The Rockies Today, March 16



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana university, tribes team up for study on Flathead Lake
Researchers at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station will analyze the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' proposal to net lake trout from Flathead Lake to help predict the ecological effect that plan will have on species such as mysis shrimp, zooplankton and various species of phytoplankton.
Kalispell Daily InterLake; March 14

Political parties parse energy production report to bolster positions
The U.S. Energy Information Administration's report released Thursday provided some factual fodder to the debate over energy production on federal lands to both sides, with Republicans pointing to the dip of natural gas production in 2011 as shoring up their position that President Obama has an anti-fossil fuel agenda, and Democrats and the White House seizing on the fact that oil and natural gas production in the nation is the highest in eight years.; March 16

Hearing officer appointed in Utah, utility dispute about power line's effect
The Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration said that Rocky Mountain Power's 100-mile Mona-Oquirrh line that runs from Mona through Tooele County to near Herriman has had an adverse effect on SITLA's plan to use its lands for high-end development and is demanding $4.4-million from the utility for ruining the view of the property, and rejected the utility's $70,000 offer to settle the claims.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 16

University of Colorado research tracks double annual hatch of pine beetles
Researchers at the University of Colorado found warmer temperatures allowed a double hatch of mountain pine beetles in the forest at CU's Mountain Research Station, 10,000 feet northwest of Nederland, adding the mountain pine to a growing list of insects whose life cycles have been affected by warming temperatures.
Boulder Daily Camera; March 16

USFS study predicts changes in Wyoming forest due to changing climate
The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station released a study done by the University of Colorado that looked at how rising temperatures could change the flora and fauna of the Shoshone National Forest in northwest Wyoming. Billings Gazette; March 16

Montana biochemical company edges into commercial market
Rivertop Renewables, a Missoula-based company started by Don Kiely, a University of Montana professor that created a process to manufacture environmentally neutral glucaric acid in large amounts for little cost, is working with Virginia-based DTI to produce large batches of glucarate-based products, including de-icer for roads used by the state of Montana this past year.
Missoulian; March 14

Idaho governor signs bill to stimulate research, business development
Before the 2012 legislative session began in Boise, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter urged lawmakers to pass his Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission - or IGEM, a $5-million plan to move successful research projects at the state's universities into commercial entities, and on Thursday, Otter signed legislation creating IGEM into law.
Idaho Statesman (AP); March 16

Wyoming mulls offering $10M in incentives to lure data center to Cheynne
An international company is expected to pick either Cheyenne or another Mountain West community to be the site of a new $112-million data center that will initially provide 40 new jobs, and Wyoming is considering offering $10 million in incentives to secure the center for the Cowboy State.
Casper Star-Tribune; March 16

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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