Rockies Today, Feb. 11



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Yellowstone Park plans to remove hundreds of bison this year
The number of bison in Yellowstone National Park is hovering near the 5,000-animal peak reported in 2005, and park spokesman Al Nash said that there are plans in place to remove between 300 and 600 animals this winter.
Billings Gazette; Feb. 11

Montana's small towns face upgrades of failing water, sewer systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that $1.5-billion is needed to fix failing water and sewer systems across Montana, a figure Tom Livers, deputy director of the state Department of Environmental Quality says is conservative, with 144 communities or water-sewer districts asking for funding from the state's evolving loan fund to improve drinking-water systems, and another 100 seeking funds for sewer system upgrades.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 11

Deep freeze in Wyoming, Montana may not kill pine beetles
Gregg DeNitto, forest health protection group leader for the Forest Service in Missoula said the recent cold spells in Montana and Wyoming may not have much of an effect on mountain pine beetles as, with everything, timing is everything, with deep freezes in the fall and spring proven more effective at killing the burrowing bugs.
Billings Gazette; Feb. 11

Lists of Colorado sites contaminated by PCE continues to grow
Perchloroethylene (PCE), a cancer-causing chemical used in dry cleaning and metal degreasing, is hard to contain and hard to clean up, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been working for decades to address PCE contamination, but the list of such sites keep growing, and plumes of the chemical continue to spread through state aquifers.
Denver Post; Feb. 11

Wyoming county seeks funding to aid Penn. drug-maker's expansion
Pennsylvania-based Lannett Co. is considering expanding its Cody Laboratories in northwest Wyoming, with the Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical maker offering to pitch in $71 million to build two new production facilities, power plant, machine shop and administrative offices a 25-acre plot in the North Cody Industrial Park, and Park County officials will ask legislators to provide $34 million to build infrastructure for the expansion.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 10

Wyoming governor touts growth in manufacturing in annual speech
In his annual State of the State Speech on Monday, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead told legislators that the number of manufacturing jobs in the state increased 1.7 percent in 2013, and that there are now 1,182 manufacturers providing more than 34,000 jobs in the state.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 10

Study finds inadequate medical staffing in 34 of Colorado's 64 counties
The Colorado Health Institute released a study Tuesday that found, in 34 of the state's 64 counties, access to a primary-care physician was limited, and that the state needs 258 more primary-care physicians to address that shortage.
Denver Post; Feb. 11

Dearth of doctors prompt package of bills in Utah
Utah legislators are working on a number of bills designed to address a shortage of primary care physicians throughout the state and, in particular, rural areas, with the first stage of the debate focusing on whether the state's only medical school is graduating enough primary-care doctors.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 11

As energy development thumps on Idaho's door, regulators on standby
Idaho has issued five permits for seismic exploration for oil and gas deposits since 2012, and the state Department of Lands has received, and investigated, just one complaint about such operations since then, with an advisory issued to Texas-based Alta Mesa for a complaint near New Plymouth, and the agency's plan to increase on-site monitoring of work there.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 11

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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