Monday, Aug. 10th, 2020

Gallatin College continues to serve community 10 years later

Sophie Varnum was sure of two things after graduating from Wibaux High School – cooking was her passion, and four-year colleges weren’t for her.

Since her freshman year of high school, Varnum had been interested in cooking and loved the cooking classes Wibaux High School offered. To her, food was an important way to connect with people and build relationships. While her friends were off attending four-year schools, Varnum instead enrolled in the culinary arts program at Gallatin College Montana State University, where she found the type of education, hands-on work and individuality she desired.

“We had a lot of creativity in the classroom and got to experiment in the kitchen,” Varnum said. “Not everything turns out the same in the kitchen, and we just went with the flow, tried new things and were able to test our own skills and branch out.”

Before graduating in May, Varnum already had a position in the culinary industry lined up, thanks to an internship with Inspired Madness. She currently works as a line cook and prep cook at Lot G Café in Bozeman and hopes to one day work in the hosting or catering industry.

This year, Gallatin College hit an important milestone and celebrated its 10th anniversary serving the Gallatin Valley communities and Southwest Montana. In the last decade, the college has been instrumental in providing local industries with valuable skilled employees, such as Varnum, and giving students quality education and the professional tools to succeed. Whether students have graduated with a workforce degree, transferred to MSU with an associate’s degree or completed credits through its dual enrollment program, Gallatin College has become an integral part of Bozeman’s economy and educational offerings, said Stephanie Gray, dean of the college.

“Being a college at a land-grant university is a great fit for the mission of Gallatin College because we provide affordability and increased accessibility for students, while meeting local community needs.” Gray said. 

Previously known as the MSU-Great Falls College of Technology, in May 2010 it was renamed Gallatin College Montana State University to more accurately reflect the college’s location and offerings.

Under the new name, the college’s first dean was Bob Hietala, who filled the role until his retirement in 2019. In those early years, Gallatin College’s programs were more limited and provided developmental education, welding, interior design and aviation. But the college grew alongside Bozeman’s economy and recognized a greater need to create programs that support the growing workforce, such as photonics, health coding and cybersecurity. In 2014, Gallatin College opened its east campus off Bozeman’s Osterman Drive, which gave it the much-needed boost in capacity to serve its students and grow enrollment.

Under Hietala, Gallatin College’s enrollment growth was the fastest of any college or university in Montana, going from serving approximately 100 students pursuing certificates and associate degrees in 2009 to more than 600 today. Additionally, the college serves hundreds of Montana State students pursuing other degrees through developmental courses in math and writing.

Gray became dean in July 2019. She had been the workforce program development director at the college since 2012 and saw firsthand how rapidly Gallatin College expanded.

During her time in that position, Gray led, designed and implemented eight new workforce programs; partnered with the MSU College of Education, Health and Human Development to launch the hospitality management and culinary arts programs; secured more than $2.4 million in grant funding; and oversaw growth of the college’s dual enrollment program from 25 enrolled students to more than 600.

Today, Gallatin College offers 14 workforce programs and has graduated more than 1,000 students since 2009. Gray said that the college graduated 27 students in 2011. Last year there were 190 graduates.

“Sometimes people say higher education is slow to adapt and change, but Gallatin College has been able to quickly respond to workforce needs over the years,” Gray said.

Part of Gallatin College’s mission is to support the community’s vibrant economy and to provide graduates access to high-paying jobs. To meet its promises, Gallatin College works extensively with industry and community leaders in to determine what programs need expansion and to develop new ones, said Gray.

While attending MSU and after changing his major twice, Devon Gwynn switched gears once more and attended Gallatin College for its welding technology certification program. He wanted a career path that would allow him access to a job quickly, but also with livable wages. He enrolled in 2018 and has since completed his welding certification and is currently working on his CNC machinery technology certification. Gwynn noted that, within two to three months of entering the program, he had both a welding and a machinery job lined up due to the demand from the industries.

“The school has our backs. They go through a lot of effort to deal with employers,” Gwynn said. “The instructors are in constant contact with members of the community, asking what specifically they want, what the students should focus on and act as an intermediary between employers and students. It’s a very engaging process, and they put in a lot of effort and it gives results.”

Like most two-year colleges, Gallatin College’s student body is made up of students from different walks of life, from traditional high school graduates to adults looking for a career change. In order to meet student needs, Gray said Gallatin College prides itself on allowing for flexibility in its curriculum so students can feel creative and find what they need out of their degree.

