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Monday, Apr. 20th, 2015

For the third year in a row, MSU named a 'Tree Campus USA'

For the third year in a row, Montana State University has been designated a Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

In recognition of the designation and in celebration of Arbor Day, MSU will hold its third annual “Plant a Tree, Donate a Tree” event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 24, on South 15th Street just north of Lincoln Street near the intramural fields. Individuals who are interested in donating a tree are invited to contact Blake Lerner at People who would like to help plant a tree are invited to simply show up at the tree planting location during the designated hours.

MSU achieved the Tree Campus USA recognition by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, maintaining a tree care plan, dedicating annual expenditures toward trees, observing Arbor Day and committing to a student service learning project.

“We are honored to be recognized once again for our ongoing stewardship of our tree resources,” said E.J. Hook, MSU environmental services manager. “Designation as a Tree Campus USA validates our efforts, process and continuing commitment to responsible management of our trees, both now and into the future. What is most encouraging is the increased awareness throughout the campus community regarding the value of trees and the difference they make in the environment we all share.”

MSU’s Tree Campus USA designation is from the Arbor Day Foundation, an organization dedicated to inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. The Arbor Day Foundation created the Tree Campus USA program in 2008. More information is available online at

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Friday, Apr. 17th, 2015

High Tech Backcountry Skis Made In Bozeman Hit the slopes In Time for Spring

Seneca Boards, a Bozeman based ski and snowboard manufacturer established in 2006, announced a 4-month early limited edition release of the 2016 backcountry specific skis and split-boards today. Products are typically made for release in the fall when demand starts to increase in anticipation for the ski season, which also gives manufacturers the summer months to finish production. The early release was timed to encourage backcountry skiing after the ski resorts closed.

The decision to release next year’s products early was made back in February to allow for an extra production run during the winter. One of the company’s core philosophies has been to challenge the status quo in the ski and snowboard industry, both with its practices and products. “Seneca continues to create innovative products every year” said Eric Newman, Founder and Product Developer at Seneca Boards “The goal of this early release is to demonstrate our commitment to doing things a little differently”

If releasing the skis early isn’t unique enough, the technology in their construction certainly is. The new backcountry skis feature a hybrid construction of fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is roughly twice as strong as steal, and ¼ the weight. But using it correctly is difficult, which is why we are only now seeing it used by mainstream manufacturers, such as DPS skis and the Volkl V-Werks.

Seneca started development of their carbon skis nearly two seasons ago. Working with it required working closely with their epoxy supplier to develop new heating and curing cycles. They also worked with their new carbon fiber supplier, the same supplier and sponsor of NASA’s space shuttle program, to calculate and calibrate the new flex of the ski. The result is a ski that is livelier, stronger, and up to 1.5lbs lighter. To illustrate the complexity of the ski, the carbon fiber skis have a clear top-sheet that allows you to see the delicate weave of the carbon fiber inside.

The company’s 8 seasons of manufacturing and a focus on customer involvement have showed a trend towards customers’ interest in saving money, while still buying a premium product. To give people an opportunity to do so Seneca Boards sells their products in limited editions straight from the factory to avoid the markup of traditional retailers. As sales slow in the spring, Seneca creates demand by offering customers large savings for buying skis early for the following season, similar to local ski resorts offering deep discounts for season passes purchased in the spring.

Seneca Boards will put the backcountry skis and split-boards on sale for a limited time for 25% off and release a limited edition of 50 pairs, each hand numbered and signed personally by the owner.

Seneca Boards is the Montana’s first ski and snowboard manufacturer, and one of 3 of the country’s leading custom ski and snowboard manufacturers. The limited edition skis and split-boards can be seen at or and are already in stock. You can also see the skis in person or check out skis to demo by stopping into the factory’s new show room at 2104 North Rouse Ave, Suite B, on the way to Bridger Bowl.

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Thursday, Apr. 16th, 2015

Artists' Gallery May Artists

The Artists’ Gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center will feature the work of Marci Surratt and Robert Schlenker during the month of May.  The show will include a Featured Artist Reception where you can meet the artists and share a glass of wine.

