Senior Advocates for Montana: Big Sky 55+

Montana has the third oldest population in the country, behind New Hampshire and Maine. Just as surprisingly, Montana has not had a group that advocates for senior issues for about 10 years, when the Montana Senior Citizens Organization fell by the wayside. Over the course of the past year, a group of resourceful seniors, led by Northern Plains Resource Council stalwart Pat Sweeney, have been forming a group to advocate for senior issues—Big Sky 55+.

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Nature On the Wing: Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Anyone traveling near the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge this summer will be richly rewarded by stopping and spending several hours walking the trails leading from one diverse habitat to another.

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Thieves

Folks who make their living tending cattle are good observers. They notice little things: a buck deer that has been around forever, a robin who, year in year out, builds her nest above the shop door. They know spring is just around the corner when they see a Killdeer running up and down the road to the cattle’s feeding ground. And they know about the four-legged thieves—calves looking for a bag full of milk with four spigots.

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June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

The impact of Alzheimer’s is profoundly felt throughout the state. Currently in Montana, 20,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s with an estimated 5.7 million across the country. The Alzheimer’s Association® urges individuals throughout Montana to get involved and raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

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Montana’s Suicide Battle — A Major Health Issue

The elderly population makes up 12 percent of the overall population of the U.S. and 18 percent of all suicide deaths. With the baby boomer generation aging well into the 50-plus age range, we are looking at a major public health issue. According to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, the highest rate of suicide occurs among middle-aged adults.

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Navy Submarine Montana (SSN 794) Anointed

The second warship to ever bear the name of our state—the Montana (SSN 794)—was anointed in May with a proper Native American blessing. The ship’s sponsor, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. “We celebrate the tradition of the keel laying and look forward to blessing her, christening her, and ensuring that the natural beauty, rich culture, and spirit of the great state of Montana accompany the ship and crew throughout her lifetime.”

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Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation

The Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana, just east of Glacier National Park, is the 13th largest reservation in the U.S. at about 1.5 million acres. Roughly 85 percent of the residents are Native Americans.

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