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New West Daily Roundup for Apr. 5, 2016

Brett Bohrer, AP

Today in New West news: Joseph Medicine Crow dies, Yellowstone wolves and mange, and new marijuana regulations heading to Denver city council.

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New West Daily Roundup for Jan. 4, 2016


Today in New West news: debate over public land flares up as armed group moves onto Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, tiny homes in Colorado, and the best (and worst) cities to find a job.

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New West Daily Roundup for Dec. 3, 2015

downtown Boise

Here’s your New West news: where investments went in Idaho in 2014, the Idaho Legislature mulls taking up solar energy in 2016, and the U.S. Forest Service looking at regulations for Colorado’s Conundrum Hot Springs.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 16, 2015

Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport

Today’s New West news: Denver International Airport excluded from enterprise-zone, Stanford cautions Vail Enterprises, Albuquerque craft beer is taking off, and The Wyoming Stock Growers Association is grousing about new federal regulations for greater sage grouse.

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Allan Savory: Holistic Management in Grassland Management

cattle herding

For forty years Allan Savory has been promoting the idea that rangelands suffer from too much rest—in fact, Savory claims that if ungrazed by livestock grasslands will become decadent and die. His faith in Holistic Management to stimulate grassland health was examined at a recent conference in Boulder.

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Opportunity Spawned: New Proposal Protects Bull Trout and Water

On January 13th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a new critical habitat designation for bull trout throughout the Northwest, including western Montana. The new draft — offering four-to-six times more protected waters than a previous proposal -- includes 21,694 miles of stream habitat and 533,426 acres of reservoirs and lakes in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. Protecting and restoring bull trout habitat will help this threatened species recover. It will also improve water quality throughout the Northwest, spur investment in watershed restoration, and help support Montana’s $226 million fishing industry. This designation goes a long ways towards achieving those goals. In Montana, the proposal includes 3,094 stream miles and 223,762 acres of lakes and reservoirs. The plan covers federal lands, reservoirs and even currently unoccupied habitat necessary to maintaining migration routes between isolated species. The new draft is seen as an improvement over the last two proposals in 2002 and 2005.

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Oregon Senator Fears Plastic

In a never going to happen, total waste of time innovative idea, an Oregon legislator suggested to ban single-use plastic bags from the state's checkout stands. A man who visited Missoula once said: The Earth didn’t know how to make plastic. Could it be the only reason we are here? Could be the answer to our age old philosophical question of why are we here; plastic! Anyhow, the measure being led by Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, would still allow paper sacks, but is aimed at getting people to use reusable bags.

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Struggles Continue For Kootenai River Sturgeon

The first time I crossed the path of sturgeon it scared whatever wits I have straight out of me. It happened several years ago while I was boating on Oregon’s Rogue River. The giant creature sprang from the cool water and my heart skipped a few beats. And then the freakish fish swam back to the trenches from which it came. Not all species of sturgeon are rare in Western waters, although news from the federal government this week is white sturgeon in the Kootenai River are facing extinction. Efforts to save North America's largest freshwater fish - they can reach 19 feet in length and weight more than 1,000 pounds - continue as officials hope to stave off extinction by sending more water down the river so the fish can spawn in the wild.

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Wild Homage: Photos of Flathead Valley Travel to Washington, D.C.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a group of conservation photographers is giving the Flathead an ample voice as an exhibit on the values of and threats to the valley heads to Washington, D.C. The International League of Conservation Photographers, along with the National Parks Conservation Association, spent two weeks in the Flathead River Valley in British Columbia and parts of Glacier National Park documenting the animals, plants and landscape. But, along with the beauty, the photographers also attempted to capture the threats the valley could face in the future. “Here’s a million acres that is pretty much the way it always has been. It’s a very unique valley in that respect,” said Will Hammerquist, Glacier program manager for the NPCA.

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Pollution Altering Alpine Lakes

What seem to be pristine alpine lakes high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park are getting greener, and not in a good way. A report in the current edition of Science finds that those lakes are being swamped with nitrogen from the atmosphere, caused by pollution from cars, factories, feed lots and fertilizer. The nitrogen is essentially fertilizing lakes that aren't used to being fertilized, causing a growth of algae and threatening to harm the fish at the top of the food chain. In addition to our carbon footprint, researchers say, human activity leaves a more subtle nitrogen footprint that is affecting natural systems around the world, even in some of the most remote places.

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