Robert Schlenker is one of the Artist Gallery’s newest members.  He works primarily in oils, focusing on landscape and wildlife art.  Robert’s smooth, brush stroke technique and fine attention to detail result in exquisite, lifelike images.  This technique, coupled with great anatomical accuracy creates wildlife images so realistic, the animals appear ready to jump or fly off out of the frame.  As a full-time artist, Schlenker has been featured in galleries across the country, and is a signature member of the international organization Artists For Conservation (AFC).

Marci Surratt works primarily in oils as well, but with a much different technique.  She approaches the subject of Nature with great awe and spiritual reverence.  For inspiration, Surratt steps into Nature in search of a story.  She spends time in the landscape, feeling and imagining the history and story of her surroundings, then brings this dialogue to her canvas with each brush stroke.  She paints from her soul in an attempt to communicate what the earth and its magnificent beasts bring out inside herself.

Stop by for our Featured Artist Reception in The Artists’ Gallery, Friday, May 8th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm during the Emerson Open House.

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Tuesday, Apr. 14th, 2015

Youth Leadership Program Accepting Applications for ‘Igniting the Flame Within” Summer Camps for Gallatin and Park County Teens

Hopa Mountain’s Youth Leadership Program is now accepting applications for the 2015 summer youth leadership camps for teens 13-17.  The camp for Park County teens will be held June 15-19, and the Gallatin County camp will be July 6-10.  The camps are free-of-charge for accepted participants.  In these weeklong residential camps, youth will participate in outdoor problem-solving and skill-building activities, self awareness activities, art and sciences activities, and community service.  This summer’s camps also include white water rafting.  Each summer camp is followed by bi-weekly service-learning programs and community service projects throughout the school year.
Hopa Mountain’s Youth Leadership Program is a year round initiative which promotes positive and sustained educational experiences for Gallatin and Park County teens, by fostering direct interaction with the environment, the arts, respected adults and the greater community.  These experiences help prepare teens for life as contributing members of their families, peer groups, and communities. The program is made possible through the generous support of the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund, the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation, the Walter L. and Lucille Braun Family Charitable Gift Fund, the Gilhousen Family Foundation, and Hopa Mountain members. The Park County program is collaboratively organized with LINKS for Learning in Livingston.
Hopa Mountain is a Bozeman-based non-profit that invests in rural and tribal citizen leaders, adults and youth, in their efforts to improve education, ecological health, and economic development (  Citizen leaders are those individuals -- adults and youth -- who step forward when they recognize that their community needs help. Hopa Mountain provides these leaders with training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.  Promoting and supporting youth leadership and community service is core to Hopa Mountain’s mission.  Hopa Mountain’s Youth Leadership Camp applications are available online at or by calling (406) 586-2455 or emailing          

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Tuesday, Apr. 7th, 2015

Eugene’s of Glasgow wins the Montana Mint’s 2015 Best Pizza in Montana Championship

After three rounds of voting, over 10,000 votes cast, and lots of pizza debate, the Montana Mint named Eugene’s Pizza of Glasgow as the 2015 Montana Pizza Champion.  Montanans have voted over the past three weeks for their favorite pizza shops in a March Madness style bracket.  A copy of the original bracket can be found here.

The owners of the Montana Mint said, “One thing that became clear over the past year is there was no consensus on the best pizza in the state.  The 2015 Montana Pizza Championship bracket aimed to give us some answers.”

Statewide radio personality Aaron Flint has been regularly plugging the pizza shop on his morning show “Voices of Montana.”  Upon hearing the news of Eugene’s victory, Flint said “”I think it’s pretty clear the Hi Line is the real winner here. Three of the top four came from Highway 2 destinations. I’ll never forget growing up as a kid seeing Mr. Knodel throwing the pizza dough up to the ceiling. Eugenes Pizza has the taste, the ambience, and the community.”

Eugene’s captured 48 percent of the vote in the Final Four round of the Montana Pizza Championship Bracket.  Eugene’s fended off stiff competition from Nalivka’s out of Havre (34 percent), Howard’s of Great Falls (11 percent), and Me Too Pizza out of Culbertson (7 percent).

