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Handful of huckleberries

Huckleberries to Weyerhauser to renewing an agreement with Montana to allow continued public access on the timber company’s lands in this state, which it purchased from Plum Creek last year. The one-year agreement continues a decades-long tradition of public access to some 880,000 privately owned acres in Montana.

Chokecherries to the Chinese tourist who left a boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park to collect water from Mammoth Hot Springs – little more than a week after another man left a boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin, fell into a hot spring and died. That incident occurred just days after a teenager fell into an Upper Geyser Basin pool and was badly burned. And let’s not forget three Canadian men who recently trampled the fragile thermal features around the Grand Prismatic Spring after leaving the boardwalk. The Chinese man has been given a $1,000 fine – a small price to pay compared to the damage he could have caused to himself and to the unique geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park.

Huckleberries to Boeing for recognizing the engineering and technical expertise at S&K Global Solutions, a company headquartered in Polson on the Flathead Indian Reservation and owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The company counts about 160 people in six locations, and recently learned that it has been awarded a subcontract worth at least $50 million. Boeing awarded a total $200 million in subcontracts to small business to complete work for NASA and the International Space Station.

Chokecherries to the person or persons who left a French bulldog in a hot car in the parking lot at Sam’s Club in Billings. The dog died on June 3, a day when temperatures reached 80 degrees. Billings Animal Control is investigating, and companion animal advocates across Montana are reminding pet owners to make other arrangements for their dogs rather than leave them in a vehicle on a hot day.

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Huckleberries to U.S. Sen. Steve Daines for seeing the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 passed by Congress and headed for the president’s desk. Daines was one of five cosponsors of the bill, which reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through fiscal year 2019, and allows the administration to hire much-needed pipeline inspectors and analysts, among other important safety measures. The bill combines provisions of bills from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with aspects of the SAFE PIPES Act, which Daines introduced last November.

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Missoulian editorial board: Publisher Mark Heintzelman and Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.

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