Colorado legislators told troubled computer system needs $35M upgrade
Since the Colorado Benefits Management System was launched in 2004, the integrated computer system designed to streamline food assistance and Medicaid programs, the state has spent $300 million on buying, installing, fixing and upgrading the program, which has never performed as promised, and after approving $11 million two years ago to modernize and improve performance, state legislators were not pleased with audit results that tracked a less-than-stellar performance, nor with the request last week for $35 million for upgrades.
Denver Post; March 2
Idaho governor signs 'ag-gag' bill into law, dairies promise to self-monitor
On Friday, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed legislation into law that prohibits making audio or video recordings of agricultural operations without express permission.
Twin Falls Times-News; March 3
Retired USFS employees oppose Lochsa land swap in Idaho
A dozen former U.S. Forest Service employees fired off a letter to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee detailing why they oppose the proposed land exchange in Idaho that would trade 39,000 acres of commercial timberland near Lolo Pass near the Idaho-Montana border for parcels within the Idaho Panhandle and Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; March 3
Canadian Parks Council report prompts leaders' mandate to get outside
At a meeting last week in Toronto, ministers from federal, provincial and territorial governments met to discuss the findings of a Canadian Parks Council report that found Canadians are losing their connection with nature, with 80 percent of the country's residents living in urban areas, and that Canadians spend 90 percent of their time indoors.
Calgary Herald; March 1
Oil production in Colorado last year may break record set in 1956
On Thursday, with some producers yet to report December's numbers, oil production for 2013 in Colorado was 57.88 million barrels, just 720,000 barrels short of the record 58.6 million barrels set in 1956, while natural gas production fell 12.5 percent in 2013 from 2012 levels.
Denver Post (Greeley Tribune); March 1
Former Sec'y of State talks energy at Colorado conference
At the recent Vail Global Energy Forum in Beaver Creek’s Vilar Center in Colorado, former Secretary of State George Schultz discussed how security, the environment and energy interact, that approval of the Keystone XL should be a "no-brainer," and that climate change is a reality.
Vail Daily; March 1
Hundreds arrested at Keystone XL pipeline protest in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 500 people marched to the White House on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would move oil from Alberta to a hub near Oklahoma, and 200 protesters were arrested after they zip-tied themselves to the White House fence.
Washington Post; March 3
USDA wildlife agents kill 23 wolves in Idaho's Lolo elk zone
For the sixth time in four years, Idaho requested the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to remove wolves from the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border to help bolster elk numbers in that area of the state, with 23 wolves removed in the latest effort.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Feb. 28
City in S. Idaho out of shovel-ready land for industry
The influx of businesses like Chobani and Clif Bar to Twin Falls has used up all the shovel-ready land in the southern Idaho city for development, although some developers are working together to get more land ready for development.
Twin Falls Times-News; March 3
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.