Rockies Today, July 11



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Three reservations in Montana to get Cobell funds to buy back lands
The $3.4-billion settlement of claims of mismanagement of tribal assets contained $1.9-billion for tribes to buy back fractionalized interests in lands within their reservations, and on Wednesday, the Interior Department announced agreements with leaders from the Crow, Fort Belknap and Fort Peck reservations for such buy-back programs.
Flathead Beacon (AP); July 10

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Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act fails in the Senate
The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act failed to garner the 60 votes on Thursday needed to advance the bill, after Republican senators took exception to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to move forward on the vote before negotiations on the 81 amendments to the bill had been completed.
Miami Herald (McClatchy); July 11

Montana votes to limit sage grouse hunts
As part of an effort to stave off federal protection of sage grouse in the 11 western states the species is found, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission voted Thursday to end sage grouse hunts in 14 counties in the north-central area, in all but six counties in southwest Montana and eliminate hunts in all of southeast Montana from Gallatin County to North Dakota, and on the federal level, U.S. Sen. John Walsh introduced legislation Wednesday requiring the U.S. Interior Department to provide particulars about its sage grouse research before imposing any new limits on activity in the species' habitat, while U.S. Rep. Daines is a co-sponsor on the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which would preclude any listing of the species while states are working to protect the birds.
Missoulian; July 11

Hot spot closes road in Yellowstone National Park
The ever-changing thermals of Yellowstone National Park were cited for the closure of Firehole Lake Drive, where a section of the asphalt was melting, ending access temporarily to the 3.3-mile loop six miles north of Old Faithful that takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); July 11

Canada Supreme Court rules against First Nations in logging-rights dispute
Just two weeks after Canada's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation in British Columbia, a decision that expanded the band's aboriginal rights over ancestral lands, and gave the Tsilhqot'in control over future uses of those lands, a decision issued today by that high court dismissed the Grassy Narrows First Nation's appeal of an Ontario court decision that said the province has the rights to logging and mining on treaty lands in that province.
Toronto Globe and Mail; July 11

Jobs increase in Calgary, Alberta, but fall nationally
Statistics Canada's report on jobs in June found that unemployment rose nationally from 7.0 percent in May to 7.1 percent in June as there were 9,400 fewer jobs last month, but in Alberta, the province reported 9,400 more jobs in June than in May, although the unemployment rate increased 0.3 percent to 4.9 percent.
Calgary Herald; July 11

Economist: Alberta an island of prosperity
A special report by senior economist Robert Kavcic at BMO Capital Markets said that Alberta was on its own for economic performance, and that while the current economic boom was significant, it wasn't as superheated as the 2006-2007 boom, when there wasn't infrastructure, housing and workers to meet demand.
Calgary Herald; July 11

Downtown Salt Lake City retailers set new record in sales
New multifamily housing, urban jobs, public transit and a slate of new retail offerings are all credited for the increased economic activity in downtown Salt Lake City, where retailers in the hub of the Utah city reported $800 million in sales in 2013.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 11

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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