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Rocky Mountain Front
Photo courtesy of Rick and Susie Graetz
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013
produced daily by Shellie Nelson
Page 2
More news from the Rockies
BuRec says Wyoming reservoirs have enough water this year
Although water levels in the Pathfinder, Seminoe and Alcova reservoirs are close to the lowest reported, Bureau of Reclamation area manager Coleman Smith said there will be enough water to meet contractual demands this year, but if Wyoming has another dry year, fulfilling those demands in 2014 may be difficult.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 14

Housing prices in 2 Idaho counties up nearly a third in January
The median price for homes sold in January in Idaho's Ada County was $185,909, nearly 35 percent higher than in the same month in 2012, and in Canyon County, the median price was $107,202, a 30 percent increase from last year.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 14

Number of homes for sale along Utah's Wasatch Front at 15-year low
The number of homes listed for sale at the end of 2012 along the Wasatch Front was the lowest reported since the last quarter of 1997.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 14

NARA, tribes team upon biofuel research in Montana
The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are working together on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create jet fuel from woody biomass.
Flathead Beacon; Feb. 14

Increased police presence lowers crime rate on Montana reservation
Police Chief Tony Larvie has completed his first year as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Police Department in Crow Agency, and with additional officers on patrol, the crime rate over the past year on the Montana reservation has fallen.
Billings Gazette; Feb. 14

Wolves from two separate packs in Yellowstone NP form new pack
The alpha male of a wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park that lost his mate to a hunter last year is courting a new mate from a different wolf pack in the park.
Missoulian; Feb. 14

Foundation donates funds to keep Montana state park open
At the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission's meeting today, commissioners will consider the donation from the Lee and Donna Metcalf Charitable Foundation made to keep the Madison Buffalo Jump State Park open.
Billings Gazette (AP); Feb. 14

Logging to resume near Lake Como in Montana
Bitterroot National Forest officials cautioned cross-country skiers to be on the lookout for logging trucks as logging operations designed to address beetle-infested areas around the popular Lake Como in Montana was scheduled to begin again.
Ravalli Republic; Feb. 14

Wyoming Game and Fish suspends youth camps for a year
The Youth Conservation Camp and Forever Wild Educator Workshops put on by Wyoming Game and Fish are on hold for this year to allow the agency time to address safety concerns at camps and to revise content of programs.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Feb. 14

BLM seeks camp hosts for two campgrounds in N. Idaho
The Coeur d'Alene District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management needs to hire camp hosts for the Mica Bay Boaters Park and the Hammer Creek Recreation Site in Idaho's Panhandle.
Twin Falls Times-News; Feb. 14

Idaho employers bracing for health care changes
Uncertainty abounds about how the federal Affordable Care Act will affect Idaho employers, and what it will take for those employers to meet the requirements of the law.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 14

Idaho freshmen legislators submit health-care exchange bill
On Wednesday, 16 first-year legislators in the Idaho House submitted legislation on a state-run health care exchange that they said would allow them to back Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's plan for such an exchange.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 14

Montana legislators' bills prompted by wildlife damage to private lands
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission opposes both House Bills 375 and 376, which would require the state FWP to reimburse landowners for damage to forage caused by wildlife and would allow counties to submit plans to lethally control wildlife, respectively, submitted by Rep. Nancy Ballance from Hamilton.
Missoulian (Helena Independent Record); Feb. 14

Smaller hospitals in Montana ask legislators to protect services
Montana state Rep. Ron Ehli's House Bill 306 would expand state review of new surgical centers to three more counties: Lake, Ravalli and Silver Bow, and representatives for smaller hospitals spoke in favor of the bill at a hearing Monday before the House Human Services Committee.
Missoulian; Feb. 14

Montana legislator to try to revive public access bill in House Monday
Sportsmen's groups are planning to rally at the Capitol in Helena on Monday to show support for Montana state Rep. Ellie Hill's House Bill 235, which would allow users of public lands to cross at corners where public and private lands intersect.
Helena Independent Record; Feb. 14

Utah legislators may push back implementation date for guest-worker law
On July 1, Utah's guest-worker plan will take effect, but state legislators are now considering pushing back the implementation date as it appears Congress may be passing federal immigration reform.
Salt Lake Tribune; Feb. 14

Experts share future hopes for Wyoming energy industry with legislators
On Wednesday, members of the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee discussed a number of options for energy in the Cowboy State in the future that included an underground nuclear reactor and turning the state's coal into diesel fuel, despite proposed coal-to-gasoline and coal gasification projects now stalled in the state.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 14

Hot springs resort near Idaho City reopens for business
The Warm Springs Resort near Idaho City has been closed for 12 years due to a septic system problem, but the Idaho resort reopens for business today, and 170 people have already made reservations to be there for opening day.
Idaho Statesman; Feb. 14

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West
at The University of Montana.
"T he administration is opting to needlessly turn multiple-use public lands into permanent industrial zones. Solar development belongs on rooftops, parking lots, already-developed areas and on degraded sites, not our public lands."

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Mountain West Voices
Hear weekly stories from the Rocky Mountain West as gathered by Clay Scott

Mountain West News is a program of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

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The University of Montana