Eugene’s was established in 1962 and has served the greater Glasgow area ever since.  The offer your regular slate of normal pizza toppings, and some “Time Proven Combinations” that offer some bizzare, but apparently popular, choices.  These include the Henry J (Canadian bacon and Sauerkraut), The Friday Special (tuna, shrimp, mushroom, and onion) and the Super (pretty much everything: Pepperoni, Beef, Salami, Sausage, Onion, Green Pepper & Mushroom).

For those not able to find their way to Glasgow in the near future, Eugene’s will overnight (!!!) you a half-cooked pizza.  They also have some sweet gear you can rep anywhere in the world.  Give them a call at (406) 228-8552 for details.

You can relive the action by checking out the launch of the bracket, our analysis for the sweet sixteen, our disbelief as Moose’s fell behind in the voting, and finally the Final Four.

The Montana Mint has a simple mission: Bring the best of Montana to the internet.  We do this by sharing lots of original content, gorgeous photos, and stories we think you’ll be interested in.  And we highlight Montana businesses and Montana made products (like our BEER shirt).  See more at

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Monday, Apr. 6th, 2015

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers to Honor Bozeman Resident

Bozeman resident Joe Gutkowski has been selected as the recipient of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers’ prestigious Aldo Leopold Award, which will be presented on Thursday, April 9, during a ceremony in downtown Bozeman.
The Aldo Leopold Award is bestowed annually to an individual who demonstrates exceptional work and dedication to conservation and backcountry values, especially the conservation of wildlife habitat. An early day smokejumper, Gutkowski spent a career with the Forest Service while serving as the backbone of multiple conservation organizations and numerous campaigns.
Gutkowski, a longtime BHA member, embodies the values of backcountry conservation and the spirit of Leopold, said BHA Executive Director Land Tawney.
“Field & Stream magazine once called Gutkowski ‘the toughest man in the West,’” said Tawney. “He has been known to stick a peanut butter sandwich in his pocket and keep on a big bull elk until he has it down, regardless of where the elk takes him. And he has inspired generations of us who grew up in the outdoors and feel the responsibility of being good stewards.”
Gutkowski and the other recipients of BHA’s top honors were announced at the BHA annual rendezvous, which took place last month in Spokane, Washington. Founded in 2004 around an Oregon campfire, BHA is a membership-based organization that seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting.
“Joe epitomizes the true backcountry hunter,” said Greg Munther, co-chair of BHA’s Montana chapter. “He is well known as an extremely self-sufficient outdoorsman in the backcountry. Most importantly, he has dedicated much of his life to protecting what he loves by leading lasting conservation efforts for wildlife, wild lands and waters in Montana.”

When: Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m.
Where: 406 Brewing Company, 101 E. Oak St., #D, Bozeman, MT 59715
RSVP to Katie McKalip at 406-240-9262 or
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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Real fossilized T. rex to be featured in new Museum of the Rockies exhibit

Exactly one year after the Wankel T. rex left Montana for Washington, D.C., the Museum of the Rockies will open a new permanent exhibit featuring a towering dinosaur from northern Montana and six T. rex skulls.

“The Tyrant Kings” exhibit will open Saturday, April 11, in the Siebel Dinosaur Complex of this Montana State University museum in Bozeman.

Visitors will see a real fossilized T. rex skeleton that’s approximately 12 feet tall and 38 feet long. Called “Montana’s T. rex,” the skeleton is about 60 percent real bone and one of the most complete specimens ever discovered. It is the only T. rex skeleton to have been found with floating ribs in its abdominal cavity. It would have weighed nearly seven tons when it lived 65 million years ago.

Visitors will also see time-lapse video of how museum staff assembled Montana’s T. rex. They will see a series of T. rex skulls, all from Montana, that show how T. rexes grew. The skulls range from one of the smallest T. rex skulls ever found to the largest T. rex skull in the world. “Chomper” is 13.5 inches long, while the Custer T. rex skull is 60 inches long.

