Louisiana company training guards for Montana jail
Although Louisiana-based Emerald Correctional Management has yet to secure any contracts to house inmates in the 464-bed Two Rivers Detention Facility in Havre that has sat empty since being built in 2007, the private corrections company is training guards at the Montana facility and plans to negotiate with American Indian tribes, counties and the U.S. Marshals Service to house their inmates.
Flathead Beacon (AP); May 18
Groups appeal federal court decision on whitebark pine listing
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Wildlife Institute appealed the decision of a federal district court judge in Montana that found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not act in an arbitrary manner when it decided that, although the whitebark pine had sufficient threats to it to make it eligible for federal protection, other species were a higher priority, and asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to declare the lower court ruling illegal and require the federal agency set a date to protect the whitebark pine.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; May 20
First Nations in Canada coordinate opposition to Energy East pipeline
Leaders of First Nations in Canada recently convened in Winnipeg to coordinate their opposition to TransCanada's $12-billion Energy East pipeline project that would move 1 million barrels of crude a day from Western Canada to refineries and ports in the East.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 20
Colorado stands firm wildlife refuge's use of recycled water
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Denver Water and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are urging the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to rethink its 2009 order that required the refuge use drinking water from Denver to fill three lakes used to store irrigation water and for catch-and-release fishing, and instead allow the lakes to be filled with recycled water.
Denver Post; May 20
NPS admits defeat on keeping quagga mussels out of Lake Powell
On Monday, the National Park Service told representatives of local, state and federal agencies that the fight to keep quagga mussels out of Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border was done as the mussels are there, and the focus will now turn to containing the clogging species.
Deseret News; May 20
International conference on large wildfires underway in Montana
The Large Wildland Fires Conference, hosted by the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Association for Fire Ecology, began Monday in Missoula, with field trips planned around Western Montana on the agenda.
Missoulian; May 20
Proposed rules on coal-fired plants draw dire warnings at Wyoming summit
At an energy summit hosted by the Wyoming Business Report, industry leaders, mining officials and state regulators warned that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants will send electricity prices skyward hobbling the barely revived national economy.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); May 20
Federal judge rules Utah must acknowledge same-sex marriages
U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball became the first federal judge ever to rule that a state must honor and acknowledge all same-sex marriages performed after the state's ban on such unions was overturned, but the decision rendered Monday won't take effect for 21 days, giving the state of Utah a chance to appeal the decision.
Salt Lake Tribune; May 20
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.