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Last updated:
April 16, 2001


Peaks to Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center

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Results from the SAE Clean Snowmobile 2001 Collegiate Design Competition

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineer's newest collegiate design competition. It challenges engineering students to reengineer an existing snowmobile for improved emissions and noise while maintaining or improving the performance characteristics of the original snowmobile. These modified snowmobiles are also expected to be cost-effective so that snowmobile outfitters could afford to purchase them and still make a profit. Although last year’s results were very impressive, the inaugural Clean Snowmobile Challenge featured a short development timeline that kept some of the teams from implementing their best technologies. This year the field doubled, with 13 entries, and competition was tighter and tougher. Areas of competition included Emissions, Fuel Economy/Range, Acceleration/Noise, Cold Starts and Hill Climbing.

The winning team from Waterloo, Ontario, had planned to enter a four-stroke machine, but a few weeks prior to competition it became apparent they needed more testing and development time for their machine. So, they dusted off their two-stroke model, which placed second in the 2000 event. By making improvements to the injection and exhaust systems, they were able to take top honors in 2001. Competition results included second place Kettering University’s reduction in combined emissions by 97%, when compared to the “control” sled. The steep hill-climb course was a real challenge for any snowmobile. Not only did some of the unmodified competition machines make it up, but they could not be heard by the crowd after they went over the first rise while the regular, pro snowmobiles could be heard all over town.

The SAE Clean Snowmobile 2001 Collegiate Design Competition succeeded as an opportunity to demonstrate how technology can be a means to improved lifestyle. To read the full 2001 competition news release, click here. For daily competition results, on-line photos, and further information go to the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2001 site at: top.gif (1147 bytes)


Farming Conservation Improves Watersheds (4/9/01)
British Company Involved in Montana Reforestation ( 4/9/01)
Agricultural Profits in Energy Crops (4/9/01
First-Ever Biotech Crop Ban Considered in North Dakota
, (3/29/01)
Park Snowmobiles Still an Issue

Cement Plant’s Controversial Plan to Burn Tires (3/28/01)
American Prairie Exhibit Tours
, (3/19/01)
Public Comment on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, (3/19/01)
Montana Pest Information Network Established, (3/19/01)
State of the Art NxLeveL Curriculum Available On-Line, (3/19/01)
Aerospace Technology in Agriculture
, (3/1/01)
Montana Drought Monitoring 2001 On-Line, (2/28/01)
Distributed Energy Resources Center Established by NREL, (2/27/01)
Electric Cooperative in Delta-Montrose, Colorado, Recognized, (2/27/01)

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 Ongoing Coverage:   

 Libby, Montana  
Vermiculite Mine Controversy

 Wind Power in Region 8

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Auto Body News
P2 Enviro-Rangers Club (exits Peaks to Prairies)
P2 for Agricultural and Vocational Educators 
P2RX News from Other Regions (exits Peaks to Prairies)
Region 8 Roundtable
Residential Construction News
Peaks to Prairies Fall, 2000 Semi-Annual Report
(pdf file)

OTHER REGIONAL NEWS SITES (exit Peaks to Prairies)

EPA Region 8 News Releases (
EPA Region 8 Environmental Information Service Center (
State Energy Officials News (
US Army Environmental Center Region 8 Western Region Review 
This monthly, regional newsletter presents:

  •  federal news and regulatory developments

  • conferences, symposiums and training

  • state specific regulatory updates for each state in the region


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"Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them."
-- Albert Einstein  

Farming Conservation Improves Watersheds (4/9/01)
The Environmental News Service reports: Changes in Farming practices have played a major role in improving water quality in Lake Erie, a recent study suggests. An Ohio State University researcher compared pollutant emissions in 1985 to those 10 years later for two watersheds that drain into the lake. He then compared those results to how
farming practices changed in the area during the same time. He found that farmers in this area began using more conservation practices during the last two decades, which resulted in an overall decrease in agricultural chemicals washing into Lake Erie. Farm related pollution levels decreased anywhere from five percent to more than 50 percent in a 10 year period. The most striking change in farming practices was the rapid adoption of conservation tillage in both watersheds. For more information see "Journal of Soil and Water Conservation," Vol. 55, No. 3, or

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British Company Involved in Montana Reforestation (4/9/01)
The London office of Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) has concluded a transaction involving the purchase of emissions reduction offsets through reforestation of tribal lands of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana. The proceeds from this transaction will be used to reforest land that was decimated by forest fires in 1994. The trade was facilitated by the Montana Carbon Offset Coalition, which is helping farmers and foresters  to participate in  the emerging carbon markets. For more information contact: Environmental Financial Products at 1-312/554-3350 or Sustainable Forestry Management at  44-207/589-9650.

