Trout population study; Glacier noise pollution; UM discrimination ruling
Save Wild Trout appoints members to their advisory board
Montana Public Radio | By John Hooks
A board of outfitters, environmental activists and other stakeholders will study a historic trout population crash in the Jefferson Basin. The group Save Wild Trout appointed members to their advisory board to help steer upcoming research efforts. The board also includes the former head of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Trout populations in the Jefferson Basin are at their lowest numbers on record.
Save Wild Trout intends to carry out an interdisciplinary study on water quality in the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers.
The group said they intend for their study to complement another study on fish mortality being carried out by Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Montana State University.
Study finds noise pollution in Glacier National Park has been reduced
Montana Public Radio | By Aaron Bolton
A recent study found that noise pollution inside Glacier National Park has been reduced in recent decades. That’s the result of fewer sightseeing flights over the park.
Back in 2004, a study monitored eight sites throughout Glacier for noise pollution. The sounds of sightseeing planes and helicopters were identified as a problem.
The park has since changed those routes and has a plan to phase out flights over the park by 2029.
University student and former park intern Whitney Wyche monitored half of the sites from the 2004 study this summer.
She said the number of park visitors has gone up by about a million over the past 20 years. But overall, the amount of noise pollution has gone down because of a reduction in sightseeing flights. That means more of the natural sounds visitors come for.
“Water rushing, birds calling, elk bugling,” Wyche said.
Wyche said the idea of the study is to help park managers make decisions that can preserve the natural soundscape.
Judge rules that the University of Montana did not discriminate against a former Lady Griz coach
Montana Public Radio | By Austin Amestoy
A U.S. district court judge in Missoula last Tuesday ruled that the University of Montana did not discriminate against former Lady Griz basketball head coach Shannon Schweyen when it fired her in 2020.
Schweyen argued in a suit filed nearly two years ago that UM declined to renew her contract due to her gender.
Schweyen played for the Lady Griz in the 90s and became one of the program’s most accomplished athletes. She was hired as head coach of the women’s basketball team in 2016.
Schweyen argued her salary was lower than male coaches at UM, indicating gender-based discrimination. She also claimed her successor as head coach, a male, was paid a higher-base salary.
Judge Dana Christensen rejected most of Schweyen’s arguments in his ruling.
He found that the university had cause to fire Schweyen for reasons unrelated to her gender. Those reasons included program underperformance and complaints it received from players about Schweyen’s team culture.
Christensen also wrote Schweyen’s salary was more than the average for other women’s basketball coaches in the conference, while her successor was paid less than average.
Schweyen’s attorney said in a statement she’s “reviewing the decision and considering next steps.” She added Schweyen is disappointed the court disregarded evidence she was treated differently than male coaches at UM.
A university spokesperson said in a statement they’re pleased by the ruling and that they wish Schweyen well in future endeavors.