A federal appeals court has upheld a decision blocking two Montana logging projects to protect the Canada lynx. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a U.S. District Court decision that stopped the Forest Service’s plan to log in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The court said the agency didn’t adequately analyze how the project could impact the lynx. The case was brought by the environmental group, Alliance for the Wild Rockies in 2012. The Ninth Circuit waited until the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to rule on a separate Canada lynx case before handing down its decision.
Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced the retirement of Cathy A. Catterson, Circuit and Court of Appeals Executive for the Ninth Circuit, on February 28, 2017. Catterson has more than 40 years of service to the Judicial Branch and is considered one of the deans of federal court management.
Another wind farm is being proposed in Williams County, North Dakota. The proposed Aurora Wind Project would be located west of the Lindahl Wind Farm. Tradewind Energy, the company that developed the Lindahl Wind Farm, has submitted applications for a conditional use permit for six meteorological towers. The temporary towers are the first step to developing a full project plan, which will then require the extensive county permitting process.
Demolition of the old Minot International Airport Terminal in North Dakota is underway. The facility, which was built in 1991, started it’s month long demolition process. The $650,000 project is primarily funded by the Federal Aviation Administration with five percent from the city and state respectively.
Montana State University has been named among the best colleges for veterans in a ranking conducted by a military news magazine. Military Times, a print and digital magazine, ranked MSU as No. 89 out of the 130 four-year universities to make its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 ranking.
Boise, Idaho-based WinCo Foods announced last spring that they were considering a Bozeman location. Last week they announced that they have dropped those plans because of city design requirements that “they weren’t comfortable doing.” × City planners were demanding additional landscaping and design effort beyond what was detailed in the company’s initial plan, adding more windows and taking “a creative approach to the palette of building materials,” beyond standardized franchise architecture. They are still pursuing a project in Helena.
Businesses selling marijuana in Montana got a green light to resume business with the passage of Initiative 182. Marijuana dispensers had to close in August to comply with a state Supreme Court order. The order upheld a state law that restricted marijuana providers to a maximum of three patients. Under I-182 the dispensaries will be able to reopen and may have up to 25 medical marijuana patients. Post-traumatic stress disorder would be added as a qualifying condition, and police will not be able to conduct surprise inspections of dispensaries.
Drs. Dulce Coulson and Bruce Pedersen opened Mining City Veterinary Center on Utah Avenue near Uptown Butte. Pederson also owns and operates Watford City Veterinary Center in Watford City, ND, the third largest veterinary clinic in the nation.
Missoula is experiencing a surge in new construction, one that is accelerating. In the first nine months of 2016, the city issued 1,220 building permits for projects worth a total market value of $214.5 million — a pace that exceeds the previously unprecedented $184 million in construction projects permitted in all of 2015. Single-family home construction permits are up 77 percent over where they were at this time last year, with 71 new permits issued from July to September compared to 40 in the same period in 2015.