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News in Brief: Sept. 29, 2017

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LPHS students start clothing drive to aid in hurricane relief

EBS Staff

Lone Peak High School’s Interact Club is organizing a clothing drive to lend support to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club at LPHS. After learning of the devastation wreaked upon the southern U.S., students involved with the club were inspired to do what they could to help. The students have set up eight clothing donation boxes located around Big Sky. Those interested in participating in the clothing drive can stop by Big Sky Western Bank, American Bank, First Security Bank, the post office, Ophir Elementary School and Lone Peak High School.

Clothing of any size or color is appreciated, and everything donated will be sent directly to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. “We are very blessed in our community,” said Interact Vice President Carter Johnsen. “It is important to give back and to help where we can, while we can.”

Harvey was classified as a Category 4 storm and made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25 with wind speeds up to 130 mph. The storm brought devastation to southern Texas and the people living there, dropping more than 40 inches of precipitation on eastern Texas in a four-day period. While the Red Cross has been providing resources and aid in the area, LPHS student are worried relief efforts in Texas will lessen as the focus shifts to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Donations will be accepted through Nov. 1 and will be sent to Houston through a connection the LPHS club has made with another Interact club in that area. “We would appreciate any and all donations,” said Interact President Katie Hoffman.

Study: Montana’s average temperature continues to increase

BOZEMAN (AP) – Montana’s average temperature continues to increase, leading the fire and growing seasons to last longer and causing drought conditions to increase in frequency and duration, a new report said.

The Montana Climate Assessment, carried out by the Montana University System’s Institute on Ecosystem, suggests Montana may need to start storing more water and farmers and ranchers may need to switch to more drought-tolerant crops or grazing grasses.

“So much of our ranging production is irrigation and timing, so the snowpack and these different variables will help us start to make more insightful decisions for our ranchers moving forward,” said Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

The two-year study, released Sept. 20, looked at past climate data and the impact on the state’s water, forests and agriculture.

The assessment is meant to help Montanans “plan, make wise decisions and become more resilient,” Montana State University Professor Cathy Whitlock said.

The authors plan to travel the state over the next year to discuss the findings.

Between 1950 and 2015, Montana saw an average 2 to 3 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, said Kelsey Jensco, state climatologist. “That’s double what the United States as a whole has seen.” The study suggests future temperature changes will be larger in magnitude and occur more rapidly.

The authors plan to expand their work in the future to address the effects of Montana’s climate on tourism and recreation, fish and wildlife, human health, and energy development.

Celebrate fall with free pumpkins and fun at the Community Fall Festival


The Big Sky Community Organization and the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce are partnering once again to host the second annual Community Fall Festival and Great Pumpkin Giveaway on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Big Sky Community Park.

Other local nonprofits, including the Big Sky Community Food Bank, will sponsor a food drive and there will be many other family-friendly activities and games to celebrate fall.

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a 10-kilmeter trail run along Lone Mountain Ranch’s Reflector Trail and the BSCO’s Black Diamond, Little Willow Way and Crail Ranch trails. Interested participants can register online at or on the day of the event.

After the race, beginning at 11:30 a.m., the activities continue with horse and wagon hayrides courtesy of Lone Mountain Ranch. Other kid-friendly activities will include old-fashioned games from Historic Crail Ranch, a cookie decorating booth, bobbing for apples and story time.

From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the chamber presents the fourth annual Great Pumpkin Giveaway, sponsored this year by Big Sky Build. Attendees are encouraged to take home a pumpkin and take advantage of the photo opportunity.

In addition to live music, the Totally Tasty food truck will be on site and Lone Peak Brewery will be pouring microbrews.

The winner of the Big Sky Community Pass, a prize package with a value of more than $5,000, will also be drawn at the event. Only 100 raffle tickets will be sold. Tickets may be purchased in advance at and all proceeds go toward enhancing BSCO programs and facilities.

Visit bscomt.prg/fall-festival for more information.

Award-winning author discusses wild and scenic rivers


Award-winning author Tim Palmer will speak about the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12 at Lone Peak Brewery. The talk will feature rivers protected under the system and highlight key people who have championed the program.

Palmer is a noted photographer and author of 25 books about rivers, the environment and adventure travel, including his latest book, “Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy.”

“Wild and Scenic Rivers” presents a portrait of the world’s premier system for the protection of free-flowing rivers. Palmer reveals the history and essential policies of the wild and scenic program and showcases 160 color photos of designated rivers from all parts of the country.

In 1968 Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which preserves certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition. Less than one quarter of 1 percent of our nation’s rivers are protected as wild and scenic. Montana has 368 miles protected through the program on the Flathead and Missouri rivers.

Palmer’s presentation is hosted by the Gallatin River Task Force through a partnership with American Rivers and Lone Peak Brewery.

For more information contact Kristin Gardner at

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