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‘Protect the Parks’ mobile app feature created by Chimani and National Parks Conservation Association


Chimani, Inc., a developer of mobile app travel guides for national parks, has partnered with National Parks Conservation Association, a nonprofit organization that works to protect America’s national parks. App developer Chimani will integrate National Parks Conservation Association content into a new section of their apps titled “Protect the Parks.”

The goal of this new content is to inform national parks visitors about key issues facing the future of the parks, and encourage them to speak up on the parks’ behalf.

NPCA is working to raise awareness about critical threats facing some of our most iconic sites, from oil and gas development just outside Arches National Park to the management of bison near Yellowstone National Park.

“As a record number of people visit our national parks, we have a great opportunity, and responsibility, to educate them about the threats facing these iconic places,” said NPCA President and CEO Theresa Pierno in a press release. “We want people to hike the trails, explore the wilderness areas and steep themselves in the rich history of America’s parks. We also want them to learn about the threats facing them, and take action to protect them.”

For nearly a century, National Parks Conservation Association has been an independent, nonpartisan organization working to strengthen and protect America’s favorite places

Chimani is a developer of mobile app travel guides for national parks. Each of Chimani’s apps, which are available for free, are equipped with GPS-enabled offline maps. This feature allows users to navigate through remote parks without a cellular connection.

Skyline bus service finishes 10th year with record ridership


The Big Sky Transportation District announced July 21 that its Skyline transportation services provided a total of 185,529 rides in fiscal year 2016, an increase of 7.7 percent over fiscal year 2015’s numbers.

June 30 marks the end of the Big Sky Transportation District’s 10th year operating Skyline and since Dec. 1, 2006, Skyline has provided more than 1.4 million rides, and has traveled over 2.5 million miles.

“While local ridership was down 2 percent, our Link Express ridership was up over 20 percent, and ridership on our van pool service was up 23 percent,” said Skyline Coordinator David Kack. “Skyline gave over 13,000 more rides in fiscal year 2016 than [during] fiscal year 2015. This shows that demand is strong for transportation alternatives between Big Sky and Bozeman.”

Given the increase in ridership, the Big Sky Transportation District was planning to add additional services to meet the demand, but the district did not receive all the funding it requested.

“We requested an increase in funding from many of our partners, and while we are getting more funding from the Big Sky Resort Tax and Madison County, we do not anticipate getting any support from Gallatin County,” said Ennion Williams, Big Sky Transportation District board chairman.

In its initial hearing on the Skyline request, Gallatin County commissioners voted 3-0 against supporting the District.

An on-board survey of riders indicated that 76 percent of those riding the bus are Gallatin County residents, and 59 percent of those people are riding for work related purp

MVMT Fitness opens in former CrossFit location


A new gym, MVMT Fitness, opened on July 1 in the space formerly occupied by The Peaks CrossFit.

Alex Brigham, MVMT’s owner, said she stumbled into the opportunity and has found Big Sky to be supportive of the gym so far.

“When I came up to Big Sky, I was just going to stay a month of two, but the second day I was here, the opportunity to open the gym came up,” Brigham said.

Before moving to Big Sky, Brigham was living in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was a social media manager and fitness coach for Iron Tribe Fitness.

Brigham is leasing equipment and the space—right next to Beehive Basin Brewery on Town Center Avenue—from the owners of The Peaks CrossFit, which closed in June.

MVMT classes—typically functional fitness or high-intensity interval classes—are scheduled seven days a week, and most are coached by Brigham.

Brigham describes functional fitness as exercise that combines cardiovascular elements with strength training and bodyweight exercises. “You never really know what to expect when you walk into the class,” Brigham said. “We mix it up and make every day different.”

In the interest of driving home the functional fitness goal, Brigham tries to offer at least one field trip-type outing each month. In July, it was a hike to Lava Lake. In the coming weeks, Opie Jahn will lead a mountain bike trip up a local trail.

Montana US House candidates agree to 3 debates

HELENA (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke and Democratic challenger Denise Juneau have agreed to three debates over the next two months.

Both sent out news releases Aug. 1 announcing the dates.

The first is scheduled for Aug. 29 at Frazer School on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, followed by a Sept. 1 debate at Montana State University Billings and an Oct. 5 debate at Great Falls College.

Both campaigns said they would like to set up a debate on the Crow Indian Reservation and Juneau said she’d like to add debates in Bozeman and Missoula.

Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows has been invited.

Zinke is finishing up his first term in Congress and term limits prevent Juneau from seeking re-election as superintendent of public instruction.

Vandal sentenced to jail for carving into Roosevelt Arch


Dakota D. Tipton, 26, of Joshua, Texas, was sentenced July 26 for carving his initials into Yellowstone National Park’s iconic Roosevelt Arch. U.S Magistrate Judge Mark Carman ordered Tipton to serve three days in jail, pay a $250 restitution fee for repairs, and $40 in court fees.

On June 10, park dispatch was notified by a visitor that Tipton was carving his initials into the arch. When contacted by law enforcement, Tipton admitted to using a multi-tool to carve his initials, calling it “a bad decision.”

Tipton was issued a mandatory appearance citation for vandalism and appeared before the court at the Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs by phone July 26. He will likely serve his jail sentence near his home in Texas.

Situated at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, the Roosevelt Arch was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone on April 24, 1903. The arch greeted early visitors who arrived in Gardiner, Montana, via the Northern Pacific Railroad.

“Let this unfortunate act be a reminder to all that the cultural treasures of Yellowstone National Park require our care and protection to ensure that generations to come will enjoy their presence on the landscape,” said park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst.

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