison in Idaho create tangle of investigations
State officials knew about staffing concerns the privately run Idaho Correctional Center back in 2010, and documents produced by Corrections Corporation of America to reflect that it had addressed some of those concerns are now the subject of an investigation that the company may have fraudulently billed the state for positions that were not filled.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Oct. 24

Scientists say oil, gas boom driving air pollution in Colorado
Since 2010, ozone levels in Colorado have increased along with the rise in oil and gas drilling operations, and as the state prepares regulations to deal with the increase in air pollution, energy companies are concerned that the regulations will increase their cost of doing business in the state.
Denver Post; Oct. 24

Montana FWP provides some ifs and whens on roadkill salvage
Next month, motorists that kill deer, elk, antelope and moose with a vehicle in Montana will be able to get a permit to salvage the meat from the animal, and the Missoulian provides some answers to frequently asked questions about the salvage process.
Missoulian; Oct. 24

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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