What’s Montana’s Future? Look Out Your Window

I wanted to make sure everyone had to chance to read or listen to KUFM’s report on the wildfires and where Montana’s climate is headed. There is also an important hearing tomorrow (August 17) at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality you may want to attend.

A two-year study about Montana’s climate is going to be released next month. KUFM’s reporter, Nate Hegyi, previews it here:

http://mtpr.org/post/sudden-droughts-and-wildfires-are-vision-montanas-future-says-state-climatologist

Basically, get up from your chair, go to the window, and look outside to our smoke-filled valleys this summer. That’s what’s coming . . . and more. “[Looking out your window] is certainly what the future may look like,” state climatologist Kelsey Jencso says.

A summary of the report predicts extreme fires, flash droughts, and melting snowpack. The full report will be released September 20th.

There’s some irony that, at the same time, Montana is evaluating whether to expand the Rosebud coal mine in Southeast Montana to provide more coal to keep the Colstrip electrical power generators going. The proposed expansion will provide coal to the Colstrip plant through 2047 and will increase production over what the plant currently burns. The excess coal will be sold  and burned elsewhere.

There is a hearing tomorrow, August 17, in Helena, and several people in Missoula are driving over to testify against giving the Rosebud mine a new permit.

Several seats are still available if you would like to testify. Email yswolfhowl@gmail.com if you want to go.

Derf Johnson, a lawyer with the Montana Environmental Information Center, will assist folks with creating testimony, which is limited to about three minutes a person.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana