Connect with us

Montana

A Montana transgender teenager’s journey for gender affirmation • Daily Montanan

Published

on

A Montana transgender teenager’s journey for gender affirmation • Daily Montanan


K.A. began to socially transition in the beginning of 2019 after shaving his head. He initially asked his friends to address him using they/them pronouns, then they/he pronouns, while also asking to be called by a different name. Eventually he realized that he preferred he/him pronouns and his birth name. “Coming out as transgender is not as easy as saying ‘I want to be a boy,’ it’s a whole process of looking at yourself and figuring out who you want to be,” K.A. said. (Photo by Nance Beston | Byline Magazine)

Advertisement

After closing his bedroom door, he squirms into his binder, a black compression tank top, with beads of water still dotting his skin. He faces his full-length mirror, adjusting his chest until it appears as flat as possible.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
K.A. prepares for his HRT shot. He usually takes it before school on Friday. “It gives me a little boost to get through the last day of the week,” K.A. said. (Photo by Nance Beston | Byline Magazine)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Drainage tubes are removed from K.A. The tubes helped drain any excess liquids from his chest after top surgery. “It just feels really weird to have something moving in your body. It’s like a snake moving through,” K.A. said. “I like snakes, I have a snake, but I don’t like them in my chest.” (Photo by Nance Beston | Byline Magazine)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Montana

Ninth Circuit narrows wolf trapping ban in Montana griz territory

Published

on

Ninth Circuit narrows wolf trapping ban in Montana griz territory


Alanna Mayham

(CN) — An order limiting wolf trapping and snaring in Montana’s grizzly bear territory survived the scrutiny of a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday, but the question of how much land a federal judge can restrict to protect the state’s threatened grizzlies from wolf traps remains.

In January, a three-judge panel took a skeptical view of a 2023 injunction that prohibited wolf trapping in a broad swath of western Montana outside of the narrow timeframe of Jan. 1 to Feb. 15 annually, or when grizzlies are most likely to be hibernating in dens.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy’s preliminary injunction was aimed at protecting grizzlies from wolf traps — an issue opponents say is becoming more common because the warming climate is pushing bears to forage later into the winter and even earlier in the spring.

Advertisement

But Molloy’s order prohibited trapping in a much larger part of Montana than what conservation groups requested and did not follow the state’s scientific determination of where grizzly bears live.

On Tuesday, two-thirds of the panel affirmed Molloy’s injunction because the plaintiff organizations — Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force and WildEarth Guardians — demonstrated that Montana’s recreational wolf trapping and snaring regulations would harm grizzly bears in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

“Under our limited and deferential standard of review, we affirm the district court’s grant of injunctive relief,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Mark J. Bennet, a Donald Trump appointee, with the concurrence of U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik, a Bill Clinton appointee.

Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman partially dissented, explaining that he would have vacated the entire injunction because the plaintiffs’ evidence falls short of proving that irreparable harm is likely — not just possible.

“While I agree with the majority that plaintiffs established a serious question on the merits, the evidence of record establishes that plaintiffs failed to show a reasonably certain threat of imminent harm to grizzly bears should Montana’s wolf regulations remain in force,” the Clinton appointee wrote.

Advertisement

Tallman also argued that the plaintiffs’ evidence is too speculative to warrant an injunction, particularly regarding how climate change affects grizzly denning habits and the plaintiffs’ lack of verified reports of grizzly bears getting caught in recreational wolf traps after 2013.

The other judges disagreed.

“As the district court pointed out, one of plaintiffs’ experts declared that ‘only 12% of unpermitted grizzly bear killings are actually reported,’ and that the ‘data shows that trappers who find grizzly bears in their traps are highly unlikely to call a government agent,’” Lasnik wrote.

Lasnik added how Montana’s evidence showed that over 25% of grizzly bear killings go unreported, suggesting that verified reports are not the best indicator of how often grizzlies are trapped.

All three judges could agree that the injunction is geographically overbroad.

Advertisement

“The district court enjoined wolf trapping and snaring ‘in all areas included in wolf regions one through five, plus Hill, Blaine and Phillips counties,’” Lasnik wrote. “That comprises what appears to be more than half of the entire state of Montana and includes expansive areas outside the occupied grizzly range and even some areas east of Billings — areas that plaintiffs did not even ask to be covered by the injunction.”

The panel also took up Montana’s argument of how the injunction prohibits state researchers from trapping and snaring wolves in the summer for scientific purposes — even though the injunction never prevented that.

On March 19, Montana filed an unopposed motion to modify the injunction so it could allow the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and other management agencies to trap wolves for scientific and livestock conflict management purposes. Molloy denied the request on March 25, explaining that such agencies already had the authority to perform research trapping and they were unaffected by the injunction.

“Apparently the Ninth Circuit wasn’t aware of that,” said Mike Bader of Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot in an interview.

Bader also noted how Tallman in his dissent did not acknowledge a permanent injunction from U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale in March that banned all wolf trapping and snaring in Idaho’s panhandle, Clearwater, Salmon and Upper Snake regions between March 1 and Nov. 30 — the grizzly bear’s non-denning season.

