Greetings readers! Did you spend the entire government shutdown just wondering when you could get to your email and read the Montana Conservationist? Well good news, it’s here. This week:
- The government shut down. And then reopened.
- The Missoulian has a preview of the Western Montana Grazing and Agriculture Conference, which is later this week. Here’s hoping you’re as excited as we are!
- Although Mountain Pine Beetles have been hitting fewer trees lately, a Helena IR story says that Douglas Fir Beetles may surge after this summer’s wildfires. And I, for one, had no idea beetles were such picky eaters.
- The Daily Interlake reports that DNA evidence of quagga mussels has again been found in Tiber Reservoir, but so far no adults or mussel larvae have been found. In conclusion, mussels are sneaky.
- Former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack writes in about what the 2018 Farm Bill means for all of America, not just farmers.
- And current USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue wants his agencies to think as “One USDA”. But we have assurances that it will not be like the logo standardization fiasco of 2013. (maybe I’m the only one her that considers logo changes to be fiascos?)
- In Washington, wildlife biologists are testing using drones to survey populations. Will other states follow suit?
- Montana DNRC is gearing up for the first-ever Montana Water Summit, and it’s going to be a great conversation about water quantity, quality, and water future.
- January marks the start of another Big Sky Watershed Corps term, and we’d like to introduce you to the 2018 members who will be working around the state. If you see them, please roll out the Montana welcome!
- A study says that Montana lost $240 million in tourist dollars due to 2017’s forest fires. So that’s a bummer.
- And meetings being held this week across Eastern Montana aim to answer questions about filing on exempt water rights. Our own Jim Beck will be the star!
All of that, plus grants, opportunities, and more. You know the drill. Read The Montana Conservationist: TMC 2018-01-23