In the Rockies today, Parks Canada is moving forward with its plan to transfer management of hot springs in two Alberta and one B.C. national park to private companies.
The federal agency, which is dealing with a $29-million budget cut and the loss of 600 workers, believes the marketing and customer service expertise a private operator will provide will help boost business, and revenue, at the hot springs in Jasper and Banff national parks in Alberta and Kootenay National Park in British Columbia.
Also north of the border, Kinder Morgan Canada says it has lined up commitments from oil producers in Alberta to allow the company to nearly triple the capacity of its TransMountain XL pipeline that runs from Edmonton to both Vancouver, B.C. and Washington state.
Company officials are planning to submit the proposal to the National Energy Board later this year.
In Montana, the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission approved a policy to address brucellosis in elk populations that keeps the commission in a hands-on capacity for the next few years.
The federal government is expected to publish its proposal to list the Gunnison sage grouse as a threatened species today, and designated 1.7-million acres in Colorado and Utah as critical habitat for the species.
The publication of the decision will open a 60-day comment period.
And finally, in our In-depth section, the Missoula Independent takes us on a tour of Blue Marble Materials' biorefinery in the Montana city, giving readers a glimpse of the processes the company uses to create natural chemicals used in the food and cosmetics industries.