Our MACDEP Business Meeting took place Oct. 18, 2010. We’ve created a new CD Advisory Committee, an Awards Committee, and a new Board Leadership Curriculum Development Team to help redesign, expand and deliver the existing Board Training. If you are interested in learning more about any of these activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Unemployment Rate Varies
As reported in The Daily Yonder, over the last year, the rural regions that had the highest rates of unemployment have seen an increase in their jobs while some parts of rural America that had high employment have see their unemployment rates rise. The map below shows the change in unemployment rates in all rural counties from August 2009 to August of this year. The purple counties have lower unemployment rates this August than a year ago (the dark purple counties have the largest declines), while the yellow counties have experienced unemployment rates higher this August than last — with the brightest color counties having the largest increases in unemployment.
Educational Segregation Affects Rural Communities
The Daily Yonder reports that the country is segregating by education, as people with college degrees cluster in some communities and not others. The areas of the rural America where high percentages of adults hold B.A. degrees have higher incomes and lower unemployment than do those places with less educated populations. The graph below shows this relationship.
This education gap among U.S. counties has been growing since the 1970s. The maps below show the distribution of educated adults across every U.S. county. The red counties have percentages of adults with B.A. degrees lower than the national average, while blue counties have a higher percentage of adults with college degrees than the national average. The redder the county, the lower the percentage of educated adults; the dark blue counties have the highest percentage of adults with B.A. degrees. The first map displays data from 1990, while the next map shows the distribution of college educated adults in 2000. The final map shows estimates from 2009. As time passes, a greater proportion of the U.S. landscape is falling behind the national average. Meanwhile, blue areas are getting darker.
American Migration Trends
As reported by Forbes Magazine, more than 10 million Americans moved from one county to another during 2008. The map below visualizes those moves: black lines indicate net inward movement, red lines net outward movement. Migration to and from Denver County, Colorado is used here as an example, but information can be found for any county by following this link.
10 Ways to Reduce Energy Costs
November 11, 5:30pm, Missoula
Reducing energy use is a key leverage point for businesses trying to reduce costs and become more sustainable in this tight economy. Russ Hellem of Energetechs will give a presentation at The Loft of Missoula, 119 West Main. Refreshments begin at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:00. The event is free and open to the public. Call Genevieve King at 406-824-7336 for more information.
Grant Application Workshop Webinar
November 18, 1:30-4:30pm
The Montana Department of Commerce is offering an online workshop to inform and assist interested parties regarding the preparation of grant applications for the Community Development Block Grant-Economic Development Program. Click here to register.
November 16, 3:30PM, Butte
Dr. Margaret McCormick of Targeted Growth, Inc., in Seattle will speak about biofuel research and opportunities that are available to Montana’s grain farmers and energy entrepreneurs. Click here to register.
Free Financial Education Webinar
November 30, 6:30pm
The Montana State University Extension Service will be hosting a Family Financial Education webinar on November 30th. On your personal computer at least 10 minutes before the start of the webinar, please go to the Montana State University Extension Service's Webinar Login Page and enter as a guest. If you have never attended a Connect Pro webinar before please test your connection beforehand.
Web-Based Workshop on Public Lands in Montana
December 1, 11:00am-12:00pm
Paul Lachapelle, MSU Extension Community Development Specialist and Harold Blattie, Executive Director of the Montana Association of Counties will present a Web-based Workshop covering material in the new publication, 2010 Montana Public Lands Guide. The workshop will provide an overview of public lands in Montana with descriptions of various state and federal revenue compensation programs. Click here to connect to the Public Lands Web Conference. Contact for more information.
State Farm Service Learning Grants
Deadline: November 9
State Farm and Youth Service America to offer grants of up to $1,000 for youth-led service-learning initiatives. Eligible programs will engage youth in service-learning, an effective teaching and learning strategy that promotes student learning, academic achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities.
Office Depot Foundation Grants
Deadline: November 15
The Office Depot Foundation is awarding grants to support activities that serve, teach and inspire children, youth and families; to support civic organizations and activities that serve the needs of our community; and to support disaster relief efforts of recognized national, regional and local agencies. Grant amounts will be a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $3,000 (very limited). The majority of grants issued are in the vicinity of $1,000 and are supported by in-kind donations when inventory allows.
AAUW Community Action Grants
Deadline: Jan 15, 2011
The American Association of University Women is awarding grants between $2,000 and $10,000 to individuals, AAUW branches and AAUW state organizations as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. Special consideration is given to projects focused on K-12 and community college girls' and women's achievements in science, technology, engineering or math.
