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Thursday, Sep. 3rd, 2015

Yellowstone's Ecofriendly Move for Labor Day Weekend

Old Faithful, one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, now has an even more ecofriendly surrounding thanks to the installation of a newly paved walkway that creates a porous, clean and flexible surface that uses recycled Michelin tires along with other materials.

Unlike asphalt, the new pavement, called Flexi-Pave by KBI, is a durable and permeable surface that is being used to help preserve groundwater flow and better control erosion in the area. The project was completed last week and is already being traversed by visitors who come from around the globe to see the infamous geyser that was first discovered by an expedition to the area in 1870.

While the most important benefit of this new pavement material is the porous surface, it is also heat tolerant and durable with low maintenance requirements. In addition, much of the material comes from recycled Michelin tires used by the park’s fleet of vehicles. Importantly, this repurposed tire rubber and other components create a stable material that does not leach oil—as asphalt can—into a sensitive area.

The new path, which used 900 end-of-life Michelin tires, covers 6,400 square feet in the park. Interestingly, those same tires were donated to Yellowstone by Michelin for use on their vehicles several years ago. After 100K miles, the tires were then recycled for use in this new path.

“The material used to create KBI’s Flexi-Pave is completely benign and therefore can be used safely with the delicate aquifers here in Yellowstone,” said Kevin Bagnall, CEO and founder of KBI. “The path allows 3,000 gallons of groundwater to pass per square foot. It also is designed to diffuse the water’s force, helping prevent erosion.”  

The project was made possible through a partnership between Yellowstone National Park, park concessioners, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, KBI (FlexiPave) and Michelin, which has been a Yellowstone Park Foundation corporate partner since 2008.

In fact, Michelin, which donates about $300,000 worth of its tires and maintenance expertise to the Yellowstone National Park fleet every year, flew in employees from across North America to help complete the path’s construction last week.

“We held a company-wide contest in which we gave our employees from the U.S., Canada and Mexico a chance to spend a week here at Yellowstone and work eight hours a day on this innovative new pathway,” said Leesa Owens, the director of community relations for Michelin. “More than 2,200 entered and 10 were chosen from our facilities to help be a part of this important project and also experience the natural beauty of one of America’s great national treasures.”

“We take the ecological integrity of Yellowstone very seriously,” said Steve Iobst, deputy superintendent of Yellowstone.  “This important project would not have happened without Michelin’s vision and the support of its employees.”
As a major corporate sponsor of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, Michelin donates and helps maintain thousands of tires to equip Yellowstone National Park’s fleet of more than 800 vehicles and equipment, which includes everything from electric carts, patrol cars and garbage trucks to giant earthmoving vehicles, rotary snow plows and large load-hauling tractor trailers.

“The Old Faithful Walkway Project is a great example of what a difference a company devoted to sustainability can make in the world’s first national park,” said Karen Bates Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation.  “We are fortunate to have a corporate partner as farsighted, public spirited, and generous as Michelin.”

Through the partnership Michelin’s goal is to help Yellowstone National Park reduce its operating expenses and significantly lower the consumption of raw materials, mostly through the implementation of Michelin’s industry leading green tire technologies that save fuel and reduce emissions.  These sustainability goals for tire performance are significant given that, on average, these vehicles collectively travel 3.75 million miles per year on the park’s more than 420 miles of roadways.

“Helping build and provide material for this new pathway is very much in line with Michelin’s goal of working with the Yellowstone Park Foundation,” Owens said. “It has been a very exciting project to be involved in. It doesn’t get more hands on than this.”

About Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs about 22,700 and operates 20 major manufacturing plants.

About the Yellowstone Park Foundation The Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF) has been the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park since 1996, and has more than 18,000 individuals, corporations and foundations that donate to YPF each year.  Its mission is to fund projects and programs that protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources, and enhance the visitor experience in Yellowstone.  YPF has raised more than $70 million, and funded more than 250 important projects and initiatives since its inception, including cutthroat trout restoration, wildlife research, trail restoration, and youth education.  For more information, please go to


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Wednesday, Sep. 2nd, 2015

Montana State University acquires papers of renowned author Ivan Doig

The papers of the late Ivan Doig, called “a presiding figure in the literature of the American West,” will return to the writer’s native state, finding a home at Montana State University, university officials announced today.
MSU’s President Waded Cruzado said the university was “overjoyed” at the acquisition of the archive.
“Few times in our lives we have an opportunity to witness a transformational event. This is exactly what the acquisition of the Doig collection represents for our library and for Montana State University,” Cruzado said. “The Doig collection will continue to establish Montana State University not only as a great school in agriculture and STEM, but also as a land-grant university fully committed to the humanities."