Kelly Arnold, who graduated from Gallatin College in 2019, boasted of the instructors’ abilities to work with students’ schedules and help them understand the balance between work, school and their personal lives. Arnold was a nontraditional student who attended Gallatin College while working in the health care field. She graduated from Gallatin College as a registered medical assistant and received her small business management certificate. She said that her instructors were understanding and would work with her and other students. They also cared for the students’ overall well-being and would remind them to schedule personal time and escape from the stresses of work and school.

“All my teachers were great. I got to know them all very well. They all knew I was working a lot and that I wanted to make something of myself, so being able to feel I was a part of something with my teachers and knowing my personal life, it was very helpful and I didn’t feel like I was in over my head all the time,” said Arnold, who currently works as a care coordinator for Qualicare.

“Our instructors are passionate about what they are teaching, they’re experts in their field and love sharing that with students,” Gray added. “They get them excited about potential careers and how to be professionals which is important right now. We hear a lot about how important technical skills are, but the other pieces are learning how to find solutions, be on a team and communicate accordingly.”

With its first 10 years in the books, Gallatin College has a wealth of experiences, student success and relationships to build off and prepare for its next decade. Going forward, Gray said she is focused on myriad projects and ideas to grow the college. This includes adding a heating, ventilation and air conditioning program as well as working with local nonprofits and making connections with low income members of the community who want a career change or are seeking to improve their economic situations.

“I’m excited to run a college that reflects the environment of the community we are in,” Gray said. “Not only keeping pace with the local economy through education, but also mirroring the culture and values of our area. In order to accomplish this in the next 10 years, Gallatin College will need a building that serves the entire community to help individuals fulfill their dreams, achieve their potential and give back to this vibrant place we all love.”

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School supplies urgently needed

The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love, Inc urgently need more donations to assist the more than 350 students in Gallatin County through the “Tools for School” campaign, which provides back to school supplies for children in need. Donations are far below this time last year, and the organizations’ need the community’s help to give students the supplies they need.  

School supplies needed include: backpacks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, #2 pencils, erasers, highlighters, scissors, glue, 2” binders, notebooks, rulers and other standard school supplies. 

There are many ways to donate:
• Drop off school supplies at barrels located at local churches, Staples and Office Depot through August 13.
• Purchase supplies online and have them shipped directly to The Salvation Army: http://salarmy.us/bozemanregistryforgood.
•  Call The Salvation Army at 406-586-5813 or Love INC at 406-587-3008. 

Because of COVID-19, the non-profits will drop off school supplies at the front doors of backpack recipients’ homes the week of August 22, rather than the traditional in-person event.  

Families can pre-register to receive supplies through Friday, August 14. To register, call Love INC at 406-587-3008 or register online at https://loveincgc.org/tools-4-school-sign-up/. Children in grade K-12 are eligible to receive a backpack and school supplies. 

“When kids go to school with everything they need, they are more confident and perform better,” says Lieutenant Jenn Larson, Administrator for The Salvation Army in Bozeman. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity for children of Gallatin County, so we can eliminate some of the barriers that keep kids from thriving.” 

For more information about The Salvation Army, please visit bozeman.salvationarmy.org

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2020/2021 Snowmobile Grants Open for Public Comment

Montana State Parks is seeking public comment on 25 grant applications for Snowmobile Trail Grooming funds for the 2020-2021 winter season. Public comment will be accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at 5 p.m.

The Montana Snowmobile Program, as administered by Montana State Parks, was established in the early 1970s and is an essential component of both motorized and non-motorized winter recreational activities in the state. Montana’s groomed trails provide important access and recreational opportunities for users such as snowmobiles, cross-country skiers, snowboarders, dogsleds, fat-tire bikes, and snowshoers.

Funding is provided annually to 25 local snowmobile clubs who conduct the grooming of over 4,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails throughout the state. The Montana Snowmobile Program is funded through a percentage of the state gas tax paid by snowmobile users, snowmobile registration fees, non-resident snowmobile temporary use permits, and resident groomed trail passes. The program is separate from Montana State Parks funding sources and revenues. There is $410,000 available for the upcoming season.

A list of the proposed 2020/2021 winter season snowmobile grooming grant awards is available at stateparks.mt.gov under “Recreation Activities & Grants.” Public comments are accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at 5 p.m.