With the opening of the exhibit, administrators said the Museum of the Rockies joins an elite group of museums around the world that display actual T. rex skeletons instead of replicas or casts.

“The science and research behind this exhibit is remarkable, MOR Executive Director Shelley McKamey said in an MOR press release. “It’s every bit as impressive as the exhibit itself.”

Montana’s T. rex was discovered in 1997 by Louis Tremblay near the town of Fort Peck, thus its original name of “Peck’s Rex.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture transferred ownership to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which then named the Museum of the Rockies as the repository. Montana’s T. rex entered the museum’s paleontology collection in 1998. It is the first mounted real bone skeleton to be displayed from America’s Public Trust. It is owned by the people of the United States.

“The people of Montana, as well as the entire country, now have a T. rex specimen that is owned by them and displayed for them,” McKamey said. “The exhibit not only fulfills a promise made by MOR to all of Montana, but also the mission of MOR to inspire life-long learning and advance knowledge through collections, research and discovery.”

The Wankel T. rex, which left the MOR on April 11, 2014, is on loan to the Smithsonian Institution for 50 years. It will be the centerpiece of a new paleontology exhibit that’s scheduled to open in 2019 in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. It’s predicted that at least 7 million people a year will view the Wankel T. rex.

Kathy Wankel of Angela discovered her namesake dinosaur in 1988 on federal land near the Fort Peck Reservoir in northeast Montana. Twenty-six years later, the 65-million-year-old T. rex headed for Washington, D.C. in a customized FedEx truck.

The Museum of the Rockies is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Summer hours – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily -- will begin on Memorial Day.

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Tuesday, Mar. 31st, 2015

Sherman Alexie @ Montana State

There are a few rock star writers in America, and Sherman Alexie is one of them. If you were fortunate to be in the standing-room only audience March 28 when Alexie performed – there’s no better word for it than that – for two hours for the MSU President’s Fine Arts Series Creative Nations lecture, you have insights into his popularity. Alexie is brilliant, searing in his observations of contemporary life and what it means to be an American Indian today, and downright hilarious.
Alexie is the winner of: The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for his runaway best seller, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” He appears widely in the media, including several appearances on the Colbert Report. A poet, novelist, short-story writer, Hollywood script doctor and performer, he currently has seven book projects under contract, including his next book, a children’s book, “Thunder Boy, Jr.” While signing books for the event, he shared a few additional observations about his life, work and the current state of Native affairs.
1)      You’re a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. If you weren’t a storyteller, what would you be doing?

A high school English teacher and basketball coach.
2)      You know what it is to leave a reservation as a young person. Any advice to Native students who are first-time college students at MSU, hailing directly from Montana’s reservations?
You have to stop thinking about isolation, thinking about you as The Only. You have to think of isolation and yourself as being the Original One.
3)      What can a university do to attract Indian students and help them achieve?
Simple. Buy a house and make it a Native House. Make it a mini-reservation on campus. Intensely tribal people need an intensely tribal place to be.
4)      What still surprises you about the way the general public and mainstream media view American Indians?
That racially stereotyped mascots are still accepted. That racially stereotyped mascots are still celebrated. That the racially stereotyped mascots are accepted by Natives.
5)      What has surprised you most about your writing success?
International publication. I do well in South Korea. I'm published in Japan and Israel.  Every country has oppressed indigenous people. Every country has people getting their ass kicked.
6)      What keeps you up at night?
Netflix. Right now I'm watching "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Apparently one of the characters is a blonde Native, which is causing a stir, although I haven't gotten to those episodes yet, so I can't comment about that. Love what I’ve seen so far.
7)      We are speaking at Bozeman’s Country Bookshelf, a terrific independent bookseller. You are famous for appearing on the Colbert Report to criticize Amazon’s monopoly, giving a big boost to Edan Lepucki’s book, California. Five months later Amazon reached a deal with your publisher, Hachette. Do you have anything further to say about the current state of bookselling in America?

