The Re-Powering the Flathead Project is a community driven project which seeks to understand opportunities in energy efficiency and the use of local energy resources in order to achieve greater regional energy independence and sustain a healthy economy and environment in the Flathead Valley for current and future generations.


In 2009, a group of community members hosted a conference called “Re-Powering the Flathead for a New Energy Economy.” The goal of the conference was to understand ways to prepare and position the Flathead for an active role in new and emerging sectors.

Interest and participation in the conference were so great that the group of individuals who organized it decided to formalize themselves as a committee that would oversee continued exploration of energy issues in the Flathead.

The Steering Committee was comprised of the following individuals:

Re-Powering the Flathead Steering Committee:

Diane Yarus, Owner, Air Works

Janet Morrow, Executive Producer, FUEL

Laura Damon, Green Team, Flathead Valley Community College

Mayre Flowers, Executive Director, Citizens for a Better

Michelle Tafoya, Clean Energy Consultant

Paul McKenzie, Lands & Resources Manager, F.H. Stoltze
Land & Lumber

Ross Holter, Energy Services Supervisor, Flathead Electric

The Steering Committee proceeded to facilitate a series of Community Dialogues that brought energy issues into the public spotlight in order to increase understanding and visibility of projects and programs that could have a positive impact on energy use and the economy in the Flathead.

The Steering Committee also lead a significant stakeholder outreach process in order to inform its research by discussion with representatives from a wide spectrum of local interests.  Between the conference, community dialogues, and focus groups, Re-Powering the Flathead managed to harness the insights of dozens of organizations from around the Valley and the State.

For more information about the history of Re-Powering the Flathead, see Chapter 1: Introduction.