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Montana Association of Community Development Professionals

July 2008

President's Corner

Welcome to our first MACDEP E-Newsletter! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!!We are excited to bring these monthly updates with information relevant to Community Development (CD) events and resources in Montana and the region. In this E-Newsletter, we will present current information on MACDEP activities as well as regional information relating to upcoming events, grant opportunities, new reports and resources and news items of interest. We look forward to hearing from you for announcements, information and suggestions on content.

—Paul Lachapelle
MACDEP Interim President

MACDEP Activities

MACDEP Meeting in Bozeman
We held our first meeting of the Montana Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (MACDEP) on Thursday, June 26 at MSU Campus. We heard updates from Interim Executive Committee members Barb Andreozzi, Sarah Hamlen, Tara Mastel and Paul Lachapelle, Western Region Department Head Steve Siegelin and Local Government Center Director, Dan Clark. Several of the action items discussed were:
  1. Plan a pre-conference Community Development (CD) workshop at Extension Annual Conference in October for all agents,
  2. Develop a specific Plan of Work for MACDEP,
  3. Explore planning the 2nd Annual Rural Community Conference in Spring, 2009,
  4. Develop a list of potential CD partnerships.
The Web Conference archive is available here. The minutes will be available at the Extension Community Development Website soon. We welcome your input and contributions, so please contact us with questions, comments or suggestions.

Board Training Web Conference Archive
Our Citizen Board Training took place on June 4. Click above to access the archive.

Interested in learning more about specific CD programs and opportunities? Want to send messages with questions or comments to nearly 50 CD professionals across the region who have subscribed? Join our CD listserv by emailing your request to: .

New Reports/Resources

Big Sky Innovation
The Montana Department of Commerce and The University of Montana announce the launch of the Big Sky Innovation website, a new resource to help meet the needs of the state’s rapidly growing technology business sector.

Census and Economic Information Center Releases New Data
The information below was provided by Pam Harris of the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC), Montana Department of Commerce.  Click on the title of each heading for more information.

Gross Domestic Product by State
Recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State shows a 3.5% percent change between 2006 and 2007 for Montana, ranking the state 6th in the nation for the fastest increase in Real GDP.
Figure 1. Percent change in GDP, 2006-07.

County Business Patterns 2006
Recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2006 County Business Patterns is an annual report that contains data covering the more than 7.6 million businesses with paid employees at the national and state levels, and more than 3,100 counties.

Figure 2. Percent change in number of establishments, 2000-06.

United States Census Information - Personal Income
Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released estimates of personal income at the county level for 2006. The Montana counties with the greatest growth in Personal Income between 2005 and 2006 are listed in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Total Personal Income.
County 2005 2006 Percent Change
Lewis and Clark

The counties with the greatest percent change in Per Capita Personal Income between 2005 and 2006 are in Table 2.

Table 2. Per Capita Personal Income.
County 2005 2006 Percent Change

State Population Estimates
The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2007 national and state population estimates by age (see below), sex, race, and Hispanic origin. This data reports Montana's median age as 39.2 years which ranks as 7th highest in the nation.

Figure 3. Median age by state, 2007

2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation
Results from the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service shows that Montana residents and nonresidents spent $1.1 billion on wildlife recreation in Montana.

Federal Fund Disbursement
The US Census Bureau recently released two new reports discussing federal fund disbursements. The Montana Per Capital Federal Expenditure is $8,481.

Upcoming Events

Montana BioScience Alliance Annual Conference
The theme of the conference is "The Art of Attracting Investors & Strategic Partners" and will be held July 15 and 16th in Missoula.

2008 Pacific Northwest Economic Development Council Conference
The 2008 PNEDC Conference will be held in Nanaimo, BC July 20-23. For information contact: Katie Ferland, Phone:

Montana Manufacturing Extension Center Offers Free Business Growth Sessions Around the State
MMEC has teamed up with Montana Department of Agriculture and Montana Department of Commerce to offer FREE OVERVIEW SESSIONS about Eureka! Winning Ways at 15 locations across Montana this summer.

Solar Hot Water Workshop
The workshop will be held July 26 at Sage Mountain Center in Whitehall and will provide an overview of solar systems. For more information contact: Christopher Borton,
Phone: (406) 494-9875

Northwest Economic Development Course
On August 17-22, 2008, the nationally accredited 17th annual economic development course takes place in Ellensburg, Washington. This course brings together some of the best consultants, practitioners, and teachers in the country. Register on-line here. For more information contact: .

