Many thanks to all of you who wrote us last month after our first MACDEP E-News was sent. We appreciate your suggestions, messages of encouragement, and support as we begin to develop this new Montana Extension Association. Also, please forward this E-News on to others who may have an interest or encourage them to sign up directly by sending a request to or contacting me at the address below. This group welcomes input from everyone in Extension or anyone with an interest in Community Development (CD) in Montana. We look forward to providing up-to-date information and hearing more from you about the content and format of our MACDEP E-News.
MACDEP Interim President
MACDEP Happenings/Member News
MACDEP is planning two Pre-Conference Workshops before our Extension Annual Conference. These workshops are open to any Extension Agents, whether you just want to learn more about CD in general, or have years of CD experience. Both workshops are free and will run concurrently on Monday, Oct. 6, from 3 to 5PM, in Bozeman (exact location TBA). The first workshop is a CD primer titled “Community Development 101 Workshop: What Exactly is Community Development and How Do I get Started?” The second workshop is titled “Advanced Community Development Skill-Building Workshop” and will cover more in-depth CD topics. Please contact MACDEP at to register or for more info.
Crow Men's Health Project
A second year extension on the Crow Men´s Health Project has been awarded to the MSU Extension Community Development Program from the Center for Native Health Partnerships. This $10,000 grant is for continued research on the Crow Reservation to address men's health and wellness and is part of the National Institutes of Health $6.5 million grant awarded to fund the Center for Native Health Partnerships at MSU to develop partnerships addressing health disparities in Montana's Indian communities. A new Crow Men´s Health Advisory Council was created as a result of the work and is now addressing screening and treatment techniques for prostate and colorectal cancer.
Figure 1. Men´s Health Ride on June 24, 2008. Photo by Kelly Gorham
The Advisory Council also recently coordinated a Men´s Health Ride at the Four Dances Natural Area near the Reservation on June 24, 2008. Over 70 Crow men participated in the event, many of whom on horses in traditional dress riding bareback. More info about the project was presented via Adobe Connect by MACDEP member Paul Lachapelle on June 30. Click here for the presentation.
Galaxy III Schedule Posted
The Galaxy III Conference schedule is now available. In addition, a draft edition of the scheduled sessions can be found here.
Annual NACDEP Conference
The 5th Annual NACDEP Conference will be April 20-22, 2009 in San Diego. NACDEP is our National affiliate and we’d like to have a strong Montana presence at this conference. More info is forthcoming at the NACDEP.net site and we’ll keep you posted with the announcement for conference papers/presentations and registration.
2007 Population Estimates for Incorporated and Unincorporated Cities and Towns
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates for incorporated cities and towns in Montana. To view the 2007 data, visit the Census and Economic Information Center’s (CEIC) Place (City/Town) Population Estimates web page. Information includes data on all 129 incorporated cities and towns and a data map showing population for both incorporated and unincorporated cities and towns for 2007.
Table 1. MT Population Estimates 2007 (Incorporated and Unincorporated Cities and Towns)
Figure 2. Montana Population by County (2007 Incorporated vs. Unincorporated Areas).
The data shows that Whitefish has been Montana's fastest-growing city since 2000, recording a 60.6 percent increase in population during that time; Billings remains the state's largest city, and Hysham, Flaxville and Medicine Lake reported the largest percentage decrease in their populations. View the map at full size by clicking the map image.
Community Development Block Grant Admin Manual
The MT Department of Commerce, CDBG’s Grant Admin Manual is now on the web. Contact with questions, suggestions, or corrections.
State Demographer/Bureau Chief
The state of Montana is advertising for a State Demographer and is looking for an energetic individual to lead the State through the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey and beyond. The full vacancy announcement is available online at the State of Montana Job web site. Deadline for applications is August 1, 2008. For more information, contact . Phone: 406 841-2739.
2008 Trade Forums
The Montana Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring two international trade programs to be held in Montana this summer; August 13 in Kalispell and August 15 in Bozeman. Both are co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their “TradeRoots” subsidiary. For more information contact: or phone: (406) 431-9508.
Montana Brownfields Redevelopment Workshop
The City of Missoula and the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) is hosting the first Montana Brownfields Redevelopment Workshop on September 4, 2008. Click here to register.
Building Communities On-Line Educational Series
The University of Wisconsin - Extension, Center for Community and Economic Development has just completed their Building Communities on-line educational series. Check out the 10 archived sessions and other excellent resources at the link above.
Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) Institute
To learn more about the Institute or to register for the September 16th event in Missoula, click here.
Understanding Communities and their Dynamics—A Distance Education Program
This distance education program, sponsored by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, consists of seven, one and one-half hour sessions. The focus is on understanding community, the dynamic components of community, principles of practice, community demographics, community economics, power structures, situational analyses and roles of Extension, community sustainability, and community development processes. The sessions will be offered in Fall 2008 using Breeze technology and a phone line. Sessions will be held Tuesdays or Wednesdays, between September 30 and November 12. The fee for all seven sessions is $150.
