Rockies Today, Dec. 12



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Billings company turns siding into fence markers to protect sage grouse
Billings-based COR Enterprises is helping Montana in its effort to protect declining sage grouse populations by turning sheets of vinyl siding into 3-inch pieces which volunteers fold along the top wire of fences, which helps the birds avoid the wires—and injury or death.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 12

Utah legislator, Montana county officials discuss transfer of federal lands
State Rep. Ken Ivory, who drafted legislation in Utah to demand the transfer of millions of acres of federal land to that state, was invited to Montana to discuss similar legislation there, and on Wednesday, Ivory met with Ravalli County commissioners and legislators.
Ravalli Republic; Dec. 12

Nevada judge rejects Las Vegas' plan to pipe groundwater west
In a long-awaited decision, a Nevada state judge found that the state engineer erred when he approved Southern Nevada Water Authority's plan to pump groundwater from four valleys, including the Spring Valley, which feeds into Utah's Snake Valley, and the judge remanded the case back to engineer for reconsideration.
Salt Lake Tribune; Dec. 12

Crucial habitat map unveiled at Western governors' meeting in Nevada
The Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, or CHAT, an extensive database containing information about habitat, wetlands and other detailed information about natural resources in 16 western states, was released on the first day of the Western Governors' Association's winter meeting in Las Vegas.
Reno Gazette-Journal (AP); Dec. 12

B.C. decides to end run of hydrogen buses in Whistler
In 2010, Whistler accepted delivery of 20 hydrogen-fueled buses to transport athletes and spectators at the Winter Olympics in the British Columbia community, but those clean-fuel buses are going to be replaced by diesel-powered ones as the province can't afford to keep them running due as the fuel has to be shipped in from Quebec and the hydrogen buses cost $2.5-million more a year to operate than diesel buses.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Dec. 12

Panel recommends management change for Yellowstone grizzly bears
At the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee's winter meeting, the panel voted to recommend that federal protections in place for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem be changed to recognize that the population is now stable and no longer threatened.
Missoulian; Dec. 12

FDA to phase out use of some antibiotics for meat animals
A new regulation put in place by the Food and Drug Administration will phase out the use of some antibiotics in food for meat animals over the next three years.
New York Times; Dec. 12

Canada lists westslope cutthroat trout as threatened species
Efforts to boost the dwindling population of native westslope cutthroat trout in Banff National Park in Alberta will be bolstered by the Canadian government's decision to list the species as threatened and a local business in the province donated $10,000 to help pay for work to remove invasive brook trout.
Calgary Herald; Dec. 12

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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