To comment online visit: stateparks.mt.gov and click on “Public Notices” or by email at snowmobilegrants@mt.gov. Comments may be sent by mail to Montana State Parks, Snowmobile Program, 1420 East 6th Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

For more information about the Montana Snowmobile Program click here. Or contact Seth McArthur, Montana Snowmobile Program Manager at 406-444-3753.
Visit Montana State Parks and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.

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Friday, Aug. 7th, 2020

7 Tips for Buying Papers Online


All learning institutions demand that students deliver high-quality research papers. The frequency of doing and submitting these assignments depends on your academic level and scholarly discipline. However, things are harder for those pursuing masters and Ph.D. courses, as they must submit thoroughly researched and well-written dissertations.

Dissertations are about 40-80 pages long, and lecturers demand you complete and defend your project within a semester or two. Unfortunately, normal learning activities won’t come to a halt because you are writing your dissertation. You will still be required to attend classes, take part in after school activities, and to some, work part-time to get your life going.

Unfortunately, by the end of the semester, you will be excessively exhausted. But lucky you, there are affordable and easily accessible options you can always count on. These options include looking for the best research paper writers online and paying them to do the job for you.

So, Is the Process of Buying Papers Online Worth the Cost?
Well, with the Internet, searching for services online now happens in a flash. However, there are multiple factors to consider before buying papers online, and the assessment of these aspects will help you to decide the activity’s value.

Additionally, you can use the factors to differentiate between reliable online paper providers and fraudsters. So, let’s get started and ensure that you not only end up buying papers from genuine buyers but also achieve the ideal value for your investment.

Ensure the Mode of Payment is Highly Secure and Verified
Luckily enough, there are multiple online payment options to consider. Anytime you are faced with alternatives to pick from, always settle on the most secure, convenient, and approved mode of payment.

It will:
Protect you from those who use unscrupulous means
Keep your money safe until you get the service you had paid for
Keep your account details safe
Make Sure the Firm Keeps Personal Info Anonymous

Personal data protection and anonymity are essential because info leakage can lead to expulsion, especially if the college learns the truth about students seeking academic writing services. The action is taken due to work authenticity issues.

Consider the Set Plagiarism and Paper Quality Policies
Colleges demand 100% unique and premium-quality papers, which is the same thing that paper selling firms should promise and deliver. To confirm you’ve made the right decision on the matter, go through previous customers’ evaluations and feedback from genuine review sites.

Additionally, ensure the company provides a plagiarism report after delivering your task. Finally, make sure there are free revision services, as these bolsters the chances of getting a high-quality paper, in case the initial draft had some errors.

Consider the Professionalism of the Paper Writers
How strict is the firm’s hiring process? What are the academic qualifications for those working on the platform? Note that a rigorous hiring process mainly works best in filtering the needed experts, and this increases the chances of having your work done by qualified professionals.

Consider the Cost of Buying Papers Online
At times, cheap becomes expensive. On the other hand, never overpay for substandard services. So, always look for the best-priced service: one that offers high-quality services at the most affordable cost. That way, you will end up with an investment that provides the best value for your money.

Make Sure the Firm Can Deliver the Work on Time
On-time assignment delivery is a vital necessity, as homework submitted past the deadline mainly attracts penalties or marks deduction. When it comes to dissertations and thesis papers, delivering your work late can negatively impact your graduation.

You don’t want to end up in such a situation. Therefore, make sure the writing company has enough resources and fast turnarounds before p their services.

Finally, an Effective Support Service Is Crucial
Put yourself in a situation where, upon order delivery, you find out that the writer submitted the wrong paper, but unfortunately, you lack a platform to complain or request for the error rectification. In such situations, effective customer service becomes useful. But that’s not all, as multiple problems can also be solved by active support staffs, including:

Money-related issues
Deadline extension requests
Login or paper download failure

Final Thoughts
The Internet and online paper writing services mainly come to your rescue when you are struggling with assignment workload or strict deadlines. However, the process of using these provisions requires extra caution, as this increases your chances of getting service that offers the ideal value for your money. Fortunately, with the online paper buying tips listed above, you are assured of an experience worth remembrance.

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Special Hours for August and September at Lewis & Clark Caverns

(Whitehall, MT) – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announces adjusted hours of operation and cavern tours at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, beginning Aug. 20, as the season begins to wind down.