Real Estate and Development in the Northern Rockies Conference
The third annual RE&D Conference, sponsored by NewWest.net will be held October 23 & 24 in Missoula, MT. Keynote speakers will be Rick Holley of Plum Creek Timber Co. and economist Chris Thornberg. For more information contact , Conference Manager.
Montana Angel Investor Network Initiative Takes Wing
Liz Marchi, Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund, will be working with the Governor’s Office over the next 12-15 months to provide education about investing. Seminars are scheduled for Missoula, September 25th, Billings, November 11th and Great Falls and Helena in March, 2009. For more information contact . Phone: (406) 883-4044.
National Extension Tourism Conference
The next National Extension Tourism (NET) conference is June 14-17, 2009 in Park City, Utah. The mission of the NET Design Team is to enhance Extension tourism programs nationally by providing relevant information, useful resources, and networking opportunities for Extension professionals and others working in the broad area of tourism and recreation.
These and other CD-related events will be posted shortly on our Online Events Calendar.
NEW Community-Friendly Grants
New Community-Friendly Grants have been added to the Extension Community Resources Program.
Community Development "In the News"
USDA decides not to open CRP lands to crop production
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced Tuesday that, given the nation's improved crop forecast for corn and soybeans, lands set aside in the federal Conservation Reserve Program would not be opened up for crop production, a move heralded by wildlife and conservation groups, but criticized by bakers and pork producers, whose industries have been hit hard by much-higher wheat and feed prices. New York Times; July 30
New arrivals change Montana's political leanings
Most of the 200,000 people who have moved to Montana over the past couple of decades have settled in a handful of urban areas in the Western part of the state, changing the political landscape in such cities as Bozeman and Missoula. Wall Street Journal; July 29
Figure 3: Labor Earnings by Sector in Montana from 1990-2006.
Montana county board moves 2 wind projects ahead
At the Madison County Commission's Tuesday meeting, Madison Valley Renewable Energy, LLC got the go-ahead to put eight more test turbines on Norris Hill in the Montana county, and Wyoming-based Sagebrush Energy got the green light to build eight wind power generators in the same general area. Montana Standard; July 30
Stream-restoration project in Montana provides model for the West
For years, Trout Unlimited has successfully restored streams destroyed by mining activity in the Eastern United States, and now the conservation group has teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service to replicate that model along a stretch of Eustache Creek in Western Montana's Ninemile Valley. Missoulian; July 29
Airline promises flights to 2 Montana cities will resume Sept. 3
Wyoming-based Great Lakes Aviation promised Montana Essential Air Service Task Force members that air service to Lewistown and Sidney will resume on Sept. 3, and that service to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre and Wolf Point to Billings may be restored as early as November. Billings Gazette; July 29
Tour examines future of farming and local food availability in Missoula County
For years, every time plans of subdivision are reviewed, we write off use of that land as farmland.” Missoulian; July 28.
Montana Legislative Branch Debuts Improved Web Site
"We focused primarily on trying to make that content easier to find and access. We hope people will let us know what they think, especially if they have ideas for making the site even better." Montana Associated Technology Roundtables; July 28.
Montana, Wyoming, Idaho discuss options on wolf decision
During a teleconference held Friday, lawyers representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and representatives of sportsmen and agriculture group discussed their next move in the ongoing debate over management of wolves in the three Western states in light of a recent federal court decision that returned endangered species protections to wolves. Billings Gazette (AP); July 28
Change of mission at Montana air base will affect counties' bottom line
The loss of the 564th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana means about 500 personnel will leave the base, and the closure of the 50 missile silos that lie between Shelby and Dutton means the end of federal money paid to Pondera and Toole counties for road maintenance and snow plowing. Great Falls Tribune; July 28
Plum Creek CEO says company plans to stay in Montana
Plum Creek President Rick Holley said Montana is home to nearly two-thirds of the timber company's 2,000 employees, and that it will spend $180 million over the next decade to upgrade manufacturing facilities in the western part of the state, which Holley said underscores the company's long-term commitment to the state.
