Hyalite shooting restrictions get mixed reviews

By ROSS SELLERS/Montana State News

Any shooter hoping to get some target practice in at Hyalite Canyon can expect a $100 fine due to the recent shooting restriction put in place by the Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, according to Lisa Stoeffler, Bozeman District ranger.

Stoeffler said the primary reason for this closure is safety, citing the density of recreation sites (475 developed sites, 185 dispersed camping sites, 70 miles of trail and 65 miles of road) in the Hyalite drainage. Stoeffler said it was almost “impossible to get a safe distance between recreational shooters and the rest of the recreating public.”

According to a press release issued March 8 by the Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, the restriction for target shooting in the Hyalite Canyon will go into effect on April 20, and will remain in place throughout the year, but it will not affect hunting in Hyalite.

Stoeffler also said, “the response to the shooting closure has been overwhelmingly supportive,” because many believed that there is too much public use in Hyalite for shooting to be safe.

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Federal agency plans to lift grizzly protections

By MIKAL OVERTURF/Montana State News

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially proposed to remove Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Federal Endangered Species list on March third of this year. The only grizzly bears affected by the delisting will be bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, all other U.S. grizzlies will remain on the list.

Since the mid 1990s, the Yellowstone bear population has grown 4  rcent per year, according to the Interagency Grizzly Bear website.

Yellowstone grizzly bears were previously delisted in 2007. In 2009, after concerns arose about their dwindling food supply, they were listed again. However, according to the Yellowstone National Park website, grizzly numbers in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem have grown from 136 in 1975 to about 700 today.

One issue garnering a lot of attention online is what type of hunting policies will be implemented. According to the National Park Service website, all hunting laws would be determined by state agencies. However, hunting Grizzly Bears will always remain illegal within Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

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Sanders supporters rally in Bozeman

By KRISTIN ROCHNIAK/Montana State News

Montanans for Bernie Sanders showed off their political enthusiasm last Saturday as they marched down the sidewalks of Main Street in Bozeman, in support of their man, the 74 year old U.S. Senator from Vermont.

Upwards of 400 people arrived to show their support for the candidate who is changing the face of fundraising in this year’s race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The rally lasted over two hours, and they marched over 12 blocks. There was no fighting despite the provocation by Trump supporters that drove by yelling such slights as, “build the wall!”

Chants rang through the crowd endorsing the candidate for running a no nonsense campaign, trumpeting the fact that he has funded his bid almost entirely by small individual donations. One chant that sounded from the crowd, “We don’t need no super- PAC!” was quickly followed by the response, “Bernie Sanders has our back!”

According to his campaign, last month Sanders raised over $39 million in individual contributions of an average of just $27 each. They hope to surpass that during the month of April by reaching their previous record of $43 million in one month.

“I have given the Bernie campaign about $75 over the course of the last six months,” said Derrick Krueger, a Montana State University senior in the College of Business. “I wish I could give even more, but being a broke college student – it’s all I can do,” he laughed.  “But that fact about myself is why I am voting for Sanders. He is investing his entire life into my future, so I plan on investing all I possibly can on him.”

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Food waste a global, and local, problem

By SARA SAXTON/Montana State News

There are 800 million people around the world suffering from hunger, according to National Geographic.

We could feed those 800 million starving people more than twice with the excess 2.9 trillion pounds of food waste we produce annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

During the month of April there will be four free showings of a movie called “Just Eat It” in various places in Bozeman. This movie talks about how humans waste 40 percent of what we grow and raise.

The producers of this movie want to know if the food that is being wasted in eatable and if it can be salvaged. A lot of the food that is being wasted is food that grocery stores consider to be crooked and deformed.

Food waste is not only happening in other parts of the world,.It’s also happening in Bozeman.

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Area floodplain maps being updated

By LILLY BROGGER/Montana State News

With multiple major bodies of water running through the Gallatin Valley, flooding is always a concern. In the winter, ice jams often cause homeowners to worry. In the spring, runoff can cause rivers and streams to swell to dangerous levels.

Understanding the floodplain is vital for keeping homes, roads and families safe; however, the maps of the floodplain are over 30 years old. The city of Bozeman, Gallatin County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) are currently attempting to update these maps. Changing the floodplain maps could affect insurance, city restrictions on building and lenders financing homes.

The bodies of water these maps concern are the West Gallatin River, Bozeman Creek, Mathew Bird Creek, Nash Spring Creek, Flat Creek, Figgins Creek and the Mill Ditch Diversion.