Montana Economic Development Association Fall Conference
The MEDA Fall Conference will be held in Billings, September 8th and 9th. MEDA is a coordinator for statewide economic development workshops that provide intense training for economic developers interested in obtaining certification. Registration available soon.

Main Streets Conference
The Montana Main Street program is organizing a state conference in Butte on Sept. 29 and 30, at the Finlen Hotel in historic uptown Butte. For more information, contact: Julie Burk, Main Street Program Coordinator, Montana Department of Commerce, Phone: (406) 841-2756

International Economic Development Council Course
The IEDC Credit Analysis Course will be held October 6 - 8 in Butte, Montana.

Helping Small Towns Succeed Conference
Helping Small Towns Succeed is coming to Billings Montana October 21-23. This annual Heartland Institute program includes participants from all over the US and focuses on leadership, appreciative inquiry techniques, diversity, building blocks and social capital, all contributing to helping small rural communities grow and thrive.


EcoStar 2008 Pollution Prevention (P2) Awards Program
The EcoStar Program rewards Montana small businesses and organizations that have taken the initiative to reduce solid and hazardous waste, conserve energy and water, and improve air quality. The 2008 EcoStar Award Ceremony is November 17 at the State Capital, Helena. Application deadline is October 1. For more information and an application contact , Pollution Prevention Coordinator. Phone: (406) 994-3451

2008 MT TIIP
The 2008 Montana Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program (TIIP) Grant Applications are now available. Anticipated grant pool is $300,000 in 2008, up $50,000 from the 2007 program. TIIP Grant Application submission deadline is Friday, August 1. Contact: , Tourism Development Coordinator, Travel Montana. Phone: (406) 841-2795.

MSU Extension Community Resources
Recently-announced grant opportunities can be found at the MSU Extension Community Resources Website. Dave Young updates the site regularly.

Community Development "In the News"

City Voters Allowed to Vote Country: Montana AG's Opinion Highlights Urban-Rural Divide on Zoning
An opinion released this week in Montana by the Attorney General attempts to answer, but ends up raising more questions about whether city residents should have a say in rural zoning. NewWest.net; June 27.

Flight Service to Seven Montana Towns Up in Air - Economic Development Negatively Impacted
The flights connect the towns with medical services in Billings and state government in Helena, and help spur economic development. Morehouse said the longer the seven cities go without air service, the more likely it is that the Department of Transportation will end the program.  Great Falls Tribune; June 21

Western States Stage China Mission
Agriculture officials from 11 Western states including Utah plan to visit China next week to dedicate a center they hope will sell more high-value goods such as steak and wine to an expanding Chinese middle class.  Salt Lake Tribune; June 13

Reports Puts Montana at 29th for Kids' Overall Well-Being
The annual Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation showed a decrease in mortality rates for children but an increase in infant mortality, and an increase in high school dropout rates, but the percentage of children living in poverty stayed the same, as did the state's overall ranking.  Montana Standard (AP); June 12

Clean-up at Montana Superfund Sites Varies Greatly
From Butte and its infamous Berkeley Pit to Missoula's Milltown Reservoir and up to Libby, the town contaminated with a particularly nasty form of asbestos named Libby Amphibole, the nation's Superfund environmental clean-up program is on display, with varying degrees of success.  Missoula Independent; June 6

Montana Governor, Livestock Groups at Odds Over Bison Plan
The number of bison in Yellowstone National Park was halved this winter, and most of the ones that did not survive the winter had wandered out of the park into Montana, where they were rounded up and shipped to slaughter in an effort to keep brucellosis from Montana's cattle herds, and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he wants to give the beasts more room to roam, but livestock groups are opposing any plan that could put the state's brucellosis-free status at risk. Christian Science Monitor; June 4

High Gold Prices Add 6 years to Life of Montana Mine
The Golden Sunlight Mine in Montana near Whitehall was slated to close this year, but mine managers said the high price of gold ensured the mine would continue operations until 2015.  Montana Standard; June 3

Montana County Gets $1.6M Federal Grant for Economic Development
The Economic Development Administration awarded Ravalli County Economic Development Authority a $1.6 million grant which the Montana county will use to build a business development center and upgrade existing infrastructure in Hamilton that will allow for more community development. Ravalli Republic; June 3

Montana Dispute Puts Focus on Floodplain Development
The owner of property along Montana's East Rosebud River said he believed recent stream side subdividing prompted his neighbors to complain about beaver dams and fallen trees on his property that affected the flow of the stream, and he urged Stillwater County Commissioners to put a moratorium on floodplain development. Billings Gazette; May 30