Carol Doig, widow of the celebrated writer who died in April at age 75, said she chose MSU over two major West Coast universities as a location for the archive, which will be housed in the MSU Library’s Special Collections and Archives. In addition, the MSU College of Letters and Science will integrate the papers into several teaching, research and scholarly activities, including a future conference.

“Ivan's archive is coming home,” Carol Doig said in announcing the commitment of her husband’s manuscripts, file cards, drafts, slides, tapes and other materials to MSU.
“He considered Bozeman as home territory: the shopping center for his family when they lived in Ringling and White Sulphur Springs, and when his family ran sheep in the Bridgers. Montana State University welcomed him early in his writing career, and recognized him with an honorary doctorate. I'm delighted that MSU will make his archive available both locally and globally."

Doig, who grew up in White Sulphur Springs and Dupuyer, was a writer of international acclaim who published 16 volumes of fiction and non-fiction. His first book, “This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind,” a poetic memoir published in 1979, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Doig then turned to writing fiction that perennially hit best-seller lists. His final book, “Last Bus to Wisdom,” which was published last month, is currently number 13 on the New York Times fiction best-seller list and number 9 on the National Independent Booksellers Association list.

Although he had lived in Seattle for many years, the lives of his characters more often than not shared Doig’s Big Sky roots. In his obituary, the New York Times wrote that Doig “created a body of work that helped shape our understanding of rural working-class life in the postwar American West.”
Doig held both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and a doctorate in history from the University of Washington. He was a former editor of The Rotarian magazine prior to turning to writing books. In 2007, Doig won the prestigious Wallace Stegner Award, named for the fellow prominent novelist and Western historian.

A frequent visitor to Bozeman, Doig received an honorary doctorate from MSU in 1984. Doig was profiled in a 2009 issue of MSU’s Mountains and Minds magazine about his book, “The 11th Man,” which was inspired by MSU lore -- the death of 11 players on Montana State College's football team during World War II. In the Mountains and Minds article, Doig spoke about his friendship with MSU’s late President Michael P. Malone, a historian whom Doig considered a colleague.

Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the MSU Library, said the library will digitize the entire collection and make it available to the public on the Web as well as in print in the library’s Special Collections and Archives.
"By committing Ivan’s archive to MSU, Carol Doig is placing immense trust in the institution and its people," Arlitsch said. “Our proposal to Carol was unique in that it offered a partnership of the MSU Library and the College of Letters and Science that will ensure open access to print and digital versions of the collection, as well as integration with MSU’s teaching and research programs.”

Nicol Rae, dean of the MSU College of Letters and Science, said the college plans a scholarly conference on Doig’s legacy to be held in 2017. He added that the arrival of the Ivan Doig Collection at MSU, following the appointment of Rick Bass as the college’s first Western writer in residence earlier this year, cements MSU’s standing as a major center of excellence for teaching and scholarship on the American West.

“The arrival of the Doig collection will have a transformational impact on teaching and scholarship on the American West at MSU,” Rae said.  He added that the college will be raising funds for a visiting professorship at MSU named in honor of Doig.
Arlitsch and Rae said 26 people, including scholars, local writers and members of the community, wrote in support of housing the archive at MSU.
“(The proposal) rallied an enormous expression of support from the Bozeman-area literary community and MSU faculty and administrators,” Arlitsch said. He added that funding the acquisition will be made possible, in part, by a lead gift to the MSU Alumni Foundation by long-time MSU Library supporters Jim and Sue Hamilton of Bozeman.

"We are grateful to Carol Doig for entrusting this extraordinary collection to MSU, and we were delighted to participate in the collaborative effort to make the acquisition," the Hamiltons said in an email statement.

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Cost of Living in Bozeman 2% Higher Than National Average

Bozeman’s composite cost of living index score came in at 2.0 percent above the national average for the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest Cost of Living Index Report released by Prospera Business Network today. The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods & services. The national average composite index is set at 100 each collection period; therefore the index conveys relative price levels at a specific point in time and the index score can be seen as a percentage of the average for all places. The Index does not measure inflation (price change over time). Figures above 100 represent costs above national average; figures below 100 represent costs below national averages.

