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Alaska & Montana Commonalities. Glaciers* Ponds, lakes and wetlands Forest Fires/Diseases* Migratory Birds Cold Water Fish Fish Sticks and other Seafood Winter Sports Indigenous Peoples Robust Renewable Energy Potential

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alaska montana commonalities
Alaska & Montana Commonalities
  • Glaciers*
  • Ponds, lakes and wetlands
  • Forest Fires/Diseases*
  • Migratory Birds
  • Cold Water Fish
  • Fish Sticks and other Seafood
  • Winter Sports
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Robust Renewable Energy Potential
  • Iconic, Beautiful Natural States
  • Important Senators*
global warming in montana

“In Montana average annual air temperature has increased about 1 degree… annual snowfall has decreased by 6 to 22 inches across the state, snowmelt is occurring 2-3 weeks earlier than in 1950 and wildfires greater than 1,000 acres have increased six-fold in the last 40 years.”

Dr. Steve Running University of Montana February 2007

Global Warming in Montana

glaciers montana

Shepard Glacier 1913

Shepard Glacier 2005

Glaciers -- Montana
  • “The glaciers of Montana are not merely touchstones. They are crystal balls foretelling our future”Todd Wilkinson – New West Network 6/13/2006
  • Glacier National Park
    • Number of glaciers in 1850: 150
    • Number of glaciers in 2007: 26
forest disease montana
Forest Disease -- Montana
  • Large Infestations of Mountain Pine Beetle
    • In 2006, 813,000 acres of pine forest were recently infected with the beetle.(Missoulian 2/14/07).
  • Dramatically increasing outbreaks of Western Spruce Bud Worm in Montana(Missoulian 2/14/07).
    • In 2006, 1.12 million acres of forests were affected by the insect that consumes the needles of Douglas fir trees.
    • In 2005, 449,000 acres.
    • In 2004, 177,000 acres.
  • The national forests hit hardest by the Western spruce budworm include the Gallatin, Helena and Beaverhead-Deerlodge (Missoulian 2/14/07).
migratory birds scaup
Migratory Birds -- Scaup
  • Population of these diving ducks appears “to be in peril”(Consensus Report 2006 [CR]).
    • Declined from over 7 million (in 1970s) to 3.39 million (2005)(CR).
    • Record low in 2006 -- 3.2 million(Ducks Unlimited 2007).
    • 70% breed in western boreal forest; fastest rate of decline (94,000 birds per year (1978 to 2005.)) “…declines reflect breeding season events”(CR).
  • 19% wetland loss in Yukon Flats (1985-89 v. 2001-03)
    • Where ponds lose 20% or more surface, decline in scaup food sources (i.e., amphipods, gastropods and chironomid larvae)(Corcoran et. al 2007).
dall sheep
Dall Sheep

“…we’re going to have declining Dall sheep. We’re losing their habitat”Dr. John Morton - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

  • Dall sheep live exclusively in alpine tundra
  • Due to warmer temperatures, the treeline in the Kenai Mountains has risen at a rate of about 1 meter/year over the past 50 years.

Photo: Tim Craig, Wildlife Biologist BLM

muskoxen
Muskoxen
  • Population in northern Alaska and Canada declined from approximately 700 to 400 (Pat Reynolds FWS 2007).
    • Risk Factors
      • Icing events
      • Lower calf production
      • Deeper snow
      • Not highly mobile
      • Increase in disease e.g. nematode lungworm (able to complete life cycle in 1 years vs. 2 years) (Kutz et. al, 2004)
brown bears
Brown Bears
  • Factors of Concern
    • Diet Impairment: fish and berries (Kenai Brown Bears – fish 90% of diet vs. black bears 10%)
    • Hibernation disturbances for reproducing females (Jan-May)
      • 2 months to implant
      • Cub growth
      • Flooding of dens (Sean Farley ADF&G 2007).
  • Reduction in productivity and survival rates followed salmon decline in Kuskokwim (additional research underway)(Steve Kovach FWS 2007).
polar bear in peril
Polar Bear in Peril
  • Largest land or ice predator on earth. Males weigh more than 1200 lbs, 12 ft. long and 50 in. necks.
  • Born in snow dens, weighing about a pound and half
  • Most mobile of all quadrupeds some in excess of 600,00 km2
  • Feed almost entirely on 2 species of ice seals ringed (90%) and bearded
  • Evolved between 80,000 (fossil record) and 200,000 (molecular genetics) years ago(Steve Amstrup, 2007).
slide10

What We Can Do

Government Actions

Senator Max Baucus

“Then there is Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who among the EPW

Committee Democrats may stand out as her (Senator Boxer’s)

toughest target.”

Then: In 2002, voted against a bill to cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Also opposed the McCain-Lieberman legislation in 2003 and 2005.

Now: "I'm very interested in what California is doing…On the other hand, I think we need a national system. This is a world problem. It's not a single state problem.”

“Cap and trade is very important,” he said.

“It has to be done.”