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New West Daily Roundup for June 9, 2016

Today in New West news: Senate introduces Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, Oregon man dies in Yellowstone, ZAGG Inc. holds 51 percent of cellphone screen protection market share in April, and Idaho farmer sentenced to three years prison for seed fraud.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 29, 2015

downtown Boise

Today in the New West: Idaho’s lieutenant governor on searching for a new Director of Commerce, Aurora’s Gaylord Rockies Hotel gets an influx of development money, and a Ramaco coal mine planned for Sheridan, Wyoming is stuck in court.

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New For 2014: New West Books

Goliath Staggered

Some exciting news to pass along: We’re announcing the debut of New West Books and a first title, Goliath Staggered: How the People of Highway 12 Conquered Big Oil.

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Don’t Buy Fool’s Gold

During a bout of insomnia last night, I watched CNBC to see if any of the talking financial heads thought my retirement funds might stop disappearing, and there it was. Perhaps the biggest environmental, wildlife habitat and water quality problem we don't like to discuss. Yes, it's touchy, but that has never stopped me, so why start now. We all need to stop buying fool's gold.

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Wilderness is Multiple Use

Have you ever heard somebody say they prefer "multiple use" over Wilderness? I have what seems like a thousand times, and every time I hear it, I say, silently, to myself, wrong! So, it seems like a good time to say it out loud because the words, "multiple use" have been lost in the Wilderness.

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Public Land Owners Taking RAT, Forest Service to Civil Court

Enough is enough, say the owners of our national forests. And they may have finally found a way to spike the Recreation Access Tax or RAT. After years of working through cumbersome administrative channels and several rounds in criminal court, people interested in reasonable and free access to their public land have dragged the Forest Service (FS) into civil court. In addition to asking for injunctions against collecting "illegal" fees while the case is being litigated and if successful the fee program terminated, the plaintiffs in the class action complaints--to be filed tomorrow morning in Arizona and Colorado--want all fee collection signs removed and all fees collected through the years under the program returned to the people who shouldn't have had to pay them. Suffice to say, it's panic time in the FS offices back in Washington, D.C.

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The Wilderness Drought and How the Green Group Feud Keeps it Alive

Over the past two years, I've been periodically posting selections of my favorite comments from readers of my columns and articles. I plan to continue doing this, but differently. Instead of listing comments chronologically, I've edited them into general subject areas. In this case, here are a few insightful comments that came in over the past few months on several articles on the wilderness drought and the green group feud that keeps it alive and if not endless. Enjoy. Editor's Note: For a complete list of Comments Worth Repeating, click here.

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Designing the New West

The Designing the New West: Architecture and Landscape in the Mountain West Conference is wrapping up here in Bozeman at the historic Gallatin Gateway Inn. Put on by NewWest.Net and sponsored by the Sonoran Institute, the conference brought together designers from all over the country to explore innovative design ideas, identify best practices, and better understand how to bridge the gap between good architectural theory and sometimes-messy building practices in the fastest growing region in the nation. A mix of presentations and engaging panel discussions tackled pressing Western issues like sustainable development, land design and the special challenges of urban, rural and resort design, historic preservation and affordable housing. Click on the photo or here for a slideshow of the days' events. Click "more" for a recap of the conference.

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Merge, Remake the Forest Service

Last month, the General Accountability Office (GA0) announced it was studying a plan to take the Forest Service out of the Department of Agriculture and merge it into the Department of the Interior. Predictably, this news was met with a chorus of yawns because we've heard many grandiose plans for reorganizing federal land-managing agencies. In every case, after significant wasted staff time and much stress for employees, nothing happens. But this one wasn't a yawner for me because something like this really needs to happen. This time, let's get serious and seize this opportunity to remake the Forest Service (FS), an agency lost in the today's political landscape.

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Wolf Recovery Turned Out as Planned

Some NewWest.Net readers might be a bit "overwolfed," but I thought the views of the man who probably did more to return the Big Dog to the Rocky Mountain West than any other person on Earth could be interesting. And surprisingly, to me at least, he thinks it all turned out about how he expected.

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