Kalispell Daily Inter Lake; July 23
Montana is Among Top 10 States for Business Climate Excellence in the 2008 Business Facilities Rankings Report
Our annual look at the top-ranked localities reflects the fierce competition driving economic development across all regions. Business Facilities; July 21
Developers’ Packets: Smart Tool for Economic Growth in Anaconda, Montana
Appropriate economic development anywhere in southwest Montana benefits us all. Montana Standard; July 19
Condos Linger on Missoula’s Market
A pair of Missoula retirees walked through the Dearborn, the fresh condo unit across the Bitterroot railroad spur from Southgate Mall. NewWest.net; July 18
Opp Link Announces Partnership with Rural Dynamics for Economic Development Initiatives
Opportunity Link and Rural Dynamics Incorporated/Consumer Credit Counseling Service (RDI) have entered into a partnership to create opportunities for building economic security across Northcentral Montana. Opportunity Link; July 18
Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson Announces that New Business Startups are on the Rise
Secretary of State Brad Johnson http://sos.mt.gov/ announced that the number of new small businesses in Montana continues to grow. Assumed Business Names, the most common legal standing under which a small business gets started, have increased every year for the past three years. Now, at the midway point of 2008, those numbers are on track for an even larger increase this year. MATR; July 17
Petition Drive Launched to Repeal Montana County's Planning Effort
A Montana man is collecting signatures to end Ravalli County's effort to develop a countywide zoning plan. Ravalli Republic; July 15
BID Incubator Nurtures Entrepreneurs
The incubator, located in the Johnson Hotel on Central Avenue, includes Internet service, a phone system, a copier and a fax machine. There's even extra furniture for companies that need it, said Linda McNeill who heads up the incubator.
Great Falls Tribune; July 14
Billings, Missoula on Inc.com List
The Inc.com Best Cities list focuses on short- and long-term job growth and is gauged at informing entrepreneurs some of the best places to locate or expand businesses. Billings Gazette; July 14
Missoula Considers Hiring Energy-Conscious Official
Hire a sustainability coordinator in Missoula to take on global warming - that's the message the city is hearing from a few different fronts. Missoulian; July, 14
Montana OKs Silver Mine Project Near Libby
Mines Management, Inc. officials said the proposed Montanore Silver-Copper Project near the town of Libby will bring hundreds of new jobs to that area of Montana. Mining Top News; July 14
Montana Utility's Rates 20 Percent Higher Than Others
NorthWestern Energy's latest rate increase boosted rates about 20 percent higher than other utilities' in Montana, due in part to the fact that the utility does not own any power generation facilities. Billings Gazette; July 14
New 55-Acre Business and Technology Park in Kalispell
OLD SCHOOL STATION is a new 55-acre business and technology park off US 93 on the southern city limits of Kalispell, Montana. Located in Northwest Montana’s scenic and economically vibrant Flathead Valley, this innovative private-public partnership offers two Tax Increment Financing (TIF) designations—light industrial and high technology. MATR; July 14
Montana Utility to Tap into Flathead County Dump for Power
Flathead Electric Cooperative announced plans to use methane collected from the Flathead County landfill to generate 1.6 megawatts of electricity for its 47,000 customers in northwest Montana. Billings Gazette; July 13
Montana, N.M. Explore Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses
States are taking varying approaches to finding ways to help small businesses--those employing 200 or fewer workers--provide health insurance to their employees, with Arizona extending tax credits to businesses who do provide their employees with such coverage, and Montana and New Mexico considering ways to allow such enterprises to form insurance pools. New York Times; July 10
Bozeman Wetlands May be Drained for Development
Bozeman’s largest wetland is the center of controversy as developers want to drain and develop and locals want to see it preserved and transformed into a park. NewWest.net; July 9
Grains of Montana Expands into Franchising
When Grains of Montana's first franchise restaurant opened in Idaho last month, Kyle Nielsen wanted to make sure that the menu's key ingredients made the 400-mile trip with no complications. Billings Gazette; July 7
Group Seeks Federal Funds for ‘Green' Building
A Missoula nonprofit has asked the city to apply for $3.2 million in federal money to help it create a “green” and sustainable building center. Missoulian; July 5
Women at Work
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but frustration works pretty well, too.
Helena Independent Record; July 4
Sustainable Business Center Proposed in Missoula
The Sustainable Business Center, a nonprofit that would house close to 20 local green building and sustainable living companies, hopes to set up shop on Russell Street in Missoula. NewWest.net; July 2
Rehberg Secures $300,000 in Funding For Montana World Trade Center in Missoula
Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today secured $300,000 in funding for the Montana World Trade Center’s (MWTC) Enterprise Montana Initiative, based in Missoula, in the Financial Services Appropriations Bill. Montana World Trade Center; June 27
Regulating the River
Jim Hagenbarth has spent his life ranching along the banks of the Big Hole River in southwestern Montana, on land his family has worked for more than a century. But these days it’s not drought, disease or the high price of feed that threaten the ranch. It’s luxury homes. HCN Online; July 3
Baucus, Plum Creek, Conservation Groups Announce Massive Land Deal
Standing just below the summit of Kalispell’s Lone Pine State Park, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., today announced the purchase of 320,000 acres of Plum Creek Timber Company-owned land by two conservation groups, calling the deal, “the largest land purchase, for conservation purposes, in American history.” Flathead Beacon; June, 30
Montana AG's Opinion Highlights Urban-Rural Divide on Zoning
Montana's Attorney General issued an opinion this week that gives voters living in incorporated communities a vote on any countywide referendum, initiative or ordinance - specifically zoning ordinances. NewWest.net; June, 27