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Ryan Zinke Confirmed As Interior Secretary

Courtesy of the Office of Ryan Zinke

U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has been confirmed as Secretary of the Interior Department.

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New West Daily Roundup for Feb. 27, 2017

MSU, Montana State University

Today in New West news: 406 Labs at Montana State University fosters startups; audio of Herbert, OIA call released; and UC Boulder researchers debut metamaterial providing “paper-thin air-conditioning.”

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New West Daily Roundup for Feb. 23, 2017

Helena MT Capitol at Sunruse by Jimmy Emerson_DVM Flickr

Today in New West news: Montana GOP chairman sounds alarm on all-mail ballot proposal, Senator Tester proposes expanding Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Utah oil and gas regulation bill “gutted,” and Boulder-based software startup raises $6.7M.

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New West Daily Roundup for Sept. 13, 2016

Credit: Larry Johnson, "Denver Skyline at Sunset," December 17, 2009

Today in New West news: studies support proposed Colorado minimum wage hike, U of U aids local manufacturers, and environmental coalition challenges Montana mine permit.

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Ending the Wilderness Drought

Two weeks ago, I posted a Wild Bill column about how the feud between wilderness groups stifling efforts to protect roadless lands. Both groups, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies (AWR) and the Montana Wilderness Association (MWA) were unhappy with what I said and the comment section filled up with many insightful reasons why green groups have such dissimilar approaches to protecting roadless lands. For the benefit of readers who might be still scratching their heads over why pro-Wilderness groups have such contradictory views on accomplishing a common goal, preserving Wilderness, I asked the executive directors of both groups to write a guest column to put it in their own words. Fortunately both Tim Baker of MWA and Michael Garrity of AWR agreed, so read on. -Bill Schneider

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A New Magazine: The New West

The best way to check out The New West magazine is to subscribe. We want to know who's interested in The New West, so we have made the magazine available free to qualified subscribers who answer a short questionnaire.

In the Spring Issue and online here:

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Working Wilderness and Other Code Words

My former wife, Mollie, had many positive influences upon me. Among other things she also taught me the importance of words. Early in our relationship, I was telling her about some the “girls” in one my graduate school classes. She corrected me and told me that the “girls” were in their twenties and/or older and as such they were not girls, but women. “Yeah, of course,” I replied off handedly and somewhat annoyed by what I perceived as her politically correct position. She could tell that I was annoyed and didn’t really “get it.” So she went on to elaborate why calling adult females “girls” I was in a sense helping to maintain the illusion that they were not peers in the adult world with men. Girls, instead of women, were code for implying power structures in society. You get the jest of the conversation. Now whenever I hear someone referring to a woman as a girl, it is jarring to my ears. It sounds offensive. Though at first I merely changed my language to appease her, in the end I changed my entire perspective on words. The use of words to foster a political and philosophical sub text is, of course, not new. A similar adoption of code words has worked its way into conservation lexicon.

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Listen: Relationships and the Wild on MusEco’s Waste Not, Want Not

This month the radio program Waste Not, Want Not, Conserving the Last Best Place, explores relationships and the wild. Join host Kris Prinzing as she talks to licensed professional counselor Geral Blanchard, author of "Grizzly Lessons: Coexisting with Bears and Wolves." This show also features a memorial essay by Bozeman Author Scott Bishke about the love and partnership of wilderness advocates Florence and Ken Baldwin. Click here to listen to (streaming) or download this month's show of Waste Not, Want Not.

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At the Front of Saving the Rocky Mountain Front

Sen. Max Baucus and long-time Rocky Mountain Front supporter Gene Sentz raise a toast to recent legislation that puts public lands along Rocky Mountain Front off limits for oil and gas leases.

When Gene Sentz co-founded Friends of the Rocky Mountain Front in 1977 his prospects of facing down the oil and gas industry were singularly bleak. Exxon and Chevron had made their intent to drill known and by 1981, the Lewis and Clark National Forest had opened up public lands along the Front for lease. Large companies tend to declare their desired course with such command that its construction appears a foregone conclusion. In the shadow of such bulk ordinary citizens tend to submit instead of considering more difficult options. But a pondering schoolteacher in Choteau took up the fight. Thirty years later, the entire Rocky Mountain Front is protected from all new mineral leasing. Many say the Front has Gene Sentz to thank for that.

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Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Honors the Gifford Pinchot


You don’t have to listen to the “Voice of the Rocky Mountains” for long before realizing that Elk are a big deal. (And wolves—but lets not get started) Well, the Northwest isn’t all latte and yoga studios. We have wildlife, too, and our wildlife restoration programs are gaining national attention (or Rocky Mountain attention. Same difference right?) But don’t take my word for it! I’m late for a date with a double-shot mocha! Here is the official press release from The Boys in Beige: Vancouver, WA—Employees of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, along with a number of community partners, received national recognition from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation with the 2006 “Elk Country Achievement Award for Wildlife Habitat Improvement.” Bronze elk statuettes will be on display at...

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