Rockies Today, Aug. 27



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana FWP reports little public interest in grizzly bear plan
At the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' open house in Bozeman Monday night on the state's updated grizzly bear management plan, state biologists outnumbered the people who came to the meeting to comment, and the state reports receiving few public comments on the plan which are due by Sept. 16.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Aug. 27

Grizzly makes a rare foray into National Elk Refuge in Wyoming
The grizzly bear seen feeding on a gut pile in the National Elk Refuge is the first seen in the Wyoming refuge for nearly two decades, and biologists believe it may be Bear No. 399, the grizzly sow that gained fame by raising her cubs along roads in Grand Teton National Park.
Jackson Hole Daily; Aug. 27

Interior Dept. reverses sequestration decision on mineral payments
The Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue reversed a decision issued earlier this month to withhold mineral lease payments to 35 states to comply with mandatory across-the-board sequestration cuts, news that Wyoming officials welcomed as such cuts would have cost the Cowboy State more than $40 million.
Casper Star-Tribune; Aug. 27

Leasing of Utah school trust lands to oil, gas company angers hunters
Members of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) board said the decision to lease nearly 100,000 acres of land along the Book Cliffs to Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for oil and gas development meets the state mandate to manage those lands for maximum revenue, but hunting and fishing groups that have been working to protect those lands for wildlife habitat said they were blindsided by the decision.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 27

Report says drivers logged 9.2B miles on Utah's freeways in 2011
New federal data indicate that, in 2011, vehicles traveled 9.2 billion miles on Utah's freeway system in 2011, about 100 times the distance between the Earth and the sun, and that drivers had a relatively smooth drive as the state's freeway system has some of the best roads in the U.S.
Salt Lake Tribune; Aug. 27

Crews advance containment on Lolo Complex Fire in W. Montana
Nearly all of the 10 fires started by lightning Sunday evening in Western Montana were quickly dispatched by crews, but the Nemote Fire near Tarkio grew to about 25 acres on Monday, while the Lolo Complex Fire that has burned 10,892 acres southwest of Missoula is contained on all sides but the north.
Missoulian; Aug. 27

Idaho wildfire nearly contained but lull in business activity remains
The Beaver Creek Fire struck at the height of the summer tourism season in Idaho's Wood River Valley, and businesses in that valley are putting out the message that the wildfire is nearly contained, skies are clear and the valley is open for business.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 27

Wildfire, wolves take a toll on Idaho ranchers this summer
Ranchers in Idaho lost hundreds of cattle to the Pony and Elk Complex fires near Mountain Home this summer, as well as grass to feed the cattle that survived, and sheep ranchers lost dozens of sheep to the Elk Complex fire, and wolves hazed and killed 176 head of sheep on the West Slope of the Tetons in Idaho last week.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 27

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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