Advertisement

“She actually cited the Molloy injunction ruling as an influence on her ruling, so we hope we can get a permanent injunction because then we would have common law in the Ninth Circuit from both Idaho and Montana,” Bader said.

And that hope might not be far from reality, especially since Molloy’s injunction will stay in place until he adjusts the geographic scope of the order. Bader said a final ruling on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment could arrive within the next few months and that a favorable outcome would also prohibit coyote traps in grizzly territories.

“I think the big issue is climate change,” Bader said, adding how states rely on outdated data for grizzly denning behaviors.

“Especially this past winter, we had reports of females with cubs out in January and a lot of bears out well into December and even past Christmas,” Bader said. “So, the old dates really don’t apply because of the change.”





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Montana

Below normal water supply forecasted for Montana after low-snow winter

Published

on

Below normal water supply forecasted for Montana after low-snow winter


Montana’s winter is shaping up to have been among the worst for snowpack in 25 years and, combined with current outlooks, has water forecasters warning that streamflow levels this summer could be well below normal across most of the state.

Early last month, Montana forecasters and water supply specialists said the state would need above-average snow during March and early April, and a wet and cool spring, to keep the meager snow left from melting away too quickly and causing low river and streamflows through the growing season and likely drought.

But according to state and federal reports and presentations released during the past two weeks, the recovery the snowpack made in February and early March tapered off in the weeks since and hasn’t continued to the extent forecasters hoped.

Advertisement

“It’s not likely a full recovery to normal snowpack conditions will occur by May 1 this year across most of Montana,” Montana Snow Survey staff wrote in the April water supply forecast issued by the Natural Resources Conservation Service earlier this month.

“Below normal snowpack conditions on May 1 could be supplemented by above normal spring and summer precipitation, assuming snowpack deficits aren’t too large. Best case scenario would be a return to cooler weather and above normal precipitation for the next months.”

Since 1991, the median day that Montana’s snowpack as a whole reached its peak is April 14, at 18 inches of snow water equivalent, which is the amount of water contained in the snowpack. So far this year, the statewide snowpack peaked at 13.2 inches of snow water equivalent on April 11, three days earlier than normal and nearly 5 inches of snow water equivalent below normal.

The current snowpack of 12 inches of snow water equivalent statewide is just 74% of normal for this time of year, but also in the 7th percentile when compared to 1991-2020. To start the month, one in seven snow monitoring stations in Montana was showing its lowest or second-lowest snowpack on record. More than one-third of them were reporting a snowpack in the 10th percentile or less compared to 1991-2020.

Advertisement

It’s still possible that storms and cooler weather over the next couple of weeks buoy the snowpack at higher elevations and inhibit the melt-off, but this is typically the time of the year the snowpack starts what most people hope will be a gradual decline.

Last year, the snowpack peaked at 18.1 inches of snow water equivalent on April 25, but a quick melt-off ensued because of unseasonably warm temperatures. Two weeks later, the snowpack was at 12.5 inches of snow water equivalent, and it was completely gone by June 21. The median snow-free date is June 28.

As of Monday, the snowpack was gone in the Bear Paw basin. It sat at 45% of median in the Upper Missouri Basin and between 50% and 69% of normal in the Sun-Teton-Marias, Upper Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Smith-Judith-Musselshell, Upper Yellowstone, Gallatin, Lower Clark Fork, and Flathead basins.

The Jefferson (70%), St. Mary and Kootenai (75% respectively), Madison (76%), Tongue (77%), Powder (78%), and Bighorn (85%) basins were all between 70% and 90% of their average snowpack for this time of the year on Monday.

Last week, Dr. Dennis Todey, director of the Midwest Climate Hub for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the Upper Missouri River was running at close to its lowest point above Fort Peck in recent decades, which could have ramifications as the river heads east into the Upper Midwest, which just had one of its driest and warmest winters in 100 years.

Advertisement

On the other side of the state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed earlier this month to approve a request from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Energy Keepers, Inc., to raise Flathead Lake’s spring level by two feet to 2,885 feet and hold more water in the lake.

Energy Keepers said it anticipates 2024 will be similar to the record-low flows seen in 2023 that kicked off a political firestorm surrounding the lake’s levels so it started refilling the lake early and believes the lake will be between 2,888 feet and 2,891 feet by the end of May.

“By taking these actions early in the season we increase the likelihood Flathead Lake will reach its maximum elevation in what forecasters are predicting as another dry year,” said Energy Keepers CEO Brian Lipscomb. “Should we experience unforeseen precipitation then we can make further adjustments. By May, we are prepared to make further changes to standard operations depending on weather conditions.”

Most streamflows are forecast to be between 70% and 85% of normal across all of Montana’s river basins, but could be near normal in parts of northwest, southwest, and southern Montana that saw a better snowpack this year.