As of Aug. 20, the visitor centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, with Paradise Tours every hour from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tours will continue to be limited and offered by reservation only. To make a reservation, contact the park by phone at 406-287-3541. Tours are often fully booked a week in advance. Visitors can reserve spots up to two weeks in advance of their desired tour dates.

For the weekends of Aug. 22 and 23, Aug. 29 and 30, and Sept. 5 and 6, advance reservations will also be available for additional tours at 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. daily to help accommodate more visitors on the weekends. After Sept. 6, tours will be offered daily, every hour from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. until Sept. 30.

“We’re glad to continue serving the public and sharing this spectacular resource,” said Park Manager Rhea Armstrong. “The passion our guides feel for the Caverns comes across on every tour. Though we have had modified operations this year, our standard of service and safety has not changed.”

The Paradise Tour is about a mile of walking and 1.5 hours. It features the largest and most decorated room in the cave system. Masks are required, and staff cleans the handrails with bleach during each tour.

For more information about these or other events at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, call (406) 287-3541.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, 25 Lewis & Clark Caverns Rd, Whitehall, MT

http://stateparks.mt.gov/lewis-and-clark-caverns/

From the exit 274 on I-90, we are 13 miles south on Highway 287 and 5 miles west on MT 2.

From the Cardwell exit 256 on I-90 we are 7 miles east along MT 2.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park features one of the most decorative limestone caverns in the Northwest filled with spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites. The park also features camping, trails to hike or bike, a state-of-the-art visitor center, interpretive displays, a gift shop, food and beverage concessions, amphitheater, and interpretive events presented during the summer months.

Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.

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Thursday, Aug. 6th, 2020

Fishing restrictions enacted for several rivers due to warm temps

Several rivers in southwest Montana will close to fishing during the afternoon each day due to a seasonal rise in water temperatures.

“Hoot-owl” restrictions prohibit fishing during the hottest times of the day. A hoot-owl restriction prohibiting fishing from 2 p.m. to midnight each day will go into effect on Aug. 6 for the following waterbodies:

  • The lower Gallatin River from the Highway 84 bridge near Four Corners to the Missouri River.
  • The lower Ruby River from Duncan District Road to the Beaverhead River.
  • The Big Hole River from the North Fork of the Big Hole River to Dickie Bridge west of Wise River, and from Maidenrock Fishing Access Site to the Beaverhead River, in accordance with the Big Hole Watershed Committee Drought Plan.
  • The lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the Jefferson River.
  • The entire Jefferson River, in accordance with the Jefferson River Drought Plan.

Each of these areas have met their respective established requirements for hoot-owl restrictions, which include water temperatures exceeding 73 degrees for at least three consecutive days.

Restrictions of this nature are designed to protect fish such as Arctic grayling and trout, which all become more susceptible to disease and mortality when conditions such as high temperatures combine with additional stressors.

The restrictions for each river will be lifted when peak water temperatures stay below 70 degrees for three consecutive days, but no later than Sept. 15.

A permanent yearly hoot-owl restriction also went into effect this year for the lower Madison River from the Warm Springs Boat Launch to the Jefferson River. That restriction will be in effect every year from July 15 through Aug. 15.

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Fish and Wildlife Commission to hear petitions regarding River Recreation on the Madison River at Aug. 13 meeting

At its meeting on Aug. 13, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear two petitions regarding River Recreation on the Madison River.

The Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana (FOAM) and the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited (GGTU) along with the Anaconda Sportsmen Association (ASA) will present their petitions directly to the commission. Both petitions are requesting rulemaking to address recreation on the Madison River. Following the presentation of the petitions, FWP staff will answer questions but will not represent any support or opposition to the petitions.

Pursuant to 2-4-315, Montana Code Annotated, the commission must either deny the petition or initiate rulemaking on the petition. If the commission chooses to propose rule language other than what is contained in the petition, the commission must deny the petition and then propose rule language. If the commission chooses portions of the petitions to adopt or deny, it must be clearly indicated on the record.

FWP recommends the commission propose rule language regarding management of recreational use on the Madison River for public comment, whether based on these petitions or not. 

Shortly after the canceled June Commission meeting on this topic two petitions were received and the decision was made to dedicate the August 13 meeting to just the required petition process, rather than FWP staff presenting an EA.  If the Commission moves forward with any proposed rulemaking, an appropriately focused EA would accompany that process.  This would include ample opportunity for the diverse public interests and perspectives to review and weigh in, ultimately helping to assemble an effective and enduring solution.   