A public open house was held at the Bozeman City Hall on Thursday, April 7, to discuss the issue for residents along Bozeman Creek. The floodplain map for this area was created in 1974, a study was done in 1979 to better understand the floodplain and a revised version was put into place in 1985. It has not been revised since.

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Medical marijuana restrictions contested

By ADAM SCHREUDER/Montana State News

Unlike the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, Montana maintains its illegality.  The efforts to keep medical marijuana available to patients have been ongoing since 2011, when legislators restricted caregivers to a three patient maximum.  This tight restriction forced many caregivers out of business and sent many patients back to pharmaceutical remedies.

“I just don’t know if I can deal with those side effects again. I don’t feel like myself when I’m on a constant cocktail of Oxycontin and Valium, or whatever antibiotics they think works these days,” said Trevor Swahn, a victim of Crohn’s disease.

Although legislators technically restricted the availability of marijuana in 2011, activists continually delayed the restriction through legal  appeals until .  Medical marijuana supporters were not shocked that the procrastination tool of appeals was eventually defeated by the legislature, but they are now faced with the reality of taking the now illegal industry back underground.

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Wine barrel-brewed cider a first for Lockhorn

By NATALIE WALTERS/Montana State News

Glen Deal, the current owner of Lockhorn Cider House, started the business with the help of Adam Olsen, a carpenter, who became one the of the cider makers. Both Deal and Olsen are now looking forward to tasting their first wine-barrel fermented cider, which has not been named yet.

Currently, Lockhorn produces and sells cider flavors from bourbon barrels, but their wine-barrel fermented cider will be something new for the duo. Lockhorn Cider House is one of first cider houses in the state of Montana to prepare tasting a dry cider fermented in a 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, according to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter.

A dry cider is traditionally fermented in an oak barrel, according to Olsen. However, Olsen anticipates that the new unnamed cider will pick up a lot of the oak and berry taste from the wine. According to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter the Lodi wine is described as a “smooth, bold, full bodied, slightly tannic (acidic) and bitter” wine.

Due to the brightness of the wine berry, Olsen thinks that the cider is going to be “more of a magenta color, or close to a rose color.”

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Billings swine flu death raises local concerns

By JENNY BRYAN/Montana State News

Tragedy struck Billings when a 9-year-old girl died Monday after being diagnosed with swine flu.

Although the definite cause of death is still unclear, parents and students throughout the city are on alert for health risks.

According to the Mayo Clinic, H1N1 also known as swine flu first appeared in April 2009 and has never completely dispersed. Despite popular belief the type A influenza is transmitted between people, not pigs.

The Center for Disease Control’s website reported that in the region of the country that includes Montana, along with five other states, there have been 1,502 cases of the swine flu since Oct 4, 2015.

However, according to an interview with the Billings Gazette, John Felton, the CEO of Riverstone Health said, “We are not aware of any [health] threat to anyone.”

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Hyalite off limits during annual spring closure

By ALEXANDRA DUBIN/Montana State News

Hyalite Canyon is one of Bozeman’s most beloved national forest areas. It began its annual spring closure cleanup on April 1 and will run through May 15.

The gates at the mouth of the canyon are closed, which forbids motor vehicles access.

During the annual spring closure, the roads will be thawing out and cannot handle motorized vehicles. It can cause cracking in the pavement and create potholes, according to the Forest Service.

With higher elevation in a location, the later in the season a gate will remain closed according to Wendy Urie, the Recreation Program Manager of Bozeman’s’ Ranger District.

“It’s still really snowy in Hyalite. People see it’s 70 degrees in town, grass is green and Hyalite still has 3 feet of snow,” said Urie.

The canyon is still open to other forms of transportation such as running, walking and cycling.

“We do get use in other places since many gates are still closed after May 16,” said Urie.

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Opposition surfaces to Smith River-area mine

By MEGAN AHERN/Montana State News

In December 2015, Canadian company Tintina Resources Inc. applied for a permit from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to build an underground copper mine near Sheep Creek, an important tributary to the Smith River, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The firm’s application is currently undergoing review from the DEQ.

Although Tintina Resources’ spokesperson have insisted that the project will not harm the Smith River, their nonchalance has done little to prevent public outcry from an angry coalition of environmental groups and Montana residents.

In addition to the assessment performed by the DEQ, both concerned citizens and organizations opposing the mine have recruited private consultants and industry experts to analyze the application, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Montana Trout Unlimited Director Bruce Farling explained why his group is among those who have hired independent reviewers.

“They have blown these things repeatedly in the past,” said Farling of the DEQ. “We don’t have a lot of confidence in their ability to get this right.”

Continue reading “Opposition surfaces to Smith River-area mine”

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