November 2021

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November 2021 Newsletter

calmfallwater

Happy Autumn BCAG members and friends,

After a summer break, our monthly newsletter is back. BCAG has been very busy with events, education, fund raising and our annual meeting. There has been, and continues to be, much going on with BCAG.

Action Alert

New gas plant proposal in Montana
Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Sierra Club and several other MT groups are educating Montanans about NorthWestern Energy’s proposed new gas plant in Laurel MT. One of several issues with any gas plant is methane emissions. MEIC’s event, Don’t Fall for Gas, recording is here.

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Upcoming BCAG Events and Activities

CurtisShuck

Capping Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells in Montana

Curtis Shuck, chairman of the Well Done Foundation, will present on the mission of capping abandoned oil and gas wells.

7 pm

November 4

over Zoom

The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The Well Done Foundation is fighting climate change by plugging “orphaned” and abandoned oil and gas wells, which are a significant source of methane emissions. The US has about 2.15 million unplugged and abandoned wells (EPA data). The Foundation works with local citizens, governments, corporations, and other groups to locate abandoned wells, quantify their emissions, permanently cap those wells, and rehabilitate the surrounding land. To date, the Foundation has capped ten wells in Northern Montana and created a scalable model to continue this process. Curtis Shuck is a life-long oil and gas worker who saw a need for the Foundation’s work. He has had leadership roles in both public and private sector industry work, and is familiar with the extent of the abandoned well problem.


Chapter One/BCAG Book Club

Our facilitator for the Book Club is a new BCAG member, Cheyenna Burrows. Cheyenna is a recent university graduate in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in renewable energy and technologies that address climate change. Many thanks to Cheyenna for volunteering to set up and facilitate this new BCAG outreach program.

Join us as we discuss climate science, the impacts of the climate crisis, and direct actions we can make as a community to build a more resilient future for the Bitterroot. We welcome anyone interested in reading and learning about the science, politics, economics, sociology of climate change and how it is portrayed in different parts of our society. Together, we can make a positive impact.

We will be starting with All We Can Save, a collection of essays written by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement.

BootstrapLogoDemoChapterOne_1

November 10 to

March 9th

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Free. Contact Chapter One Book Store to purchase the book and/or to sign up for the zoom link.

20% of book club sales will be donated to BCAG.

AllWeCanSaveBookcover

BCAG Activities

BCAG Participates in a $450K NOAA Grant for Climate Change Education and Planning

The University of Montana announced the of acceptance of a $450,000 project grant award from the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), BCAG is a community partner with the University on the project. The main goal of the project is to bring education and local input to
building resilience and mitigation for the environmental changes brought by climate change. The grant award entitled “ResilienceMT: Montana Rural and Tribal Community Climate Resilience Exhibit and Forums” provides funding over three years.

ReslienceMTSaha

ResilienceMT Initiative participants Beth Covitt with spectrUM Discovery Area, Robin Saha, Director of UM’s Environmental Studies Program, and BCAG Chair Peter Reynolds.

The grant monies will be used to engage high school students, their teachers, families and other community members through a mobile, interactive educational exhibit, created by spectrUM Discovery Area, the University’ hands-on science center located in the Missoula Public Library. ResilienceMT also will conduct community forums to support Montana’s climate resilience planning, networking and resource-sharing in the Bitterroot Valley and on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations. The climate science exhibits will include interactive computer models offering learning experiences with climate data, and mitigation technology exhibits.

BCAG Presentation to Climate Smart Montana

On September 2, 2021 BCAG Chair Peter Reynolds and Vice Chair Aimee Kelley presented an overview of BCAG's work to Climate Smart Montana, a statewide coalition of activists working on climate change issues. Check out this video from early September.

Climate Smart Montana is a non-partisan, non-profit network with the goal of sharing information and resources to better coordinate community-based climate solutions and resiliency efforts in Montana. It is an excellent state-wide climate group to join. BCAG board members have been involved with this group over the past 2 years.

Climate Smart Montana offers an unmoderated list serve. Click here and then under List Serve on the home page to join.

Climate Smart Activities Include:

  • Collecting and distributing the most relevant climate information.
  • Sharing best practices and highlight success stories.
  • Understanding local challenges related to a shifting climate and sharing strategies to adapt to those changes.
  • Facilitating community transition to a clean energy economy.
  • Obtaining funds to strengthen community resilience.
  • Encouraging other communities to participate.

BCAG Annual Meeting

BCAG_annual_meeting

Peter Reynolds, BCAG Chair, noted that BCAG's board distilled three major areas of concentration for our work: Education, Advocacy and Mitigation. Education encompasses BCAG's webinars on climate science, articles in the Ravalli Republic, emails and social media campaigns. BCAG promotes advocacy through Action Alerts to the membership, correspondence and direct conversations with local elected officials.

In 2021, BCAG donated HEPA filtration units to seniors at Burnt Fork Manner as Mitigation of wildfire smoke in the valley.

Peter also gave a preview of the announcement of the ResilienceMT grant. (See article in this newsletter.)

John Schneeberger, BCAG Treasurer, reported that BCAG has raised all of the money we budgeted to spend in 2021 on these activities. John noted that BCAG merged with Sustainable Living Systems in 2020, which enabled BCAG to operate under nonprofit status.

The members present then discussed in a back-and-forth with the board BCAG's work and how it can be expanded. Thanks to all who attended BCAG's Annual Meeting and contributed to a very useful discussion!

BCAG in the News

Climate change will effect the Bitterroot Economy, the third of a five part climate series, written by Kit Tilly and Hillery Daily, was published in the Ravalli Republic on October 8. Read the article on the BCAG website..

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Highwaypickup

The BCAG fall Highway 93 Cleanup happened on September 30th, with 14 volunteers and intrepid organizer, Diane Lee. Diane has has taken full responsibility for setting up and organizing this bi-annual clean-up project to highlight our local community service mission for the past 2 years. Thanks to all of our volunteers, many of whom are regular volunteers, and big thanks to Diane.

Other News

Northern Plains Resource Council Anniversary

Cheers to 50 Years! Northern Plains Resource Council 50th Annual Meeting, hosted on Zoom, Nov 19-20, 2021, Keynote speaker Friday, Nov 19 - Katharine Hayhoe, Keynote speaker on Saturday, Marshall Ganz. Find out more and register online at www.northernplains.org. There is a registration fee for this this event.

Volunteers Needed!
BCAG is looking for board members and/or volunteers to help us in different areas. If you have an interest in one of these, please contact board Chair Peter Reynolds. The BCAG board interviews all prospects interested in serving on the board to determine mutual interest and compatibility.

  • Board Members – Plan and coordinate BCAG’s work, including assuming responsibility for one or more specific areas of operation. Monthly board meeting, plus outside volunteer work. Board’s work is to make and approve policies, budgets and programs. Some committee ongoing work needed.
  • Program Presentation Series Coordinator – works with board to identify potential speakers, liaison with board, coordinate information for BCAG publicity and introduce speaker at the event. After Covid, the Coordinator will help us return to live presentations.
  • Project Manager – works with board to take responsibility for specific projects and carrying forward tasks and activities. This includes our program to mitigate wildfire smoke through purchase and distribution of portable HEPA air filters to disadvantaged persons in Ravalli County.