Rockies Today, Dec. 9

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana, Wyoming battle for tourists' dollars
Tourism is the second-largest industry in both Wyoming and Montana, and the epicenter in the battle for tourists between those states is Yellowstone National Park, where nearly all of the park's lands lie in Wyoming, but three of its five entrances are in Montana.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 9

Developers pitch proposals for 4 different hotels in Montana city
The Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan, adopted by the Montana city in 2010, cited a need for a "boutique" hotel, and currently there are proposals for four very different hotels, ranging from a 16-room, hostel-type project to an eight-story, 102-room hotel.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Dec. 7

USFS green lights Montana Snowbowl's expansion plans
If no protests are filed by Jan. 21, 2014, then Montana Snowbowl may expand its operations in the Lolo National Forest on TV Mountain north of Missoula to add more beginner and intermediate terrain.
Missoulian; Dec. 7

Report: Utah has issued more than 500,000 concealed carry permits
The Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification reported that the state has issued 521,914 concealed carry permits, with 62 percent of those going to out-of-state residents, since Utah's concealed-carry permitting process is recognized by more states than any other state's.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 9

Wednesday protest planned for drilling plan in Montana near Red Lodge
Deb Muth, a resident of Red Lodge and chairperson of the Carbon County Resource Council, said she believes residents from Carbon, Stillwater and Yellowstone counties who are concerned about a Colorado company's plan to drill 50 natural gas wells near the Beartooth Mountains and in the Big Horn Basin, will gather Wednesday in Billings to rally at 1 p.m. at the Yellowstone County Courthouse and then attend the monthly meeting at the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation at 2 p.m., where public comment will be taken on Energy Corporation of America's application for a permit to drill a well using hydraulic fracturing near Belfry.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 9

Hydropower project on Peace River in B.C. splits First Nations
A joint review panel begins work today on BC Hydro's planned $7.9-billion Site C dam on the Peace River, but four Treaty 8 First Nations are vowing to fight the project, while three others are supporting the project.
Vancouver Sun; Dec. 9

Residents of Montana's Carter County sue to stop pipeline work
A group of landowners in Montana's Carter County have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and its Miles City field office, the Fish and Wildlife Servie, the Butte Pipe Line Co., the Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. and Bridger Pipeline LLC, alleging that work on the Thunderbird Pipeline, which carries North Dakota crude to refineries in Kansas and Oklahoma, was being done without a required environmental review.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 9

Environmental groups question Canada's, Alberta's commitment to caribou
Environmental groups charge that continued development in caribou habitat in northwest Alberta is counter to both federal and provincial plans to protect what remains of that habitat.
Edmonton Journal (Canadian Press); Dec. 9

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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