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Food & Agriculture

EPA Faulted By GAO For Water Rule Social Media Campaign

Photo credit: Loren Kerns

It seems the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has waded into another controversy, this time over a social media campaign for water regulation.

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New West Daily Roundup for Dec. 9, 2015

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

Today in New West news: Chipotle seeks to defuse E. coli scandal; three companies eye a former sawmill site near Missoula, Montana; and Boise State’s master plan promises more ambitious additions.

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New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 30, 2015

downtown bozeman 2013

Today in New West news: Dry Hills Distillery slated to open outside Bozeman, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau establishes Eagle Foothills American Viticultural Area; and Westminister, CO-based Farmland Partners buys up more farmland following huge Illinois deal.

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Utah Business Honoring Green Business Award Recipients November 19

Downtown Salt Lake City

Utah Business will be honoring the recipients of its annual Green Business Awards tomorrow, November 19 in Salt Lake City.

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New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 16, 2015

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

Here in New West news: seven Colorado businesses ranked in this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 500, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will open the Madison River to year-round fishing, and Idaho winemakers seek federal recognition for a new winemaking region.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 20, 2015

Colorado River

In New West News: Colorado unemployment drops to four percent, a Cold Water Climate Shield is being mapped across five states, the USDA wants to save Montana bees, and rent for apartments is up in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

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Plant Politics: The Changing Roles of Beet and Corn Crops in the West

Both corn and beets have been used to sweeten the billions of soft drinks Americans have consumed for decades. And both crops have shaped and been influenced by the politics, perceptions and changing technologies that have driven the sweetener market for decades. One of the latest such developments has been genetically modified versions of both crops. This summer in the Bighorn Basin of north-central Wyoming, there was the conspicuous absence of a sight seen for many decades: migrant farm-worker families toiling with hoes in the beet fields, their camper-topped pickup trucks with Texas plates parked by the road. With the soil saturated by heavy rains, you would expect to see, along with thriving crops, a riot of sprouting weeds attacked by squads of busy field workers. But — save for a few hardy, insurgent Canadian thistles — there are no weeds in the long, neat rows of leafy sugar beet plants. And so, no workers.

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Why Newspapers Thrive in the Rural West

Walk in to a town council meeting in Pinedale, Wyoming, and you're likely to find as many as three local reporters scribbling notes and asking questions. That news in a town of 2,030 residents is covered by two newspapers and a website is partly explained by the abundance of mineral wealth in surrounding Sublette County, which produced $3.6 billion in natural gas last year. Add to that the urgent concern about breaching a local dam threatened by record snowmelt coming from the Wind River Range, and you've got a recipe for a small-town media frenzy. This scene is also illustrative of how rural journalism is surviving, even thriving, in the rural West and across the United States, in an era of precipitous decline for major metropolitan newspapers. In the United States, some 7,500 community newspapers – papers with under 30,000 in circulation – still hit the streets, front porches, and mailboxes at least once a week. A 2010 survey conducted by the University of Missouri, Columbia for the National Newspaper Association produced some enviable statistics: More than three-quarters of respondents said they read most or all of a local newspaper every week. And in news to warm the heart of any publisher, a full 94 percent said that they paid for their papers.

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Open Letter to Montana Governor Regarding Keystone XL Pipeline

Dear Governor Schweitzer: The Exxon pipeline rupture shows that pipeline leaks can and do happen, and that it is a disaster when landowners, emergency responders and community officials are not adequately prepared for such an occurrence. We are landowners along the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route and downstream from the Missouri and Yellowstone river crossings who are concerned about the impact that another spill would have on our families’ health, water quality, and ability to make a living on the land in Montana. The Keystone XL will be nine times the size of the Exxon pipeline which recently ruptured – with exponentially larger impacts should there be a spill. The Keystone I pipeline, which runs through North Dakota, has had 12 leaks in its first year of operation. Because the Keystone XL pipeline needs a permit from the state of Montana, we call on YOU to protect Montanans along the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers by:

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City Chickens in Sandpoint

Sandpoint’s inaugural “Coop Crawl” revealed a significant interest in urban poultry among sophisticated city dwellers. Organized by three chicken aficionados in the south end of town, and arranged as a fundraiser for the healing garden at the hospital, it drew a quite a crowd of chardonnay-sipping backyard coop viewers. The Coop Crawl was instigated by a Sandpoint chicken keeper after she attended a similar event in Moscow, at which a much larger number of coops were up for touring. At this year’s event, several chicken fancying residents wondered when it had become allowable to keep chickens in the city, and they learned that it has, in fact, always been okay, as long as the chickens were of the sort that supplied eggs rather than wake-up calls.

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