Housing: The second quarter housing index score was 112.7, meaning that area housing was 12.7 percent above the national average as of April 2015. The average price of a 2,400 square foot new home on an 8,000 square foot lot that met the index collection specifications was $362,452 in Bozeman in April. The average monthly rental rate for a 950 square foot apartment in Bozeman that met the index collection specifications was $1,015 in April. Mortgage rates are also taken into consideration when computing the housing index score. Bozeman’s housing index score is often above the national average but seems very reasonable in comparison with the housing markets in San Francisco, CA or Manhattan, NY with housing index scores of 321.1 and 433.3 respectively.

All Other Categories: As is typical, Bozeman residents enjoy a bargain when it comes to utilities which were 15.4 percent below average. Transportation costs were at 0.3 percent above average while miscellaneous goods & services came in at 1.1 percent below average. Groceries were 1.4 percent above average and health care was 4.6 percent above average for the quarter.

Area Comparisons: To put Bozeman’s index scores in perspective, the other cities included in the table below include the cities with the most expensive and least expensive composite scores for the year—Manhattan, New York and McCallen, Texas respectively. The table also includes the most comparable cities to Bozeman in the Western region that participate in the index. Note: San Francisco was included to provide insight into how Bozeman compares to the Bay area since none of the participating cities in California were comparable to Bozeman. Similarly, Portland was included as the only Oregon city with data available for the quarter.


The national average composite index is set at 100 each collection period. The index conveys relative price levels at a specific point in time and the index score can be seen as a percentage of the average for all places The Index does not measure inflation (price change over time).

About the Cost of Living Index

Prospera insists on providing accurate, dependable information that helps inform and advance local businesses. The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 50,000 prices covering almost 60 different items for which prices are collected three times a year by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and university applied economic centers in each participating urban area. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing a measurable difference. Prospera Business Network, the local economic development organization, collects prices for the index items in Bozeman and submits its research to be analyzed and compared to other communities.

All items are priced in each place at a specified time and according to standardized specifications. The Cost of Living Index measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas. The average for all participating places, both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan, equals 100, and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places. Small differences in the index numbers should not be interpreted as significant. The Index does not measure inflation (price change over time). Because each quarterly report is a separate comparison of prices at a single point in time, and because both the number and the mix of participants changes from one quarter to the next, Index data from different quarters cannot be directly compared.

About C2ER, the Council for Community and Economic Research
C2ER is a nonprofit professional organization comprising research staff of chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and agencies, and related organizations throughout the United States and Canada. In its dedication to improving business information through research, C2ER developed the Cost of Living Index to meet the need for a measure of living cost differentials among urban areas. Originally titled Inter-City Cost of Living Indicators Project, the Cost of Living Index has been published quarterly since 1968. The Cost of Living Index is based on nearly 100,000 data points gathered primarily by C2ER members located in 400 cities. For more information about participating in this project or joining C2ER, please visit or call 703-522-4980.

About Prospera Business Network
Prospera Business Network is a member-supported nonprofit economic development organization in southwestern Montana whose purpose is to advance, challenge and inspire our regional business communities. Originally established in 1985 as the Gallatin Development Corporation, Prospera plays a leading role in economic development serving a region that is one of the fastest growing economic areas in the northern Rocky Mountains. Prospera is dedicated to supporting business expansion, retention and relocation by providing access to business consulting, financing, professional development and economic research. Prospera Business Network provides a wealth of resources and tools to business leaders and visionary entrepreneurs and prides itself on the range and quality of its programs. To learn more visit:

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Wednesday, Aug. 26th, 2015

“What Can I Do?”: Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth Presents Laurie Dameron, but in technical terms, Laurie will be presenting Spaceship Earth. It’s just that Earth created Laurie, and now Laurie wants to protect Earth. And I find that beautiful. She works feverishly toward protecting the planet that provides us all with life and natural beauty, and she travels as much as she can to share her musical and photographic environmental stewardship piece. She is an inspiration and a model to live by, and I have had merely one phone conversation with her. I think everyone, after talking with or meeting Laurie, will feel grateful that there are people like her living among us. She is putting her whole soul into saving the planet that she calls home, and is slowly getting the rest of us to join her.

Recycling is where it begins, and Laurie strives to make it simple, alluring, and important – universally, across the board, for every citizen of Earth, every single day. Laurie combines her musical talents with beautiful images taken by renowned photographers and friends to create captivating, inspiring shows that display our earth’s beauty and tout recycling and minimalism. She is an altruist, a steward of our planet, trying to get everyone else on the same page.

