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Rocky Mountain Front
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Monday, April 23, 2012
produced daily by Shellie Nelson

Editor's Notes...

West map In the Rockies today, a proposed B.C. resort, grizzly bears in Yellowstone, and disappointing news for a Montana city.

A proposal to build a $1-billion resort to offer year-round skiing on a glacier in British Columbia has First Nations, environmental groups and residents rallying to let potential developers of the resort know just how much opposition there is to it.

When engineering firms hired by French development companies arrived in Invermere, B.C., they were met with dozens of protesters carrying signs urging them not to despoil wilderness upon which grizzly bears depend.

In the Yellowstone area, grizzly bears will remain a threatened species for the next couple of years, while federal biologists bolster their stance that the species has recovered to the point that the bears no longer need protection.

And in Butte, Mont., the much-ballyhooed wind turbine plant will not be built.

Two years ago, representatives of German-based Fuhrländer AG told state and local officials they'd be back to build a wind-turbine plant and bring jobs to Butte.

Also in the news, Montana U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg heard from both opponents and supporters of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act on Saturday; a Colorado beekeeper is rebuilding his business after half his hives mysteriously disappeared over the winter; and Mountain West college graduates are the most likely in the nation to be unemployed or underemployed.

Rockies today

Opponents rally to stop $1-billion resort in British Columbia
Supporters of the Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort, a proposed $1-billion ski development that will bring 1,400 condos and 23 lifts offering year-round glacier near Invermere, said the project will bring needed jobs to the British Columbia community, but opponents said the development will have too great an impact on a wild area that provides habitat for grizzly bears.
Calgary Herald; April 22

Yellowstone-area grizzly bears to remain a threatened species
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will retain their threatened-species status for the next two or three years, while federal officials bolster their case that the species has recovered in that ecosystem.
Billings Gazette (AP); April 22

Aussie firm sells Wyoming uranium project
Australia-based Wildhorse Energy has sold its Sweetwater uranium project in Wyoming to an undisclosed buyer for $1.4 million.
Casper Star-Tribune; April 23

German wind-turbine manufacturer won't build factory in Montana
The recession and a deflated market for wind turbines played a part in German-based Fuhrländer AG's decision to not move forward with its plans to build a $25-million wind-turbine plant in Butte, but officials of the Montana city said the plan isn't completely off the table.
Montana Standard; April 22

Colorado ski areas plan expansions
Eldora and Monarch ski areas are joining their larger, Colorado counterparts in expanding terrain.
Denver Post; April 22

Montana congressman hears from supporters, opponents of wilderness bill
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg scheduled his own listening session on Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act because the Republican congressman wasn't sure that his Democratic colleague's bill had widespread support, and on Saturday in Choteau, he heard from both supporters and opponents of the Act.
Great Falls Tribune; April 22

Colorado beekeeper regroups after losing half his hives over the winter
Peter Rountree operates Uncle Pete's Bees in Colorado's Boulder County, and said he lost half his hives to colony collapse disorder over the winter.
Boulder Daily Camera; April 22

Mountain West leads nation in unemployed, underemployed college grads
The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University analyzed government data for the Associated Press and found that 2012 college graduates' prospects for jobs is at the lowest in a decade, and that the Mountain West is most likely to have college graduates unemployed or underemployed, while the southern tier of states has the best prospects for higher-skilled jobs for graduates.
Boulder Daily Camera (AP); April 22


Completion of MATL will be good for Montana
The Montana-Alberta Tie Line, construction of which was slowed by landowners' dispute about the route the high-voltage transmission line would take from Great Falls north across the border to Lethbridge, may be on track again, and that's good news for Montana counties, which will get a boost in property tax collections; more transmission capacity for power generators; and more market for wind-power generators in the state.
Great Falls Tribune; April 22

Beyond the region

Push is on to expand natural gas uses in U.S.
As little as five years ago, the oil and gas industry predicted natural gas resources in the United States were nearly depleted and facilities to import natural gas were proposed, but hydraulic fracturing opened up fields previously thought unreachable, and in March, natural gas imports hit a 20-year low and domestic production hit a 20-year high.
Christian Science Monitor; April 23

FDA to phase out antibiotic use in farm animals over the next 3 years
Last week, the federal Food and Drug Administration released its plan to phase out the nonmedical use of antibiotics in farm animals over the next three years.
Durango Herald (AP); April 23

Nevada county official says wild horse sanctuary threatens ranchers
DeMar Dahl, an Elko County commissioner who has been a vocal opponent of federal environmental regulations, said the Bureau of Land Management's proposed wild horse sanctuary has a long way to go before it becomes a reality and said that he believes it will create problems for Nevada ranchers.
Elko Daily Free Press; April 19

China's slowing economy takes a bite out of copper prices
China's seemingly insatiable demand for copper drove prices up dramatically in recent years, but the country's slowing economy has driven down demand, taking prices and the stock value of companies such as Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Asarco and other small companies in Arizona is sliding as well.
Arizona Daily Star; April 22

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"I t's pretty depressing when you come back to your hive after the winter, and they're not dead -- they're just gone. Some of the hives still had an entire frame of honey."

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Mountain West Voices
Hear weekly stories from the Rocky Mountain West as gathered by Clay Scott

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

at the

The University of Montana