Missoula, MT is for the birds — and against them, too

Meloukhia (along with my BoingBoing-reading husband) alerts us to a fantastic multimedia story at New West about how a proposal to legalize backyard chickens in Missoula, Montana, is dividing neighbors. It's the battle of the Locavores/Ethicureans vs. Prissy NIMBYists:

In case you're not familiar with it, New West is a damn fine online journalism site dedicated to covering some of the areas of the U.S. forsaken by mainstream newspapers. It was founded by Jonathan Weber, who dot-com hacks like me remember as the editor of the Industry Standard magazine. Weber's FAQ about building New West should be required reading for all would-be pro bloggers and citizen journalists.

5 Responsesto “Missoula, MT is for the birds — and against them, too”

  1. I am not sure if this is bad blog etiquette, and I suspect that you'll probably have something on this by the end of the week, but I did some work on the hormone-free milk labeling "controversy" in Pennsylvania and did a pretty long post on it on my own blog at lustybit.blogspot.com/2007/11/milk-labeling-shenanigans.html.

    The long and short is that the PA Dept of Agriculture made what appears to be a capricious decision to outlaw labels on dairy products sold in the state that use terms like "hormone free" or "antibiotic free." Just what Monsanto has been asking the FDA and FTC to do.

    I'm going to follow up with the PA Department of Agriculture tomorrow on some important questions related to this, but thought I'd pass on the legwork I've already done for any interested parties.

  2. Bonnie P. says:

    Hi Fillipelli: We'll let you slide this time and not remove the comment, but yes, that is bad blog etiquette -- the equivalent of interrupting a conversation with a non sequitur. (Even though this isn't quite properly a conversation yet.) The best way to get us to read something you've blogged, so we can alert others to it, is to contact us, either through the "contact us" page above left, or via "tips" at this blog's name. The comments section should be reserved for discussing the post.

    And now that you have been gently spanked, I will say that your post is a most satisfying rant, and I'll put it in the next Digest (which may be delayed). A lot more people read that than the comments section! Note: we did link to a New York Times story about it in the Digest last weekend.

  3. Duly noted. Thanks very much. The more I think and read about this move by the Pa. Dept. of Ag, the angrier I get. I'll pass on any further info I get via the tip line! :D

  4. Emily says:

    So what I want to know is...what are these dire consequences the clearly "anti-chicken" man keeps alluding to? Raccoons? Bird flu? Neighborhood warfare?

  5. Joe says:

    Great report. The thing that strikes me about the "controversy" is how provincial the opponents come off, believing that everyone who moves to the city should have the same expectations and desires.

    Maybe I'm biased, having lived in three 250,000+ pop. cities in North America -- all of which had chicken owners in them. Granted, one of those also had roosters on every block, and firecrackers going off every morning at 6 AM, so it might not be a good example.