People are confused by recycling, as trivial and obvious as the process may seem to some. There is a world of information out there, and it needs to be concrete and simplified. People need to be able to incorporate recycling and minimizing waste into their lives, every day, all day long. Many are either overwhelmed by all of the information on recycling or don’t have time or motivation to review the rules and protocols, making their values part of their routine. Laurie says this is the root of the problem. It’s not that people don’t care; it’s that many need a boost of inspiration, and perhaps a daily reminder or a more obvious call to routine.

Laurie’s platform is a “fun and easy way to be inspired.” This is why she is determined to travel to sustainably-minded communities in the West and share her ideas on the importance of recycling and of making changes in our systems to get everyone on the bandwagon.  “Spaceship Earth,” she says, “is, in a nutshell, about mindfulness.”  And mindfulness, she muses, has become something of a buzzword in some places, and I agree as we talk on. People can talk about sustainable energy while holding plastic water cups and paper coffee cups, sitting inside a café where reusable dishes are available. This scene Laurie recently witnessed is something we see every day, but it means something bigger. It is an idea we connected upon during our conversation, a metaphor for what is. She recognizes that people care and that people are mindful, but we all need to be the highest level of mindful; we need to walk the walk, every day, all day long.  

Laurie Dameron is a musical environmental steward. She will give her presentation, “What Can I Do?”: Spaceship Earth on September 22, 2015 at the Bozeman Public Library at 6:30pm.

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Monday, Aug. 24th, 2015

Artists Gallery September Exhibits

The Artists’ Gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center will feature the work of Geri Ward and Grace Dyk during the month of September.  The show will include a featured artist reception as part of the Bozeman Downtown Art Walk.

Geri Ward has been painting and showing her watercolors in Bozeman since 1976.  In the 1980's, she was twice a quick draw artist for the C.M. Russell Art Auction in Great Falls.  She had a solo and a two-person show at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and exhibited twice at the Salon d'Automne in Paris, France.  Ward is now painting for her own pleasure and expression, and is showing exclusively at the Artists' Gallery.

Grace Dyk has spent her life as an artist and educator.  Now retired from teaching, she shares her experience as an after-school art instructor.  She has participated in many local art exhibitions and events in the Gallatin valley throughout her artistic career, and has been an active member of the Bozeman Artists' Group, now known as SMarts.  Always eager to further her own artwork, Dyk plans to continue her quest to learn, enjoy the artistic process, and produce more and more work.

The Art Walk reception will be held Friday, September 11th.  Please join us in celebrating our featured artists, and enjoy wine and refreshments from 5:00pm-8:00pm at the Artists' Gallery in the Emerson Center.

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Tuesday, Aug. 18th, 2015

Bozeman Actors Theatre proudly presents Glengarry Glen Ross

Bozeman Actors Theatre proudly presents David Mamet's award-winning masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross, September 25th through October 4th at the Ellen Theatre. Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for drama, Glengarry Glen Ross is a biting, fast paced comedy-drama about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living as they scramble for their share of the American Dream. A celebrated 1993 film version starred Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino, and the play enjoyed two Broadway revivals within the past decade.

Playwright David Mamet's work is famous for its lean and gritty language possessed of such a singular rhythm that his dialogue has been dubbed 'Mamet speak’.  Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has listed Mamet as one of the key inspirations of his own style of dialogue, derivative of Mamet’s mastery of the ‘poetry of the profane.’ 

Above all, Glengarry Glen Ross is a gift to actors, and Bozeman Actors Theatre has an exceptional cast on board. Directed by Cara Wilder, the ensemble features Gordon Carpenter, Richard Dunbar, Daniel Erickson, Colter Langan, Tom Morris, Mark Richard and Francis Wendt.

Audiences and critics agree, Glengarry Glen Ross is filled with “Crackling tension…ferocious comedy and drama,” (New York Times) and is “Wonderfully funny…A play to see, remember and cherish,” (New York Post). Don’t miss Mamet at his very best.

Performances dates and times are Friday through Sunday, September 25th through 27th, and Thursday through Sunday, October 1st through 4th with evening curtain at 8pm, and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Advanced tickets are $15, $17 and $19 (+ Ellen Theatre service fees) and are available online at or by calling the Ellen Theatre box office at (406) 585-5885.

This production is suitable for mature audiences only. For more info, go to or call (406) 580-0374.

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Saturday, Aug. 15th, 2015

New Hockey Director Arrives in Bozeman

The Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association (BAHA) welcomes Dave Weaver as its new Hockey Director. Weaver most recently served as the general manager/hockey director of Galactic Ice, in Altoona, PA, and joins the club with more than a decade of experience in coaching and program development.