Amazon is still a monopoly and, like Google, they are seeking world domination. Books are just part of the problem. We liberals have allowed the Libertarian media moguls to dominate our life. We have subverted our political ideas for free shipping.
8)      What piece of advice would you give the 20-year-old Sherman Alexie?
Wow. That would be my sophomore year in college. I'd tell him "Sober up ….”, I didn't sober up for another five years.
9)      What can education do to assure there are more voices like Sherman Alexie and Louise Erdrich?
Books, books, books, books, books. And education.
I talked to a social worker once who said that if enough bad things happen to a kid by the time they are the age of 5, it doesn’t matter what comes after.
Each person in the U.S. can be helped by an extensive preschool system.
10)  Time magazine recently honored your “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” as one of the 100 best Young Adult Books of All Time, yet a few school districts, including some in Montana, tried to ban it. When you were writing the book did you think it would be controversial?

Not as controversial as it is. Not historically controversial. But, I love the controversy. Nothing guarantees that a book will be bought and read than having people tell others they can't read it. Percival Everett, the writer, said that if you’re getting banned, then you’re offending the right monsters. I feel good so as long as I am offending the right monsters. People who are looking to ban my books want this to be a Christian version of Saudi Arabia, a total theocracy.
Besides, it's quaint to ban books now that kids have access to the Internet, and all that can be read there.
11)  What book would you recommend that everyone at MSU read?
The Koran. Then they would know that it is essentially the same as the Bible. All great religious books are pretty much the same book. They have all the joy and agony, hope and loss, morality and venality and magic and violence.
The book that I have read recently that most impacted me the most was “Levels of Life” by Julian Barnes, which is a biography, novella, memoire about ballooning and grief. It's a book about grief.
12)  What is your favorite road trip music??
We have this new car that has satellite and I like the Coffee House station, which is nothing but covers. Nothing makes me happier than listening to a good cover. I'm making a mix tape of these covers. My current is Patti Smith doing “When Doves Fly.”
To learn more about Sherman Alexie go to his website,

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Friday, Mar. 27th, 2015

BYO Bag for Change

A simple step to sustainability, because Montanans care.

Thank you for supporting the efforts of the Valley of the Flowers Project, a new non-profit with a mission to help communities become sustainable. Please purchase a $5.00 50/50 Raffle ticket , and have a chance to win a $2,500 if 1000 tickets are sold. Drawing 4/22 at the MSU Earth day event.

Rosauer’s. Heebs, and half dozen other local stores give customers a $.05 (or .$.10) refund when they use a reusable bag, and, now with BYO Bag for Change,you can donate your bag refund to local sustainability efforts. Ask your cashier to add your nickel to the BYO Bag grant recipient.

The grantees are: Story Mill Parks food forest by Broken Ground Permaculture and TransitionTowns Bozeman; Montana Outdoor Science School’s programs in local schools; Big Sky Youth Empowerment’s Summer of Service programs and permanent recycling bins in Bogert park by the Valley of the Flowers Project and Bogert Farmer’s Market.

Montanans are setting the example of how to be better stewards of our planet without a tax or ban, because we care. The educational kiosks will help customers learn about negative environmental effects of single-use plastics : from the deaths of millions of animals, to 5 large gyres in our world’s oceans, to plastic bits called “nurdles" on every beach in the world, to biomagnification up the food chain into our own bodies.

The motivation to raise funds for community building programs, plus doing the right thing for the sake of future generations is a win-win. Using a reusable bag just once saves enough energy to light an LED lightbulb for a week. Just like the bees making honey, every tiny contribution is important. When lots of people take the time and effort to take the best care possible of our last best place, it really will add up to make a big difference.

Visit (a 501c3 sponsored by CORA), or find us on Facebook.

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Wednesday, Mar. 25th, 2015

Emerson Center announces Spring Art Education Classes

The Emerson is currently enrolling for  Spring & Summer sessions of Art Education classes. We have an extremely diverse schedule of classes for both children and adults. A sample of adult classes includes Pottery for Beginners - Advanced students, Acrylic Painting, Casting Basics and Figure & Portrait Drawing. A sample of kid’s classes includes PIR DAYS April 9 & 10, Kids Printmaking, Creating with Clay, Clay N Play and ArtXplore.

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