Rockies Today, Jan. 31



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Groups work to draw younger people back to farms in Montana
Concerned about the aging of Montana's farmers and ranchers, there are several programs designed to draw younger people back to the land, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Young Farmer program, the Montana Farm Bureau's young farmer and rancher program and Montana State University's Northern Agricultural Research Center Advisory Council.
Great Falls Tribune; Jan. 31

U. of Montana researcher a finalist for prestigious Indianapolis Prize
The Indianapolis Prize is awarded annually by the Indianapolis Zoo for animal conservation work, and Joel Berger, a University of Montana researcher whose work has focused on large predators in cold climates, and who helped protect Wyoming’s Path of the Pronghorn, is one of six finalists for the prize.
Great Falls Tribune (Indianapolis Star); Jan. 31

Tribes in Montana sign land buyback deals with Interior Department
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Thursday that tribes in Montana were among the first in the nation to sign land buyback agreements using funding from the 10-year, $1.9 billion buyback program that is part of the Cobell lawsuit settlement, with deals signed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai and the Northern Cheyenne tribes.
Missoulian; Jan. 31

Montana Sen. Tester to chair Senate panel on Indian affairs
Washington U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's year as chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has been mired in conflict, and she is planning to step down from that post to head the Small Business Committee, with Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester to become chair of the Indian Affairs committee.
Indian Country Today; Jan. 31

Company, Idaho city's convention district propose 1,000-seat center
Boise Mayor David Bieter's first wish that the hole in the Idaho city's downtown area be filled with a building, was granted by the Gardner Co. when it built the state's highest structure at the corner of 8th and Main, and now the Utah-based company has inked a deal to help build a convention center that will allow for events for up to 1,000 participants, putting the Idaho city in contention for 70 percent of conventions in the U.S.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 31

USFS, Colorado FS release joint report on mountain pine, spruce beetle
In the good news, bad news department, the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado Forest Service released a report that said mountain pine beetles were active on 97,000 acres last year, the lowest spread of the burrowing bugs in 15 years, but spruce beetles spread across 216,000 acres last year, bringing the total acres affected by that bug to 398,000 acres.
Boulder Daily Camera; Jan. 31

U. of Calgary researchers track growth of Alberta city, oilsands
Using satellite images captured over the past decade, University of Calgary researchers have documented the rapid growth of Calgary and development in Alberta's oilsands country.
Calgary Herald; Jan. 31

Montana congressman introduces bill to improve access to public lands
U.S. Rep. Steve Daines' Making Public Lands Public Access Act (H.R. 3962), a companion bill to a measure contained in Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester's Sport Act, would use funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Act to buy easements or rights-of-way across private lands to enable public access to public lands.
Missoulian; Jan. 31

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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