Do Something Grants
Grants of $500 are awarded weekly for both new and ongoing projects. Do Something Seed Grants are targeted towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started and Do Something Growth Grants are targeted towards projects that are already developed and sustainable.
Local Economic Health Measures
The fallout from the recession has cut deeply into the housing security, employment and income of many Americans, as reported by National Public Radio. But some parts of the country are clearly faring better than others. The following map shows foreclosure and rates by county, and additional maps indicating unemployment rates and median household income can be found here.
Cell Phone Use Prevalent Among All Age Groups
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that cell phone ownership has become near-ubiquitous in recent years, as 85% of all adults—and a majority of adults within each major demographic cohort—now own a mobile phone of some kind. Cell phone ownership is especially prominent among young adults, as 96% of 18-29 year olds now own a mobile phone. Yet even among seniors ages 65 and older—a group not traditionally known for its high levels of technology use—nearly six in ten (58%) now own a mobile phone. Put another way, cell phones are as prevalent among seniors as game consoles or desktop computers are among 18-29 year olds. Indeed, seniors are roughly 50% more likely to own a cell phone than to use the internet (40% of seniors are internet users). The following chart indicates cell phone ownership by gender, age, race/ethnicity, household income, education level, and geography.
Montana Drought Report Released
By September 2010, the Montana Drought Status Map indicated that 55 of the state's 56 counties were rated in the "no drought" category, the only exception being Carbon County, which was rated as "slightly dry." The following map illustrates the state's drought data for October.
Community Development “In the News”
New Federal Regulations Focus on Fuel Economy and Truck Emissions
The federal government announced the first national emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy vehicles on Monday, one of a series of regulatory steps that the Obama administration is taking to increase energy efficiency and reduce atmospheric pollution in the absence of Congressional action on climate change. New York Times; Oct. 25
BLM Approves 7,000-Acre Solar Project in California
The Blythe Solar Power Plant, backed by German company Solar Millennium, is planned for more than 7,000 acres in Riverside County. The project would be the largest solar installation in the world, doubling the amount of solar electricity the U.S. can produce. Los Angeles Times; Oct. 25
Deciduous Trees Improve Air Quality More Than Previously Thought
New research by government-backed scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research finds that deciduous vegetation absorbs one-third more air pollution than previously believed — tens of millions of metric tons worldwide. Denver Post; Oct. 22
U.N. Report Addresses the Value of Nature to World's Economies
The world has vastly underestimated the economic value of nature in developing nations, according to a report the United Nations is releasing Wednesday. Ecosystems such as fresh water, coral reefs and forests account for between 47 percent and 89 percent of what the U.N. calls "the GDP of the poor," meaning the source of livelihoods for the rural and forest-dwelling poor, according to the study. Washington Post; Oct. 20
Study Finds That Wind Could Provide 20 Percent of the World's Power By 2010
Wind power could meet about a fifth of the world’s electricity demand within 20 years, an industry group and environmental watchdog Greenpeace predicted in a new report released Tuesday. The global market for wind power grew 41.7 percent in 2009, beating average annual growth of 28.6 percent over the past 13 years, said Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council. Calgary Herald; Oct. 12
Federal Officials Step Up Efforts to Clean Up Abandoned Mines in the West
Federal officials are increasing their efforts to mitigate abandoned mine hazards on public lands across the West, including just more than 1,000 sites in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. BLM Director Bob Abbey said the effort is in response to BLM concerns about the growing number of accidents and hazards related to past mining efforts on public lands. Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 12
More Colleges Implementing Car Sharing Programs
Colleges hoping to steer students and faculty away from bringing their vehicles to campus to help relieve parking congestion and promote environmentally friendly transportation are increasingly turning to the concept of car sharing. Idaho Statesman; Oct. 5
Military Seeks to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels
With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys in Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels. New innovations include portable solar panels that fold up into boxes, energy-conserving lights, solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity, and solar chargers for computers and communications equipment. New York Times; Oct. 4
Researchers Link Pine Beetle Infestation to Decreased Water Supply
Researchers at the University of Wyoming hope to establish the extent of the impact of the beetle epidemic on water sources and greenhouse gases, with the unique ability to monitor the situation in the Medicine Bow National Forest as the infestation progresses. Their preliminary results show that the pine beetle epidemic could, in fact, have a significant impact on the water supply, and may not have as large an impact on carbon emissions. Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 3
Madison County Planning Board Votes for 'Buffer Zone' to Protect River
