COMMUNITY COLLAGE & OPINIONS

Libby Loggers: Where are they now ?

Watch for Libby Logger alumna Laurynn Lauer, Class of 2018, on the sideline of the FCS National Championship on Saturday Jan. 11. Lauer is part of NDSU’s Sports Management program and will travel to Frisco, Texas with the Bison. Photo: Eric Lauer , Laurynn Lauer , “Thunder” the NDSU mascot, and Tracy Lauer. Photo courtesy of  Libby Logger Publications.

Cross-Country Ski Club

Now that there is a bit of snow on the ground, the local Cross-Country Ski Club is able to meet. They were spotted at Cabinet View Golf Course’s driving range on Saturday, Jan. 4 playing games and practicing.  A younger sister of one of the program participants practiced skiing next to her mom while club members played games in the background. Photo courtesy of Riley McNew

A local perspective on PNT

The Pacific Northwest Trail is a difficult yet incredibly awe-inspiring trail. Hikers from around the world have added the PNT to their agenda. It takes 60 days for those choosing to bust the trail. 75 days for those wanting to soak in the beauty and peaceful freedom. In the past few years women hikers have made a huge gain in popularity, creating women’s hiking groups and pages. These groups share an incredible amount of information. Choosing to hike alone or in pairs, wanting to tackle long arduous trails, many are looking toward the Northwest!

Making PNT a more accessible trail will allow more hikers to enjoy our beautiful country.

Placing the trail through Troy would provide many benefits.

– A jumping on or off point for those unable to spend 60-75 days on a hike.

– Provide a location for an actual shower. Restock supplies.

– A base for catching up, receiving packages and mail, meeting hikers from the trail.

– Providing availability for security, if needed, health issues and a rest.

– Provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of the small town, which many hikers on the Appalachian trail utilize and enjoy the small communities this trail provides.

 

Reading thousands of social media posts on All Women All Trails: Hiking and backpacking

(nearly 50,000 women strong) there are concerns of grizzly encounters. There will be encounters. There will be deaths of human and bear. Any possible way to minimize the danger should be seriously considered. A Southern Reroute of the Pacific Northwest Trail would benefit hikers, communities, and wildlife.

 

Jody Wiley Peterson

Troy, Mont.

Global Warming and

Climate Change– Part II

So we know the earth is getting warmer at a rapid rate, and that the temperature increase is due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. What are the sources of these gases?

Combustion of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) for energy use is the primary source of greenhouse gases and in particular carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is currently the most significant greenhouse gas because it represents nearly 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Since the late 1800s rising global temperatures correlate directly with rising carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel emissions. The current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has not been seen on earth for at least 800,000 years.

There are other important contributors to elevated greenhouse gas levels including land use changes, forestry practices, agricultural and livestock production, landfill emissions, and various industrial processes.

Climate change is defined as the long-term alteration of temperature, precipitation and typical weather patterns. Certainly the earth has experienced naturally caused climate change many times before. The ice ages are a familiar example. However, the abnormally high carbon dioxide levels we have now are driving a much more rapid rate of change than has occurred since humans have been on planet earth. Studies show that the earth is going through one of the most extreme changes in climate seen in the last 65 million years, and that the change is occurring ten times more rapidly than it has in the past.

Besides temperature and precipitation changes, other profound climate change effects include rising sea levels, warming ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, melting of sea and glacial ice in the polar regions, and thawing of the tundra’s permafrost layer. Some of these changes will further accelerate warming. In addition climate change will affect many plant and animal species, and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Although we cannot completely avoid the impacts from the climate changes we have set in motion, we can still prevent the worst potential outcomes if we act now. In future articles we will explore how climate change is likely to affect Montana and how we can individually and collectively work on strategies that will protect the planet and possibly even improve our lives.

References: NASA.gov/earth 2019, Climate.gov 2019, IPCC.ch AR5 2014, Stanford Report 8/13/2013

 

Submitted by Kris Newgard, and the Kootenai Climate Group, Libby, Mont.

Opioid epidemic is a

nationwide crisis

The opioid epidemic is a nationwide public health crisis that has devastated communities.

According to the CDC, the number of Americans who died from opioids dropped by approximately 2 percent in 2018, but this number does not tell the whole story.

The implementation of state and federal regulations has helped to combat the issue of over-prescribing opioids. However, deaths from synthetic opioids have actually increased by 10 percent and account for two-thirds of all fatal opioid overdoses.

A growing number of Americans have died from overdosing on fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. This drug is so dangerous that only two milligrams – equivalent to about a grain of sand – can be lethal.

China is the primary source of global fentanyl production. After fentanyl is manufactured in China, it is shipped to drug cartels on our southern border with Mexico and our northern border with Canada, who then smuggle the drugs into the United States. Fentanyl can even be shipped directly to the United States through the U.S. Postal Service.

Montana’s location on the U.S.-Canada border makes our state particularly vulnerable to drug smugglers. The Havre Sector of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides law enforcement support for the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. In 2015, CBP agents in this area confiscated 70 pounds of fentanyl. So far in 2019, CBP agents in the Havre Sector have seized 2,545 pounds of fentanyl.

In addition to drugs coming in through our northern border, we are also susceptible to receiving drugs that have been smuggled through Mexico. The Montana Highway Patrol has warned that many illegal drugs come here through the Washington-Oregon or Utah-Colorado corridors used by Mexican drug cartels. It is through these entry points that opioids are then distributed throughout Montana.

The state of Montana has taken action to protect its residents from the opioid crisis. Montana has implemented a prescription drug registry to provide doctors and pharmacists the tools they need to curb prescription drug abuse and have placed prescription drop boxes in pharmacies across the state. In 2017, the Legislature passed a law allowing for more access to naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug. Recently, Montana has secured over $4 million in federal funding to continue to combat the opioid crisis.

Though the number of opioid deaths in Montana has been reduced with the help of these successful programs, there is still work to be done. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, drug overdose deaths are the third leading cause of injury-related deaths in Montana.

The Montana state legislature must utilize all available resources to prevent these dangerous drugs from continuing to harm our communities. There is no single solution to this complex issue, but Montana must continue to be a leader in combating America’s opioid crisis.

Jim McCormick, Helena, Mont.

 

Hello Montana – We have a problem

Corruption has invaded our Federal Government. The truths of human nature (understood by our founding fathers) have been lost. We need your help to correct the perversions made by our Congress and Courts:

  1. limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government,
  2. impose fiscal restraints, and
  3. place term limits on federal officials.

United we stand, Divided we fall.

Why is Montana not yet united with the other states?

Article 5 of our Constitution provides the means for the states to come together in a convention to make the amendments that the corrupt Congress would never make.

Once two-thirds (34) of the states pass our resolution, the convention will be called and discussion can begin. The safeguards are there to protect us from the radicals who would overpower the process…  We can have as many delegates as we want, but each state only gets 1 vote.

Then… they go home from the convention and each state lets their people vote. Each proposed amendment to the US constitution has to be individually approved by 38 states to be ratified.

So where is Montana? Are we suffering from apathy, fatalistic attitudes, fear of the unknown, misplaced trust, believing false premises and assumptions, avoiding our personal responsibilities required to have a healthy government, waiting for  violent action?

It’s time to do our homework! Take a stand and do what we can… or lose it all!

Laura E McGlasson, Libby Mont.