Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Pacific Northwest tribe has begun a 4,800-mile road trip with a 22-foot-tall totem pole in tow.
The Lummi Nation embarked on its fourth “totem journey” since 2012 to galvanize opposition to coal and crude oil projects it says could imperil native lands.
The tribe took a similar totem trip last year to raise awareness about a massive coal export terminal being proposed in their ancestral homeland in northwest Washington state.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Cherry Point project earlier this year over concerns it would impact the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing rights.
This year, the focus is on the Millennium coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Washington along the Columbia River.
It would be the largest such terminal in the U.S.
Error in marijuana initiative could delay changes to law
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Organizers of a ballot initiative that aims to immediately reverse new restrictions to medical marijuana distribution in Montana may have inadvertently set their cause back by half a year.
The initiative seeks, in part, to lift a restriction that goes into effect next week limiting marijuana providers to a maximum of three registered patients. Organizers estimate that limitation will leave more than 12,000 patients without providers.
They are trying to prevent the measure from taking effect and their ballot initiative seeks to immediately strike that part of the law.
But the text of their initiative says the three-patient limit would not be lifted until June 30.
Organizer Kate Cholewa says that is a clerical error that can be fixed after the election.
But Legislative Services attorney Todd Everts says a fix would require legislative approval.
Remains identified as military veteran who was fatally shot
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The Cascade County Coroner’s Office has positively identified human remains found on a property southwest of Great Falls as those of a missing military veteran.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that authorities located the remains of 28-year-old Adam Petzack last week.
Brandon Craft is charged with deliberate homicide in Petzack’s February shooting death.
Petzack, who had been living in a rental unit on Craft’s property, was reported missing in March.
Charging documents say investigators determined Craft was receiving money removed from Petzack’s bank account shortly after his disability payments were made via direct deposit. Officers questioned Craft, and court records say he confessed to killing Petzack, hiding his body, pawning the rifle and selling his truck.
Jewell visits Glacier, Yellowstone for park celebration
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell hiked to see the stunning view from the Hidden Lake Overlook in Glacier National Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
During Thursday’s visit, Jewell also met with scientists to learn more about how climate change could cause the glaciers to disappear there as soon as 2030. Jewell says that climate change is a concern for the future of other national parks from Alaska to the Florida Everglades.
She’s also attending the 100th anniversary celebration and concert featuring Emmylou Harris and John Prine at the Roosevelt Arch in Yellowstone National Park during her visit.
Climate change taking toll on American pika’s Western lands
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new study shows populations of a rabbit-like animal known as the American pika are vanishing in many mountainous areas of the West as climate change alters habitat.
The U.S. Geological Survey research unveiled Thursday found ranges of the mountain-dwelling herbivore are decreasing in southern Utah, northeastern California and in the Great Basin that covers most of Nevada.
Wildlife advocacy groups have long been worried about the pika amid global warming, but their previous requests to get the animal listed as an endangered species have failed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition in 2010, saying not all populations were declining.
The findings come more than a decade after the same agency found that pika populations were dwindling, at least partly because of global warming.
2 men in Nevada standoff case plead guilty in federal court
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two men have pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to federal charges in an armed confrontation with U.S. officials over grazing rights near cattleman Cliven Bundy’s ranch.
Gerald “Jerry” DeLemus and Blaine Cooper each admitted Thursday they conspired with others who engaged with Bundy in the tense gunpoint standoff in April 2014 about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
DeLemus, of Rochester, New Hampshire, also pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of extortion.
Cooper, of Humboldt, Arizona, also pleaded guilty to assault on a federal officer.
Both told U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro they weren’t present for the actual standoff.
Navarro is expected to sentence both men on Dec. 1 to six years in prison.
The two are the first among 19 defendants to enter pleas in the Nevada case.