During his tenure at Galactic Ice, Weaver expanded the Altoona Trackers traveling hockey club from 6 to 14 teams. He has coached teams of all age levels and led the U18 team to five Western PA state titles and back-to-back USA National Hockey Championships in 2014 and 2015.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dave to the BAHA family,” said Tyler Carneal, president of BAHA, “We had an outstanding pool of candidates for the position, and as the process unfolded, it became apparent to us that Dave has the background, energy and passion to move our program forward.”

Weaver will preside over both BAHA's Youth and Adult hockey leagues including 225 kids on 14 teams and 550 adults on 34 teams.

Registration for youth adult hockey programs will open in the last week of August. Haynes Pavilion will re-open as an ice arena on Sept. 28.

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Friday, Aug. 14th, 2015

MSU students recycle more, send less trash to the landfill

Students in Montana State University’s residence halls recycled significantly more in the last fiscal year than they did during the previous fiscal year, while the amount of trash going to the landfill has also been reduced, according to MSU Residence Life.

In fiscal year 2014, MSU’s residence halls recycled 10,705 pounds of material, while in fiscal year 2015, the total pounds of recycled materials from the residence halls at MSU jumped to 32,601, according to James Tobin, assistant director of MSU Residence Life. To put the amount into perspective, 32,600 pounds is approximately equal in weight to about six cars, Tobin said.

In addition, the amount of garbage going to the landfills from MSU’s residence halls was reduced from 11,540 pounds in spring semester 2014 to 7,460 pounds in spring semester 2015, Tobin said.

"The Residence Life staff and students have been working very hard to increase awareness and efforts to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill, and I'm proud of the work that has been done by the entire team,” Tobin said. “Residence Life is also extremely thankful for the help of not only the MSU Office of Sustainability, but also the City of Bozeman for helping to make all of this happen."

Tobin added the university has been working for several years to improve the ease of recycling and increase the amount of materials that are recycled. One such effort has been a partnership between MSU Residence Life, MSU Office of Sustainability and the City of Bozeman to introduce a “single-stream” recycling program in the residence halls, where recyclable materials do not need to be sorted – rather all materials, including paper, plastic and aluminum can be collected in one bin.

MSU’s Residence Life Department also sponsors a swap table in each residence hall at the end of the academic year. The effort is intended to enable items to be shared more easily among students, and consequently save more items from the trash.

Tobin said that Residence Life staff plans to continue to work to raise awareness with students about ways to be more sustainable with recycling and other efforts.

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Thursday, Aug. 13th, 2015

Bozeman Symphony Orchestra currently holding auditions for 2015-2016 concert season

The Bozeman Symphony Orchestra is currently holding auditions for the 2015-2016 concert season. The Bozeman Symphony orchestra is known as “the cornerstone of arts and culture in the Gallatin Valley” and a source of tremendous pride throughout our community.  Bozeman Symphony musicians are part of a winning team that regularly attracts over three percent of the greater metropolitan population of our community.

As a Symphony musician you will perform for sold-out audiences, grow as an orchestral player, play exciting repertoire, engage as a community member, and perform on stage with extraordinary guest artists. Our regular concert season runs September-April with performances in September 2015, October 2015, December 2015, February 2016, March 2016 & April 2016.  Positions in the Orchestra are paid – more information available upon request.

General Audition Requirements:
-String Instruments – orchestral auditions are held at the Bozeman Symphony office by appointment.  Auditions last about 15 minutes and we ask that you bring in a prepared piece that demonstrates your ability/talent.  Please be prepared to play a scale of your choosing and some sight reading may be required.  CALL FOR VIOINISTS!

-Wind/Brass/Percussion – Please call the office for current openings and audition requirements.
Auditions will be ongoing until sections are filled.  Once positions are filled, players can be added to our wait/substitute player list. For additional information or to schedule an audition, please contact the Bozeman Symphony at or 585-9774.

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Wednesday, Jul. 29th, 2015

Sweet Pea Festival Makes Volunteer Call Out to Community

It takes upwards of 400 volunteers to make the Sweet Pea Festival happen. Please join us this year and volunteer at the 2015 Sweet Pea Festival.

Come out and volunteer for three or more hours and receive a free three-day wristband. Please register by August 5th to receive your complimentary wristband and confirmation letter. Volunteering opportunities can be found at

The Sweet Pea Festival is a three-day festival of the arts held in Bozeman, Montana, since 1978. This year’s Festival dates are August 7, 8, and 9. The event includes everything from dynamic music to children’s activities and a beer and wine garden featuring Montana microbrews. Sweet Pea is committed to its mission of “promoting and cultivating the arts.”

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