Madison County took another step toward adopting building setbacks from the Madison River and its tributaries. The planning board in a 9-2 vote Monday recommended that the county adopt a 300-foot building setback on all properties along the river as well as 125 feet on tributary streams. The board said the move was needed to keep homes from being built close to the river to protect fish and wildlife, as well as water quality. Montana Standard; Oct. 27
Montana Leads Nation in Unemployment Increase
Montana has seen its unemployment rate rise by the most in the country since September 2009, to 7.4 percent from 6.5 percent. The state has lost jobs in its timber and tourism industries. People aren't spending as much even when they do visit popular sites like Glacier National Park or Yellowstone, according to Patrick Barkey, an economics professor at the University of Montana. Missoulian; Oct. 25
Fortune Magazine Questions Findings of UM Bee Researcher Generates Buzz
A recent story in Fortune magazine portrayed University of Montana bee researcher Jerry Bromenshenk as having conducted a recent study to serve the interests of a former corporate funder, and the university is considering legal action against the magazine. Missoula Independent; Oct. 21
Gallatin County Still Leads State in Growth
Gallatin County's construction boom may be over, but a recently released report shows people are still flocking to live here, making it the fastest-growing county in the state and a leading growth area in the Northern Rocky Mountain region. Gallatin County's population increased by 33.2 percent in the decade since the 2000 census, making it Montana's third-largest county. Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Oct. 18
Montana Legislator Named Time Magazine 'Rising Star'
Ellie Boldman Hill, representative-elect for House District 94 and executive director of the Poverello Center, has been named to Time magazine’s list of “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars.” Hill and the other up-and-coming American political leaders will be profiled in a forthcoming issue of the magazine. Missoulian; Oct. 13
Tribes Receive $10M Grant to Fight Drug Abuse
After increasing access to substance abuse prevention programs on Montana and Wyoming's reservations the last three years, the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council has been awarded a $10,162,265 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for a four-year program which provides vouchers to people with drug and alcohol use problems to pay for needed treatment and recovery support services. Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 12
UM Plans to Build Biomass Boiler to Power Campus
UM is making plans to produce its own energy in the future by building a $16 million, wood-fired biomass boiler alongside its existing heating plant on the east side of campus. It will be the largest industrial-sized biomass gasification operation in the state, reducing the campus' natural gas consumption by 70 percent, said Bob Duringer, vice president of administration and finance. Missoulian; Oct. 12
Baucus Pushes Montana Products, Energy Options in China
Sen. Max Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over international trade, visited China in hopes of opening new markets for his home state's agricultural products and to discuss alternative energy development in Montana with Chinese wind turbine manufacturers. Chinese officials who attended last month's economic summit in Butte said they would look for ways to increase imports of beef and wheat, and the senator wants to hold them to that promise. Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 8
Browning Reverend Receives National Award
The Catholic Extension announced Tuesday that Browning Reverend Ed Kohler is the recipient of the 2010 Lumen Christi Award, a prestigious national award given annually for the last 330 years to a Catholic who has dedicated his or her life to serving in dioceses across America that need help to sustain themselves. Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 6
State Senator Named to National Healthcare Commission
State Sen. Kim Gillan, D-Billings, is one of 15 people recently named to a national health care commission that will examine how to improve the country’s health care work force. Gillan, who is work force development and training coordinator at Montana State University Billings, said Tuesday that she hopes the panel not only will examine workplace needs in health care but also will develop a detailed plan to address those needs. Billings Gazette; Oct. 5
Glendive Extension Agent Promotes Local Food
Dawson County Extension Service ag agent Bruce Smith thinks eastern Montana and western North Dakota could benefit both financially and health-wise from eating more of what it can produce. Recently, Smith acquired a grant to travel 16 counties in eastern Montana and 14 counties in western North Dakota, working to develop local food councils. Agweek; Oct. 5
USFWS Presents Management Options for Wilderness Refuge
The use of livestock grazing and controlled burns, the coming and going of wilderness areas, and the potential for the reintroduction of bison were among the issues discussed at a meeting over how the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge will be managed for the next 15 years. Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 1
Experts Discuss Montana's Eventful Bear Season
The increase in reported bear-related incidents raises obvious concerns over why, whether anything is to blame, and what bear managers plan to do to address the situation. The philosophy behind bear management hasn't changed much over the years, what has changed is the increase in bear and human populations, and the likelihood that seasons like this one will continue. Missoula Independent; Sept. 30