The Rockies Today, May 30



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Oil companies seek leave to do seismic testing along Montana Front
Montana has leased other state lands on the Rocky Mountain Front for energy development, but the 9,450 acres of state-managed school trust land in western Teton and Pondera counties that Alberta-based Primary Petroleum and Fairway Exploration of Texas want to do seismic testing on are the first such lands that actually abut the mountains.
Great Falls Tribune; May 30

Montana senators ask federal gov't to take brucellosis off security list
U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester have requested the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remove brucellosis from the list of potential biological warfare agents, because the Montana senators said including the bacteria that occurs naturally in wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park on such a list is ridiculous.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); May 30

NPS proposes changes to Yellowstone Park concessionaire contract
The National Park Service is reworking its concessionaire contract for Yellowstone National Park's hotels, cabins and campgrounds, as well as 27 revenue-producing food and beverage outlets and nine retail locations, now operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, and among the conditions for a proposed 20-year contract is the stipulation that the concessionaire complete $134 million in improvements.
Billings Gazette; May 30

Wildlife underpass in Idaho working as planned
The wildlife underpass on Idaho 21 near Boise completed in October of 2010 was the state's first, and state wildlife officials report that with zero animal-vehicle collisions reported during last year's fall migration, the underpass is working as planned.
Idaho Statesman; May 30

Wyoming governor wants Greater Yellowstone grizzlies off endangered list
Last week, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and asked that federal protections for the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone area be removed.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); May 30

Idaho legislator urges state to remain vigilant against invasive mussels
Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Oregon are the only states where invasive mussels have not taken hold, and at the Idaho Environmental Forum on Tuesday, state Rep. Eric Anderson said that already found 41 boats, the vast majority that had last been in Lake Mead, carrying the invasive species at checkpoints this year—before boating season even begins, and that federal authorities are remiss in not taking more aggressive action at Lake Mead.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; May 30

B.C. first nations vow to fight bill on Northern Gateway pipeline project
Canada's effort to give the cabinet final authority over approval of such projects as Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway pipeline project has created strong opposition among British Columbia first nations, who have vowed to go to court to stop the transfer of authority from the National Energy Board to cabinet.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 30

Another plant announces closure in Idaho
Nampa and Canyon County have suffered some substantial job losses in the past year, with a beef-processing plant in the area closing in June putting 500 people out of work, and J.R. Simplot's announcement last fall that it would close a potato-processing in the Idaho city as part of its plan to cut 800 jobs across the state, and now Transform Solar is ending its plan to manufacture ultra-thin, lightweight solar cells in the city.
Idaho Statesman; May 30

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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