Best of the West: Invasive mussels intercepted in Montana, nation’s first all-wood high-rise

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting June 5, 2017, that you don't want to miss.

Researchers and inspectors are on high alert for invasive fish and mussels looking to expand their territory as summer kicks off. In Montana, a boat headed for Flathead Lake was intercepted carrying byssal threads, which allow potentially devastating mussels to hitch a ride to new locations.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service has had success in Yellowstone utilizing the aptly named Judas fish to find and eliminate lake trout, a non-native fish that feeds on the native cutthroat. Researchers working to preserve the cutthroat are on track to eliminate non-native fish from Yellowstone Lake in about a decade. Find out how

Combatting invasive species is part of the ongoing work of the Western Governors’ Association, and has been a topic of discussion in the Western Governors’ National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.

Jobs On the Rise: The latest data from Governing shows sharp jobs gains in several western states. Metro areas in Idaho, Texas, Nevada and Utah have experienced strong economic growth across major industries and lured large employers to their regions. Reno, for example, has seen a boost from Tesla Motor Co. and Google setting up shop in the Silver State.

Going Up: The city of Portland has approved the construction of the nation’s first all-wood high-rise. The 12-story building will be made with cross-laminated timber, which is stronger than traditional wood and resistant to earthquakes due to its cross-hatched layers.

Rocky Mountain A/Vs: Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado gave the stamp of approval to the state’s first law allowing autonomous vehicles on the road. As long as all existing traffic laws are obeyed, companies can begin testing driverless cars after checking in with the Department of Transportation and State Patrol.

Take the Plunge: A videographer in Idaho captured a thrill-seeking kayaker navigating a hair-raising 100-foot waterfall in the eastern part of the state. Watch a video of the daring maneuver.

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


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