But rivers including the Bighole, Blackfoot, Little Bighorn, Tongue, Clark Fork, Smith, Sun, and Teton are expected to see streamflows for April through July below 65% of normal, according to the latest forecasts.

Advertisement

Those streamflows will be critical to recreation and especially agricultural production this summer, and the relatively dry winter has led to an overall expansion of drought since the beginning of the year, as the area of the state experiencing moderate and severe drought has more than doubled.

But drought conditions improved in Montana throughout March and into the beginning of April. During the past two weeks, moderate and severe drought has declined in southeastern Montana, and less of east-central Montana is abnormally dry than a week before. But after extreme drought disappeared for a week earlier this month, it has shown back up in northern Flathead County and northwestern Mineral County.

“Extreme drought conditions were introduced in the mountainous region along the Idaho and Montana border due to concerns about low snow amounts and possible early snowmelt,” National Drought Mitigation Center forecasters wrote in last Thursday’s report.

The next two weeks could bring some relief if current forecasts hold. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-average precipitation over the next 6-14 days, including a possible storm this weekend that could bring rain to lower elevations and snow above 5,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

But the forecast for early May currently shows above-average temperatures statewide, and the forecast for May through July shows above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for western Montana, though it also shows equal chances of below- or above-average precipitation and temperatures for eastern Montana for that period.

Advertisement

That will coincide with the El Niño that has persisted through winter ending, and an increasing likelihood that La Niña starts to develop into August, according to the Climate Prediction Center, which typically means cooler and wetter winters in Montana because the jet stream stays further north.

But July through October are currently forecast to bring above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for Montana, according to the Climate Prediction Center. That means the next several weeks will be key in determining how summer shapes up water-wise.

“Given the widespread low forecasts, above normal precipitation over the next couple of months and a slow melt of the snowpack would be most beneficial for the upcoming summer,” the latest water supply forecast says. “Additionally, a wet summer could help to sustain streamflows later in the season.”

This story was initially published by The Daily Montanan, a nonprofit news organization and part of the States News network, covering state issues. Read more at dailymontanan.com.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Montana

Montana Has the 'Most Remote Town' in the Lower 48

Published

on

Montana Has the 'Most Remote Town' in the Lower 48


Montana encompasses 93 million acres.

We’re the 4th largest state with vast prairies and rugged mountains spread over 147,040 square miles of land. Locals share frustration with newcomers moving to the Treasure State, and despite hordes of out-of-staters moving in, Montana remains sparsely populated in most of the state. For example: Glasgow, MT is named the most remote town in the United States (excluding Alaska).

Read More: Big News for the Legendary Sleeping Buffalo in NE Montana

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Glasgow, MT, population 3,200 is far away from everything.

Certainly, a handful of unincorporated hovels may be more isolated than Glasgow. Still, regarding a town – with a post office – located farthest from a city of 75,000 or more, Glasgow takes the title as most remote in the United States.

Advertisement

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

It’s about 4.5 hours from Glasgow to the larger cities like Billings, Great Falls, or Minot, ND. If you’ve got your passport, it’s a faster drive from Glasgow to Regina, Saskatchewan at just under 4 hours. TheTravel.com described Glasgow’s location as “rural America’s middle of nowhere.”

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Get away from it all in Glasgow.

If that’s not their slogan, perhaps it should be. Established as a railroad town, Glasgow’s population boomed during the Cold War construction of Glasgow Air Force Base and the now (mostly) ghost town of nearby St. Marie. The base was decommissioned in 1976.

Read More: This Montana Ghost Town is a Creepy Relic of the Cold War

Advertisement

The city seems to embrace its title of the most remote town. On a city map shared by the Glasgow Chamber, verbiage reads “Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere!”

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

Glasgow, MT. Screen capture via YouTube – T1D Wanderer

You’re not alone in Glasgow.

Sure, you’re four-and-a-half hours from any airport that can land a commercial jet, but it’s not like Glasgow is completely off-grid. There is a 25-bed hospital for routine medical care, they have an Albertson’s grocery store, hardware stores, a McDonald’s, and great local bars and restaurants, like Montana-famous Eugene’s Pizza.

Eugene’s Pizza, Glasgow, MT. Credit Google/Canva

Eugene’s Pizza, Glasgow, MT. Credit Google/Canva

Visit the roads less traveled in Montana.

For visitors looking for a “real” Montana experience, I’d encourage you to spend some time in places that aren’t Bozeman, Whitefish, Missoula, or Billings.

Advertisement

Check out the small communities around the Hi-Line or eastern Montana if you’d like to see what most of Montana was like 30 years ago. Progress moves slower in isolated places like Glasgow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

15 Montana Prairie Ghost Towns

In many cases, little more than a farmhouse remains of these once bustling Montana prairie towns. Here are 15 communities in eastern Montana that are barely more than a ghost town. 

Gallery Credit: Michael Foth

How 10 Montana Small Towns Got Their Interesting Names

Miners, railroaders, trappers, and homesteaders all played a part in creating Montana’s most unique town names.

Gallery Credit: Michael Foth

Advertisement





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending