Caroline Wallace

 
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Caroline Wallace

 
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Our Story

In the summer of 1974, a small group of eastern Montanans sat on a porch discussing the North Central Power Study. This study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation proposed 42 coal burning power plants across the Great Plains, 21 of which were destined to dot the landscape of Eastern Montana.

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AERO members at our 2009 Annual Meeting
 
AERO Board Member and farmer Courtney Lowery Cowgill
AERO Energy Tour Participants learn about solar hot water at Red Lodge Ales
AERO Energy Tour Participants learn about solar power at Townsend Public Schools
 
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Sacrifice. That is what the study proposed for Eastern Montana – that it could be sacrificed for unbridled energy development and all the impacts that came along with it. In their discussion this group of Eastern Montanans asked – was it necessary? To scar the landscape, to pollute their air and water, to sacrifice the quality of their communities? Or were there alternatives?

Indeed there were alternative solutions, and this is how AERO – the Alternative Energy Resources Organization – was formed, with a group of people deciding that sometimes there is a responsibility when saying ‘no’ to one thing to say ‘yes’ to something else: Yes to aggressive energy efficiency and conservation! Yes to dispersed wind, small hydro, solar power systems! Yes to biofuels!

AERO was founded during the energy crisis of the 1970s to promote local alternatives to non-renewable energy sources. In the early 1980s, AERO began addressing the need to protect renewable resources on a broader scale, especially the natural and human resources on which agriculture and rural communities depend. This evolution led to a focus on sustainable agriculture and food systems, which endures today.

AERO’s members share a commitment to facing the challenges brought by change. By bringing people together, AERO offers a vehicle for collective action and a sense of common purpose for citizens within their communities to shape a more sustainable future.

Our mission:  AERO is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to solutions that promote resource conservation and local economic vitality. AERO nurtures individual and community self reliance through programs that support sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and environmental quality.

Partners

AERO builds sustainable communities by working with farmers and ranchers; businesses; local, state, and federal agencies; and a diverse array of other conservation organizations, including the following:

Montana FoodCorps

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

Northern Plains Resource Council

Community Food and Agriculture Coalition

Montana Organic Association (MOA)

Montana Farmers Union

Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

Grow Montana

Western Montana Growers Co-Op

University of Montana - Environmental Studies Program

Montana Department of Agriculture

Clark Fork Coalition

USDA Montana Natural Resources Conservation Service

Creating a Legacy

Longtime AERO member David Oien of Timeless Natural Food likes to say, "AERO helps its members live their values in their daily lives."  By doing just that AERO members across Montana help themselves, their neighbors, and their communities to constantly create and renew a legacy of innovation in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy solutions.  The thriving, resilient communities bolstered by these practices are AERO's legacy.

Take Action

AERO links people with sustainable agriculture and energy solutions - and with each other.  Join us!

AERO’s programming is grounded in the conviction that communities are the best place to create the kind of change we envision. We believe, and our programs reflect, that the best way to effect change is by empowering people in their own communities to work towards sustainable solutions.

Join us on a summer farm or energy tour and become an AERO member.

And if you're passionate about energy or agriculture (or both), you can get further involved through our Energy and Agriculture Task Forces. AERO Task Forces function as an intermediary between the membership, the greater community, and the AERO staff and board. They serve to translate community ideas, concerns, and desires into tangible policies and programs. To join the Agriculture or Energy Task Force email us at aero@aeromt.org 

Become an AERO member! www.aeromt.org/about-us/join-us/

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Our Conservation Map

 
Grant Recipient of Cinnabar Foundation

Contact Information

Caroline Wallace

Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO)

432 N Last Chance Gulch

Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 443-7272

cwallace@aeromt.org

www.aeromt.org

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