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Agricultural Profits in Energy Crops (4/9/01
The next generation of farmers could double their net income by growing alternative energy crops. Witnesses before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee told committee chair Senator Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, that production of crops such as corn, which can be made into clean burning ethanol, could replace much of the nation's imported oil. "We are on the threshold of additional income for farmers but also an opportunity that improves the environment and increases the energy security of the country," Lugar said. For more information see:

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First-Ever Biotech Crop Ban Considered in North Dakota, (3/29/01)
North Dakota legislators are considering a bill that would make North Dakota the first state to ban a genetically modified crop. The bill, which has support from the state's farmers, would impose a two year moratorium on growing genetically modified wheat (bioengineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup) until August 1, 2003. To view the entire article see:

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Park Snowmobiles Still an Issue (3/28/01)
The Environmental News Service  reports: Senator Craig Thomas has introduced a bill that would limit the ability of the National Park Service to protect Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The "National Park Service Winter Access Act" (S 365) would maintain snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, despite recent moves by the National Park Service to restrict winter motorized access to the parks. Critics warn the bill could set a dangerous precedent by overturning a National Park Service decision based on an established public review process. But Thomas says he just wants to replace a snowmobile ban with new emission and noise standards. For more information see:

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Cement Plant’s Controversial Plan to Burn Tires (3/28/01)
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports:  Holnam Inc., the cement manufacturing company located near Trident for nearly 100 years, has submitted a proposal to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to receive, store and use solid wastes, mainly tires, as an added source of fuel and raw materials for its cement kiln. Critics believe that more than reusing tires, this burning would cause toxic air emissions. For more information see:

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American Prairie Exhibit Tours, (3/19/01)
An exhibit on the American prairie that has been on display in a Smithsonian museum since November will soon appear in 20 U.S. libraries as part of a national tour. "Listening to the Prairie: Farming in Nature's Image" focuses on the flora, fauna, and agricultural output of America's prairies. Co-funded by CSREES, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the American Library Association (ALA), the exhibit, which is at the National Museum of Natural History through March 31, describes the evolution of the vast grasslands region of the U.S. This region covers parts of 12 states - Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. For more information about the tour, contact the ALA at 800-545-2433, ext. 5054. Or go to the ALA website at and scroll down to "Listening to the Prairie."

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Public Comment on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, (3/19/01)
The public comment period ends May 2 on an EPA proposed rule to revise and update two regulations that address impacts on water quality of manure, wastewater, and other process waters generated by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOS). For complete information on the meetings, proposal background, and how to submit formal comments, see website or contact;  phone: 202-720-7185).

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Montana Pest Information Network Established, (3/19/01)
You can now use the internet answer some of your pest control questions. Through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Montana Pest Information Network (MontPIN) was created as a pilot project that has the potential to link producers, university researchers, Extension specialists, county Extension agents, and others wanting more knowledge of agricultural pest control issues in Montana. To subscribe to the Montana Pest Information Network (MontPIN), simply send an e-mail to:  Enter Subscribe MontPIN in the subject line and you will be added to the member list. Enter your e-mail address in the body of the message. For more information call the Montana Pesticide Education Program, (406) 994-3518 or visit their website at

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State of the Art NxLeveL Curriculum Available On-Line, (3/19/01)
The SBDC of Montana Department of Commerce present a state of the art internet curriculum developed in partnership with the University of Montana, ITRC. The excellent NxLeveL Business Plan Basics curriculum has been adapted for for "distance learning," and can be viewed at:  For more information contact:

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Aerospace Technology in Agriculture, (3/1/01)
A new report titled "Montana Farm and Ranch Learning Groups Apply Aerospace Tech in Agriculture," by Sharron Quisenberry, Dean at MSU College of Agriculture, states: Montana farm and ranch learning groups are forming to study soil, climate and biological differences that occur across farm and ranch landscapes to enable them to respond to short- and long-term changes in their land and industry. Precision agriculture technology recognizes and maps soil, climate, crops and weed variations occurring around the globe, across Montana or within a single field. Global Positioning System satellite data and field navigation tools, sensors and cameras on satellites, aircraft and field implements and geographic information system technologies allow producers to create and analyze maps and images of soil, crop, weed and rangeland variations. Producers who are interested in forming new learning groups that focus on range management, irrigation agriculture, or alternative agricultural systems should contact Chris Erlien at,  or 406/994-6034. For more information contact Dean Quisenberry at 406/994-3681 or

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Montana Drought Monitoring 2001 On-Line, (2/28/01)
The Montana Natural Resource Information Systems offers a useful new web site called Montana Drought Monitoring 2001. The site offers a wide variety of drought-related information and resources, including current stream flow, snow pack, and reservoir storage conditions, drought maps and photos, agency information, and news, and can be viewed at:

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Distributed Energy Resources Center Established by NREL, (2/27/01)
EarthVision Environmental News reports that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has established a Distributed Energy Resources Center on-line at They believe the solution to the seemingly overburdened electrical generation system lies not in creating more centralized power plants but in a network of dispersed, smaller-scale generation facilities. To view the entire article see:

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Electric Cooperative in Delta-Montrose, Colorado, Recognized, (2/27/01)
A Business Week article entitled "Cutting Edge in Rural Colorado?" applauds the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), an electric cooperative serving 28,000 customers in four counties in southwest Colorado. It notes DMEA’s "creative innovations" in providing energy services and new technologies such as fuel cells (DMEA installed the first propane powered fuel cell in the country in April of last year). "We hope to assist other utilities adopt these successful efforts," says Paul Bony, DMEA’s marketing manager. "Widespread use of GeoExchange technology, for example, would save thousands of megawatts of power and help western states avoid the situation California now finds itself in." For more information contact Tom Polikalas at 970-240-1245 or or visit  For full ENS article see:

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