Blair Miller

Blair Miller

Blair Miller is a reporter based in Helena who primarily covers government, climate and courts. He's been a journalist for more than 12 years, previously based in Denver, Albuquerque and mid-Missouri.

Montana sees climate pressure on waterways amid warmest global temperatures in decades

By: - July 14, 2023

Global temperatures reached their warmest in decades, if not longer, last week as the state heads into its hottest weekend so far this year, possibly pushing up to 100 degrees in western Montana. Drought and a quick-melting snowpack have put Flathead Lake at record-low levels, and anglers are under the first fishing restrictions of the […]

Montana Senate President Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton.

Ex-fiancée who accused Montana Senate president of abuse drops protection order

By: - July 11, 2023

Montana Senate President Jason Ellsworth said Tuesday his ex-fiancée’s domestic abuse claims in a request for a protection order granted May 2 were not true, and attorneys for both filed a stipulated agreement granted Tuesday by a justice of the peace to vacate the protection order. The Montana Free Press first reported news of the […]

Rep. Laura Smith, D-Helena, speaks at a rally urging Gov. Greg Gianforte to accept $10 million in PEBT funding to help feed Montana children that his administration has this year chosen to decline.

Democrats call on Gianforte to accept millions from feds to feed Montana schoolchildren

By: - July 10, 2023

A handful of Democratic Montana lawmakers and other political affiliates rallied at the state Capitol on Monday, urging Gov. Greg Gianforte and his administration to switch course and opt back into a federal program that would send $10 million to the state to help feed schoolchildren. States have until July 14 to opt into the […]

Tranel announces another bid for Montana’s 1st Congressional District seat

By: - July 10, 2023

Missoula Democrat Monica Tranel announced Monday she is running again for Montana’s 1st Congressional District in 2024 two years after she lost to Republican Ryan Zinke by about 7,800 votes, a roughly three-point margin. “I got in this race to represent working Montanans against giant corporations that are making record profits, and shifting costs to […]

Cleanup crews pick up pieces of solidified asphalt that spilled out of train cars after a derailment and bridge collapse on June 24, 2023, near Reed Point.

Officials say 12K pounds of asphalt removed from Yellowstone River thus far after train derailment

By: - July 5, 2023

Crews over the holiday weekend finished removing the remaining train cars from the Yellowstone River after last month’s derailment and bridge collapse near Reed Point, and while cleanup efforts continue, officials will no longer perform daily water quality testing after finding no harmful hydrocarbon or sulfur levels downstream of the crash. Nearly two weeks after […]

The Missouri River just south of the Lone Tree fishing access site between Wolf Creek and Craig.

Conservation licenses required for fishing access, wildlife management areas starting Saturday

By: - June 30, 2023

Starting Saturday, people using Montana fishing access sites and wildlife management areas who don’t already have a conservation license with their fishing or hunting license are supposed to buy one under a new law passed this legislative session. The change made by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte means that people who are using […]

Gov. Greg Gianforte discusses his public lands agenda in November 2022.

Gianforte urges BLM to withdraw conservation proposal, alleges ‘boneheaded decisions’ will result

By: - June 28, 2023

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is the latest Republican to ask the Department of Interior to withdraw a proposed rule that would allow for conservation leases on Bureau of Land Management lands, saying in a 10-page letter this week he believes the proposal violates law and amounts to “excessive federal overreach.” The governor wrote to Interior […]

Montana FWP releases draft administrative rules to manage grizzlies if delisted

By: - June 27, 2023

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks issued its first look this week at draft rules for how the state plans to manage grizzly bears should the federal government agree to delist them as endangered species in areas of Montana. FWP on Monday released the proposed draft of the Administrative Rules of Montana changes that would be […]

Montana 2024 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tim Sheehy. (Courtesy Tim Sheehy campaign)

Republican Tim Sheehy announces bid for Tester’s US Senate seat

By: - June 27, 2023

Tim Sheehy, the Bridger Aerospace CEO rumored for months as a recruit for the Republican primary to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in next year’s election, announced his candidacy for the race Tuesday morning. Tester and Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale, who is reportedly also considering running for the seat, both criticized the announcement, saying […]

A Montana Rail Link train derailed on Twin Bridge east of Reed Point on the morning of Saturday, June 24, 2023.

Dive team to assess derailed train cars in Yellowstone River before removal

By: - June 26, 2023

A dive team and large crane will assess the condition of the 10 rail cars in the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point to try to remove them after Saturday morning’s derailment and bridge collapse. The Montana Rail Link 55-car train derailed around 6 a.m. about five miles east of Reed Point in Stillwater County […]

Lawmakers override Gianforte’s veto of appropriations bill tied to marijuana revenue measure

By: - June 22, 2023

Legislators overrode another veto issued by Gov. Greg Gianforte this week, this time an appropriations bill that includes the mechanism to send marijuana tax money to a habitat improvement program through another vetoed bill that several groups have sued over. Representatives for the Montana Association of Counties, Wild Montana, and the Montana Wildlife Federation this […]

Montana medical professionals tell politicians to stay out of reproductive health care decisions

By: - June 22, 2023

On the eve of the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs that put abortion protections back in the hands of states, more than 100 Montana medical professionals signed a letter calling on Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte and lawmakers to get their hands out of reproductive health care decisions. “Montana medical professionals call […]