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

New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 16, 2015

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.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list compiles and lists the fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunication, life sciences, and clean-technology companies in North America. This year, according to the Denver Business Journal, seven companies across Colorado have made the list, with three in the top 50. Last year, Colorado companies didn’t even make it that high.

Leading the pack on Deloitte’s list for the Centennial State is Longmont-based ARC Group Worldwide Inc., a manufacturing and 3D printing service provider, which placed 41st with five-year revenue growth of 2,403 percent. Last year, ARC Group ranked 84th with five-year revenue growth of 1,455. The DJB lists the other companies that made the list and their rankings last year—where applicable:

• No. 48 — Biodesix Inc., Boulder, biotech/pharmaceutical, 2,019 percent.
• No. 50 — Welltok Inc., Denver, software, 1,868 percent.
• No. 220 — Cherwell Software LLC, Colorado Springs, software, 341 percent. (No. 102 last year.)
• No. 266 — Levels Beyond, Denver, software, 272 percent.
• No. 289 — 3XLOGIC Inc., Westminster, software, 238 percent.
• No. 392 — Envysion Inc., Superior, software, 163 percent. (No. 338 last year.)

Up in Montana, the state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency approved a change in angling rules, opening up portions of the Madison River that were set to close between the end of February and the middle of May. We previously reported the agency sought public comment over the move, which was met with opposition overall. Now the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has confirmed the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision to move ahead irrespective of public comment:

Fisheries chief Bruce Rich said the Madison River was “historically one of the most complex and chopped-up pieces of water in the state.”

“What we’re trying to do is clean up some of that so it’s not as complex and people don’t have to worry so much about what the regulations are,” Rich said.

Besides opening more of the Madison, officials have also approved a rule requiring artificial lures on the river between the Quake Lake outlet and the inlet into Ennis Lake. The new rules will also let anglers take one cutthroat as a part of their daily limit in the central district (ranging from Dillon to the Crow Indian Reservation and up to the Canadian border).

Finally, over in Idaho, winemakers in Idaho are seeking federal recognition for the region they grow their grapes, according to the Idaho Statesman. Specifically, they’re hoping to have over 300,000 acres designated as a viticultural area: wine-growing regions that are geographically, climatically, and historically distinct. That’s the principle behind French wines like Bordeaux, Alsace, and Champagne. Currently, Idaho has one viticultural area, the Snake River Valley, which includes portions of southwestern Idaho and Oregon. If approved, the 306,650-acre Lewis-Clark Valley Viticultural Area (located at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers on the Washington–Idaho border) would become the second.

There’s a lot that makes a winemaking region, but it comes down to what can be grown and what you can get out of it. The deciding factor for these Idaho wineries, in all likelihood, would be their terroir; from the French term gout de terroir or “taste of the earth,” terroir encompasses the flavor a given environment invests in a wine grape through its soil type, topography, and climate. Viticultural proponents say the Lewis-Clark Valley certainly has a unique climate, calling it the “Banana Belt of the Pacific Northwest.” Nonetheless, it’s been a long road for the Lewis-Clark people. From the Statesman:

In the works since 2009, the Lewis-Clark Valley proposal spanning four counties in Idaho and three counties in Washington is now in the final stages of an extended public comment period that ends Nov. 27.

“It’s good for Idaho, having more than one AVA,” Shelley Bennett, community relations manager for the Idaho Wine Commission, said Thursday.

Kathy Martin, a dean at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, added in a letter supporting the proposal that “this designation should help maintain continuity and name recognition for branding and marketing purposes.”

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