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The Missouri River Basin governors were told earlier this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposes a proposal to lower the level of a North Dakota reservoir in the hopes of alleviating flooding along the Missouri River.
In a memo to various impacted states to discuss at a future meeting, Brian P. Dunnigan, director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, wrote: "The Missouri basin governors recently received a copy of the Corps' response to (North Dakota state engineer) Todd Sando's proposal to lower the level of Garrison reservoir to elevation 1835.0 feet at the start of the 2012 runoff season. General McMahon concluded that the most prudent action is not to implement the plan proposed by Mr. Sando, despite the fact that several basin Governors have voiced their support for the plan."
There is a major shift in power happening in Canada. A shift in the population from Central Canada to Alberta is giving Alberta an increased number of representatives in the House of Commons. Alberta, located directly north of Montana, has been growing at more than double the rate of the national average. Its current population is 3.7 million. The province's increase in population and power is directly attributable to its development of natural resources.
The United States has suffered a plunge in the level of economic freedom enjoyed by its citizens over the past ten years, according to the Cato Institutes' annual report Economic Freedom of the World for 2011.
The average economic freedom score for the US ranks it tenth, as a place of personal choice, voluntary exchange, and open markets – all of which are considered the foundations for economic freedom.
The US is exceeded in economic freedom by Hong Kong (9.01 out of 10), Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Mauritius. The US score was 7.60.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging members of the House to support a bill that would exclude from federal regulation dust that occurs naturally in the course of normal farming activities.
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Rogers testified on behalf of AFBF to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. Rogers called for passage of the bill, noting, "It makes common sense amendments to the Clean Air Act, to prevent federal regulation of natural occurrences and naturally occurring dust from normal farming operations, unless there is a substantial evidence of adverse health impacts."
Canadian Consulate representative Ladan Amirazizi got a standing ovation from members of the Montana Chamber of Commerce following her address about the relationship that exists between Montana and Canada – between the US and Canada. Obvious to all, in the banquet room, was that it was a spontaneous and sincere salute from Montana business people to Canada. It was a "thank you," an international handshake of respect – it was profound recognition of what the two peoples on both sides of the border mean to each other.
Amirazizi was the keynote speaker during the Montana Chamber of Commerce's annual conference held in Billings, an organization that is celebrating their 80th year. Amirazizi is the Acting Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner for the Consulate General for Canada. Based in Denver, she is the official liaison for Canada for four states, Colorado Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. Amirazizi noted that Montana has as an especially strong relationship with Canada.
Spurred in part by unprecedented loan volume in the year's first quarter, small business loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in FY2011 reached the highest mark in the agency's history, supporting over $30 billion, continuing the rebound begun in 2009 and returning to pre-recession levels in the final three quarters of the year.
During the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, SBA loan approvals supported $30.5 billion (61,689 loans) in lending to small businesses and start-ups through its two largest loan programs, compared to $22.6 billion (60,771 loans) in FY 2010 and $17.9 billion (50,830 loans) in FY2009.
In Montana over $137 million in total lending was supported by SBA and its lending partners in FY11. This amount included $112 million in 7(a) bank loans and $25 million in 504 Certified Development Company loans.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103