Rockies Today, September 2



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Aussie firm buys 36% of B.C. firm that's developing Montana mine
Sandfire Resources NL, an Australian mining company, purchased a 36 percent share in Tintina Resources, the British Columbia-based company that is working to develop the Black Butte Copper Project near White Sulphur Springs in Montana.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 1

Rail connections open at Wyoming's Swan Ranch industrial park
The Swan Ranch business park outside Cheyenne now has all the amenities needed for businesses to thrive in Wyoming, now that rail lines have been extended to the park, which also has access to two interstates.
Casper Star-Tribune; Aug. 29

Former lawyer continues campaign to protect B.C. valley as national park
Conservationist Harvey Locke, a former Calgary lawyer has been campaigning for 25 years to protect nearly 111,200 acres in the southern half of the Flathead Valley in British Columbia, which lies just north of Glacier National Park in Montana and east of Waterton National Park in Alberta, as a national park.
Calgary Herald; Sept. 2

B.C. ski resort pleads with Canada to relax ban on foreign workers
In June, Canada barred employers in areas of the country where unemployment is 6 percent or higher from hiring entry-level workers from foreign countries to fill accommodation or food service section jobs, and now Whistler, the country's busiest ski resort, is having trouble filling positions and the lack of staffing is already limiting business, and last week the Whistler Chamber of Commerce asked the federal government to allow businesses at the resort access to the temporary foreign worker program.
Vancouver Sun; Sept. 1

Utah PSC denies Rocky Mountain Power's solar-power fee
The Utah Public Service Commission's decision to reject Rocky Mountain Power's request to impose a monthly $4.65 "net metering" fee for customers whose solar-power installations feed excess power back into the grid is not the last word on the issue, as the state commission said that should the utility come up with hard data supporting the fee, the panel will revisit the issue.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 30

Proposal to transfer control of federal lands to Montana divides residents
The proposal currently under consideration in Montana to transfer control of federal lands in the state to the state is either a plan whose time has come or a misguided path to the selling off of the state's natural resources. First in a three-day series on the transfer of federal lands to Montana control.
Missoulian (Helena Independent Record); Sept. 2

Montana estimates cost of controlling federal lands would be $500M
Should Montana assume responsibility for the estimated 25 million acres of federal lands that lie within its borders, and while state lands managers are working on what they believe such a transfer of control would cost, the Billings Gazette takes a stab at the computation and comes up with half a billion dollars. Another installment in a three-day series on Montana's proposal to assume control of federal lands.
Missoulian (Billings Gazette); Aug. 29

Montana sawmill owner links lay-offs to grizzly bear decision
After a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act by approving a plan to allow new roads to be built in 36,700 acres of grizzly bear habitat in Montana's Stillwater State Forest, the owners of the F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber sawmill in Columbia Falls announced layoffs at the mill and linked those layoffs to that court decision, but an attorney for the mill acknowledged log supply was a problem and the layoffs were planned before the decision was rendered.
Missoulian; Aug. 29

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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