Both petitions are available on the commission page of the FWP website, fwp.mt.gov.

The meeting will be held using the video conferencing platform Zoom. Details on how to access the meeting will be posted on fwp.mt.gov closer to the meeting date. The meeting will also be audio streamed online at fwp.mt.gov. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. The full agenda is available on the FWP website.

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Wednesday, Aug. 5th, 2020

JAMA Pediatrics publishes MSU psychologists’ study analyzing teenage behavior during pandemic

A study by two Montana State University psychology professors published in a Journal of the American Medical Association publication found that teenagers’ attachment to their communities as well as their beliefs about the coronavirus are key factors in predicting how adolescents respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a study of 770 U.S. teens queried during the early weeks of the pandemic, Benjamin Oosterhoff and Cara Palmer, professors in the Department of Psychology in the MSU College of Letters and Science, found that adolescents’ beliefs about the severity of COVID-19 and the extent to which they value helping others is connected with how they are responding to the pandemic. The more attached adolescents are to their communities -- through feelings of social responsibility and trust in others - -the more they respond with healthy behaviors, such as social distancing and disinfecting. The researchers said these findings have implications for how parents, teachers and policy makers may improve behavioral health practices among young people and suggest that cultivating stronger social responsibility and social trust might play a key factor in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Oosterhoff and Palmer’s findings were published in the June 29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, a rapid publication of a study that analyzed data gathered in March.
 
The psychologists said findings from their article, titled “Attitudes and Psychological Factors Associated with News Monitoring, Social Distancing, Disinfecting and Hoarding Behaviors Among U.S. Adolescents During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic,” may be helpful in finding effective interventions to improve how teenagers adhere to public health guidance.

“The bigger picture here is the importance that community attachments play in the way (adolescents) respond to large scale negative events,” Oosterhoff said. “If we want to prepare for this and respond in better way — if we want fewer people to die — we need to start taking community attachments more seriously all of the time and cultivate social trust and responsibility (in teen populations).”

While science and research are often slow processes, several factors allowed the two psychologists to rapidly launch and complete their research, then publish it in the prestigious JAMA journal.
 
“We were able to get the study up and running right away and launched it one week after COVID was declared a national emergency. Warning signs of the severity of the virus were present weeks before the declaration, which provided added time to prepare,” Oosterhoff said. “It was a perfect storm of our past experiences and thinking, as well as new methods we had developed in our lab, that allowed us to turn it around so quickly.”

It helped that Oosterhoff and Palmer are married, so they were able to collaborate 10-12 hours a day during the quarantine to observe, plan and launch the study. They have worked together on other similar projects, including a study that they conducted when they were working in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017.

“We both had previous studies about how a terrible event can impact teens and how that carries with them in their life,” Oosterhoff said. “We felt like something similar was happening again with COVID.”
 
Coincidentally, for the past year Oosterhoff and Palmer had worked to develop research tools that use social media to collect data from their target population. The couple previously found success buying relatively low-cost ads seeking participants on Instagram. Oosterhoff said that technique proved effective for their COVID survey, especially since schools were closing and eliminating a common route of interviewing students in a classroom.

For two days starting March 20, the researchers surveyed 770 adolescents March 20-22, ages 13-18, from every state in the country. They later surveyed the same group weekly for seven weeks, resulting in additional data, and the researchers plan to continue with follow-ups.
 
“One thing we need to do as scientists was stay on it and put our findings in a broader context, even beyond what it means to respond to COVID-19,” he said. “In the process we learned valuable information about how to respond to disaster like this again.”
 
Oosterhoff said after they had preliminary results, he and Palmer reached out to JAMA Pediatrics to see if they would consider COVID-19 research. The editors responded within 30 minutes that they were interested and expedited peer review for the research, given the fast progression of the pandemic.
 
“Many journals were providing (an) expedited review for COVID research at the time. JAMA had not announced anything yet, so we thought we would ask,” Oosterhoff said.
 
Oosterhoff credited the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity based at MSU with support and guidance.
 
“I was excited by their project idea and let them re-allocate funds from their CAIRHE-supported project, which allowed them to quickly pivot their work and get the survey out early,” said Alex Adams, director of CAIRHE.
 
And while the publication of their work in a major journal was rewarding, Oosterhoff and Palmer’s most significant collaboration came just a week after publication. That was when their first child, a daughter, was born.
 
