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A new guide to Montana's geothermal resources and their development has been published by the Department of Environmental Quality's Renewable Energy Program. The guidebook, "Geothermal Energy in Montana — A Consumer's Guide," provides the most current information on locations of Montana's geothermal resources, permitting requirements for development and an overview of existing geothermal energy uses in the state.

The 42-page, full-color guide is authored by Jeff Birkby, a Missoula-based writer and consultant who has assisted geothermal energy landowners and developers over the past 30 years. He has also written recreational guides on hot springs of the Northern Rockies and the Northwest.

The publication contains information on groundwater heat pumps, geothermal greenhouse operations, and geothermal district heating opportunities. A separate chapter focuses on the growing potential to use hot water from oil wells in Eastern Montana to generate electricity.

To download the free geothermal energy publication, visit DEQ's Montana Geothermal website at or call 406-841-5200 to request a hard copy.


The state of Montana will offer free detailed training on a range of topics that includes air quality and discharge permitting, compliance requirements, and best business practices for contractors, open-cut mining, materials processors and the oil and gas industry.

The training will be Oct. 1-3 at the Mondak Heritage Center at 120 Third Ave. S.E. in Sidney, conducted by representatives of the departments of Environmental Quality and Transportation. The series is designed specifically to address practices surrounding open-cut mining and associated development and growth seen in recent years throughout northeastern Montana.

To register, call 800-433-8773 or email Darrick Turner at

Montana and Wyoming ranchers can learn how to plan for and manage through drought at a half-day workshop Monday, Sept. 24, in Northwest College’s DeWitt Student Center in Powell, Wyo. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. "Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch,” designed for ranchers, ranch advisers, other range professionals and students. Participants are given the tools needed to plan for drought, working with financial and natural resources. Participants receive a copy of a “Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch” handbook with worksheets.

The workshop is sponsored through a partnership between the Northwest College Agriculture Department and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Speakers’ fees are underwritten through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency.

The workshop starts with a 7:30 a.m. continental breakfast and sign-in. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. and concludes midday with lunch and an opportunity to visit with the speakers.

It will be broadcast live and recorded using webinar technology. To view the workshop remotely via webinar, contact the National Drought Mitigation Center at The handbook, workshop materials and webinar link are available at

Cost to attend is $20 for the main registrant per family/ranch and $10 for each additional person. Students are encouraged to participate and pay a reduced registration rate of $5. Registrations are accepted at or by calling Stacy Gilman at 307-754-6062.


The Billings Chapter 100 of the American Society of Women Accountants will hold a lunch meeting at noon Wednesday at the Fortin Culinary Center at the Billings Food Bank. Don Bagley will give a presentation on health care reform. Lunch costs $13. RSVP to Natalie Pigg by Monday morning at


Persistent drought conditions in Wyoming have increased the likelihood that farm and ranch livestock could be affected by eating forages that accumulate nitrates during prolonged hot, dry periods. Steve Paisley, beef extension specialist at the University of Wyoming, suggests livestock producers should sample and test forages for nitrates during prolonged droughts.

“To properly sample forages, producers will need a hay probe to not only test the outside of the bales or stacks, but the inside as well,” he said. Hay probes are hollow cylinders with a sharp end, and, depending on the type of forage probe, the cylinder is pushed into the bale either by force or with a cordless drill. The probe then takes a core sample of the bale.

Paisley said samples can also be sent to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture's Analytical Services Lab at 1174 Snowy Range Road in Laramie; to contact the lab, call 307-742-2984.


The public is invited to the simulcast of Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership program from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Community Center Complex in Worland, Wyo. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wyoming is the sponsor. Learn from Ramsey, as he, along with leadership expert Chris LoCurto and bestselling author Jon Acuff, touches on three critical topics relating to leading a team and growing a business: “EntreLeadership Defined,” “The Art of Selling” and “The Three Things Brilliant Leaders Do During Times of Chaos.” This is leadership training for everyone from corporate to ministry. Tickets are $39. Register at or contact Abbey Scott of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wyoming at 800-294-9700 or


Through the second quarter of 2012, the Billings Cinnabon in Rimrock Mall is ranked No. 7 out of more than 1,200 locations for growth over previous year. It is the only kiosk-type bakery in the top 100 and the only nonairport location in the top 25. Joe Rand is the owner.


Kampgrounds of America Inc. and Route 66 RV Network — the largest network of independent recreational vehicle dealers in North America — are partnering to extend member benefits to both KOA and Route 66 RV Network members.

KOA is the world’s largest network of family-friendly campgrounds, with 488 locations throughout North America. Route 66 RV Network, with headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., has nearly 150 dealer locations in 41 states.

Under the new partnership, KOA’s 350,000 Value Kard Rewards Program members will receive 10 percent discounts on parts and accessories at all Route 66 RV Network locations. In return, the more than 150,000 campers who carry the Route 66 RV Network membership card will receive 10 percent discounts on camping at any KOA location.

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