Montana Seeks Public Comment on Wind-Farm Proposal on State Lands
A New Jersey-based company is doing a feasibility study on building a wind farm on 11 acres of Montana state schools lands near Big Timber, and the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is asking for public input on the project and a public hearing is scheduled Thursday in Big Timber. Billings Gazette; May 28

Northwest Region Sets Record in Power Conservation
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council said that power conservation efforts in the region hit a record in 2007, with enough power saved to light up 146,000 homes. Missoulian; May 27

Montana Development Forced into Bankruptcy
The Glacier Horse Ranch, a planned community offering homesites nestled in trees and next to ponds near Kalispell, filed for involuntary bankruptcy in February, and the Arizona-based developer said efforts are ongoing to reorganize and recapitalize the project, which is about $16 million in debt, nearly $10 million of which is owed to First Interstate bank. NewWest.net; May 23

Montana's Largest Wind Farm Scheduled to be Built by Oct. 31
NaturEner, the California-based company that is building what will be Montana's largest wind farm, said construction continues apace on the 140-turbine, 210-megawatt facility, and that work should be completed by the end of October. Great Falls Tribune; May 22

Major Company Considers Bringing Jobs to Missoula
The National economy may be in a slump, but Missoula got some encouraging news that could mean a huge bump for the local economy. Some three hundred jobs may soon come to Missoula. Montana News Station.com; May 21

Montana City to Harness Methane From Landfill
Billings wants to partner with Montana-North Dakota Utilities to harvest methane from the Montana city's landfill to pump into the utility's pipeline. Billings Gazette; May 21

Farmers, Ranchers Not Happy with Montana County's Planning Effort
An effort to enact countywide zoning efforts in Montana's Ravalli County has drawn the displeasure of the Ravalli County Right to Farm and Ranch Board, who expressed concerns about the latest draft's taxation changes based on land use and a need for more incentives for cluster-based development. Ravalli Republic; May 20

Montana Board OKs Assessment of Coal Tracts
The Montana Land Board, consisting of the state's top five elected officials, voted unanimously to get a market appraisal of the state's 550 million tons of coal, the first step in the process to developing those resources. Helena Independent Record; May 20

Montana Millworkers, Town Prepare for the Next Chapter in Life
The final 100 workers at Stimson Lumber Co.'s mill in Bonner are preparing to move on after their jobs end later this month, and the tiny Montana town that is losing its largest employer, is preparing for change as well. Missoulian; May 19

Where Should Missoula Grow?
To house the growing population, Missoula needs to build about 15,000 new homes in the next 20 years, local planners say. The big question is how the city will accommodate this growth. NewWest.net; May 19

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, Montana Economic Development Report Outlines Economic Opportunities, Including Alternative Energy, and Hurdles
The community’s location and natural resources hold economic opportunity including alternative energy possibilities, but hurdles remain, a new report said. Montana Standard; May 15

Wyoming Landowner Finds a Way to Keep Ranching and Build Homes Too
Conservation easements have been used by owners of large ranches in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado to allow them to maintain ranching operations and develop some of the land as well. NewWest.net; May 15

Hotter, Drier Weather Forces Montana Farmer to Change Crops
At the Burton K. Wheeler Center’s conference on climate change and its effect on agriculture and energy in Montana, farmers said they've stopped planting barley because the state's climate has become hotter and drier. Bozeman Daily Chronicle; May 13

As Fuel Prices Rise, Oil, Gas Permits in Montana Counties Increase as Well
Oil and gas exploration efforts in Montana's Teton County are higher than they have been in the last quarter-century, and exploration permits are on the rise in neighboring Pondera County as well. Great Falls Tribune; May 12

The WUI and The Western Fire Season
This story looks at the overall outlook of this summer's Western fire season. NewWest.net; May 12

Three Western States Get an "F" on Child-Abuse Policies
A report released today by First Star, a national nonprofit which advocates for abused children, and by the University of San Diego School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute, gives Utah, Montana, New Mexico and seven other states an "F" for failing to release information about fatal and near-fatal child abuse cases. Deseret News; April 29

Green County, NC ~ Wireless and Way Ahead
A county in eastern North Carolina invested in a community wireless internet system five years ago and already has lots to show for it: higher graduation rates and new businesses. With new technologies on the horizon, low-cost WiFi may soon be within reach for all rural communities. The Daily Yonder; March 26

MSU Extension Logo
MSU Extension Community Development
Wilson Hall 1156 P.O. Box 172240
Bozeman, MT 59717-2240

Tel: (406) 994-3620