Oosterhoff said he and Palmer plan to continue their research as the pandemic continues. For instance, he speculates that adolescents, who generally are socially active, will find it harder to engage in healthy practices such as social distancing as the pandemic becomes more drawn out. And he would like to test his theory that youth who are committed to giving back and volunteering, those who have a strong commitments to their communities, will be the ones to continue to take the pandemic seriously and behave in constructive ways, such as socially distancing and wearing masks.

“There’s a lot more to study, but this is a good start that we hope to build upon,” he said.

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Tuesday, Aug. 4th, 2020

Grizzly bear euthanized due to cattle depredation

A grizzly bear was euthanized after a recent cattle depredation in south Park County.
 
The adult male bear was captured shortly after it killed a cow on private land on Wednesday. In consultation with federal partners at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Wildlife Services, the decision was made to euthanize the bear due to this depredation and past depredations in the area.
 
Relocating bears safely is difficult at this time of year because of many factors, including high bear densities, heavy recreation use and other land uses in nearby areas.
 
This is the second management removal of a grizzly bear this year within the demographic monitoring area of Montana’s portion of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The first grizzly bear removed in this area in 2020 was captured and transferred to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone after gaining access to food at campgrounds in the Rainbow Point area.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, working closely in Montana with FWP, Wildlife Services, the U.S. Forest Service and Tribal lands. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

Several grizzly bear recovery areas exist in or near Montana, including the Selkirk, Cabinet-Yaak, Northern Continental Divide, Bitterroot and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems.
 
Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and recreationists will encounter them in new places each year. Being prepared for such encounters is more important than ever, both to keep people and property safe and to cultivate healthy bear behavior.

For more information on avoiding negative encounters with bears, visit igbconline.org/bear-safety.

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Monday, Aug. 3rd, 2020

Why Skunk Activity is High in the Spring and Summer

Skunks are small and agile creatures characterized by their black and white markings. Skunks are known for their ability to spray their unpleasant scent in defense when they feel threatened. Skunks are also known to be more active during spring and summer, This is also when skunk spraying dramatically increases, whether it be kids or pets. Skunk activity is unlike other mammals like tree squirrels who are active throughout the year.  

 

Why are skunks more active in spring and summer?

Mating Season
The reason for the sudden increase of skunk sightings is that springtime is the mating season for skunks. Other times of the year, skunks are dormant. Specifically in colder weather. Not only this, but reduced visibility due to decreased sunlight hours in the winter means it would be challenging to spot skunks in winter months.

As the weather becomes warmer, skunks emerge in search of mates. Males will become much more active as they search for females to have their offspring. You are also likely to see females flee from unwanted males and move around as they avoid them to find a safe space.

To Forage
Skunks emerge in the spring in search of food as their supply lessens in the passed colder weather, skunks eat grub, insects, and small animals. This is why they spend their time near woodlands and parks.

Birth of Their Litter in Summer
As skunks mate in the spring, they often give birth during the summer. This also helps explain the increased sightings and activity in the warmer months. Skunks are known to have relatively large litters and can have as many as seven pups. After the skunks give birth, the parents are often seen foraging in local areas to bring food back to their pups. Skunk pups are not dependent on their parents for long. After approximately two months, young skunks will venture out individually and begin to forage for themselves.

Increased Visits to Urban and Rural Areas
You are also likely to spot skunks as they often prefer urban areas where people tend to live and visit regularly. Urban areas offer ideal shelter for skunks inside garages, sheds, and deck spaces that protect them from poor weather conditions and predators. These areas allow them to forage for food as they are known to rummage through trash cans. This may cause skunks to be pests in and around people’s homes. Click here to learn more about taking care of skunks as pests.

Visits to rural spots, forests, and lakes often dramatically increases in the summer so this may also be why people often comment they have seen skunks in spring and summer.

Increased Sunlight
You are more likely to see skunks at nighttime in the spring and summer months as they are most active at night. Due to increased sunlight and longer days, you are also more likely to be able to see skunks at nighttime in the summer and spring than you would naturally be able to see them in winter and autumn.

If skunks are becoming a nuisance to you this summer, please contact Wildlife X Team for your pest removal needs.

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News Comments

I honestly hate snakes. Can’t stand them they give me the creeps just to look at them, slithering bastards. Just stay out of my yard you stinky prick and we won’t have a problem

7 Ways To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Property

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020