Missoula County Coverage

Feb 18, 2013 9:15 AM by Bernie Riggs - KPAX News

Missoula joins Forward On Climate Change rally

MISSOULA - A couple hundred people gathered Sunday afternoon at the X's and marched along Higgins Avenue to advocate for action as part of the nationwide Forward On Climate Change rally.

The event also called for a different direction from new fossil fuel developments like the proposed
Keystone Pipeline and Otter Creek coal mine projects while demanding reduced carbon emissions.

Speakers at the rally included Missoula Mayor John Engen, University of Montana Climatologist Steve Running and Northern Cheyenne member Vanessa Grace Braided Hair.

Braided Hair is a wildlands firefighter who said that Montana's 2012 season was particularly intense. She pointed to the Ash Creek Fire, which burned nearly 250,000 acres and destroyed 11 homes in Eastern Montana as an example.

Braided Hair also said the Otter Creek area is historically important to her family, who originally homesteaded it before the establishment of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

"I want to be able to protect that area. You know, protect the water, the land, the wildlife, the cultural and ceremonial sites for the future generations to come. That's who we should be thinking about."

Running said Montana needs to move away from coal development, calling it the most primitive and inefficient of fossil fuels. He was part of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in 2007.

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