Best of the West: Wyoming wind industry grows again, unraveling wildfires, re-thinking bears' behavior

Published on .

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting April 3, 2017, that you don't want to miss.

REI Co FounderMary Anderson and her husband Lloyd co-founded REI in 1938Wind energy in Wyoming continues to grow, with the announcement that Rocky Mountain Power plans to invest nearly $3 billion in wind upgrades and expansions by 2020. To take advantage of federal subsidies set to expire, the Casper Star Tribune reports that the company plans to build up to 1,100 megawatts of new wind and transmission, creating up to 1,400 new jobs.

Seeing Through the Smoke: Wildfires are notoriously difficult to predict, but new technology is giving scientists a better understanding of how they could be managed in the future. This article from High Country News dives into the mystifying behavior of wildfires, and the research that could change the way fires are fought in the West.

The Bear Facts: Recent studies in Colorado and Wyoming are shedding light on grizzly and black bear populations. In the greater Yellowstone area, the number of grizzlies continues to climb as their territory expands. The Denver Post reports on how Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducted a six-year study on the behavior of black bears near Durango that has changed assumptions about their encounters with humans.

REI Co-Founder Dies: Mary Anderson recently passed away at age 107. In Seattle, she and her husband in 1938 started the co-op that made outdoor recreation equipment more affordable to the masses. Today, REI has more than 6 million members worldwide. Read about Anderson’s legacy in the Seattle Times

California Cleanup Continues: Significant flooding across California this winter prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to request federal funding assistance for repairs. President Trump this week announced that more than $500 million would be designated to the relief, including $274 million for Oroville Dam repairs.

ATTEND OUR ANNUAL MEETING: Read the agenda and register for the 2017 WGA Annual Meeting, hosted by Gov. Steve Bullock June 26-28 in Whitefish, Montana. More

Get even more news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.