How little snow is there? Plus, join PCEC for these February events!
February 10 @ 8:00 am - February 23 @ 5:00 pm
It's been all anyone can talk about: Where's the snow?
Well, this week, the USDA-NRCS released the statewide snow report, and it shows a bleak picture: There is less snow than ever, both in the Yellowstone subbasin above Livingston and in the Shields River Basin.
Yellowstone Above Livingston Sub-basin
As of February 5, the Upper Yellowstone sub-basin is measuring at 61% of the normal Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). Presently, the nine sites gauged in the Upper Yellowstone watershed indicate 8.7 inches of SWE, the lowest ever recorded. notably below the median measurement for this time of year of 14.2 inches of SWE.
The previous record was 2001, when there were 9.0 inches of SWE recorded.
Shields River Sub-basin
As of February 5, the Shields River sub-basin is recording only 43% of the normal Snow Water Equivalent. The four sites measured in the Shields watershed indicate an unprecedented 3.8 inches of SWE, the lowest ever recorded, compared to the normal median of 8.8 inches for this time of year.
The last time the snowpack approached this low of a level (the second lowest on record) was in 2007, when February 5th SWE measured at 4.3 inches.
In the 2021 Greater Yellowstone Climate Assessment, scientists found that from 1950 - 2018 the Greater Yellowstone Area increased in temperature (2.5oF), had a significant loss in snowfall (25%), and that peak stream flows now come earlier (8 days).
This study also utilized climate modeling to project trends up to the year 2100, indicating a continuation and intensification of these changes. Alarmingly, predictions suggest a potential 40% decrease in snowpack, a sentiment resonating throughout Montana amidst this dry winter season.
The entire state is below normal, and at present, 150 out of the 200+ stations measured in the state rank in the 10th percentile or lower within their period of record. Even with normal precipitation in the next three months, numerous locations across Montana are poised to experience record-low snowpack levels.
We are in a wait and see holding pattern right now, with the hopes that spring moisture will help make up for our snowpack deficit. But we know that weather and climate patterns do not respond to prayers for snow and rain dances. PCEC is committed to working with our community and partners to take a proactive stance in creating more climate resilience locally.
Yellowstone is considering alternatives for a permanent new North Entrance Road in Yellowstone National Park.
At these meetings next week, the park will present three preliminary road alignment alternatives along with two video flyovers to explain the damage, environmental challenges, constraints and opportunities of each alignment. Goals for the new road include providing year-round access between Gardiner, Montana, and Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, natural hazard resiliency and the protection of natural and cultural resources.
A draft environmental assessment will likely be released for public review fall 2024. A final decision is expected in early 2025.
Are you curious about the proposed Community Wellness Center? Ballots will be mailed on February 28th and Election day is March 19th determining this important decision.
Join the PCEC Zoom Community Conversation for our second informative session designed to answer your questions and provide all the details you need to make an informed decision on the upcoming ballot initiative. Here is a link to the first one if you missed it. Whether you're a PCEC member, a concerned citizen, or just interested in learning more, this conversation is open to the entire community. We will hear from folks from the City of Livingston and 4-Ranges Wellness Center Foundation and hope you will learn, ask questions, and share your thoughts with fellow residents so we are all more prepared to vote.
Please note: This event is intended to provide information and facilitate dialogue. PCEC is not advocating for or against the ballot initiative.
Mark Your Calendars: Downtown Master Plan and a discussion of the entrances to Livingston
At the end of this month, the city of Livingston will host community engagement opportunities for the Downtown Master Plan and Gateway Overlay zones on Feb. 26th & 27th.
The team from Crescendo Planning will review their initial findings and results of the Downtown Master Plan.
While Crescendo is in town, they're also going to help us start envisioning Livingston's Gateways! The City is working to plan workshops with the community to help gather data which will inform the possible creation of overlay zoning districts in the City Gateway areas, as called for in the Growth Policy.
We'll give you more information as the date gets closer.
Join Montana Renewable Energy Association for our statewide networking event of 2024! Whether you are a new solar home owner, an advocate, or a professional in the sector, you are invited to MREA's Renewable Rendezvous on February 13th. Learn about clean energy career pathways for low income women and women of color with guest speakers from the Missoula Clean Energy Workforce Coalition (CEWC). Gather with the MREA members making a clean energy difference in their careers, businesses, homes, schools, and communities. Celebrate Montana made clean energy success stories, and hear what you can do to support MREA's work in the year ahead. (Members of the public welcome - you don't have to be a member to attend!)
All are welcome. Join us! Each month we learn more about the needs and opportunities for health & well-being in Park County as we work towards system-alignment and actionable goals to support our communities.
February's meeting will feature special guest Shannon Steele of Be Well Big Sky to share information about their Wellness Navigators program.
Meetings are held in the conference rooms at Livington HealthCare. From the front entrance, walk straight towards Cafe Fresh past registration. Conference rooms are in the hallway to the left. Can't make it in-person? Join us online! CLICK HERE TO JOIN
Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, 5:30 p.m.
Bring your friends and meet us at Neptune's Brewing fora YBCC meet and greet event! We will chat with folks about all the amazing work YBCC members do, recruiting new folks, fundraising for the remaining $700 for the Sherwood Solar project, and just hanging out with friends. We look forward to seeing you!
Livingston Bike Club
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Lincoln School Auditorium
Join Livingston Bike Club for their monthly meeting to discuss building trails, trail stewardship, and maintenance projects, and fun rides this summer!
"Transforming the Rural Narrative on Climate Solutions" with Madeline McGill, Communications Director, Resource Rural, a project of the Heartland Fund<https://www.heartlandfund.org/> We need a narrative framework to leverage a benefits-forward strategy to connect with hardworking rural people on climate. Join the Rural Climate Partnership<https://ruralclimate.org/> and Resource Rural for a discussion on how we can reach across cultural differences and avoid culture war frames to connect on shared values. Log on to: https://montana.webex.com/meet/commdev and/or (415) 655-0002 Access code: 920 642 787 Please join us and help spread the word!
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