Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming.

As Montana considers more prison funding, experts say state is moving in the wrong direction

By: - April 25, 2023

Montana lawmakers, led by a Republican supermajority, are looking to get tough on crime. So much so that Sen. Barry Usher, R-Billings, is sponsoring legislation that makes theft of property worth $1,500 or more an offense punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and fine of as much as $50,000. Senate Bill 95 […]

Rosendale proposes defunding conservation land programs

By: - April 24, 2023

As Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives craft a budget that cuts spending and lifts the debt ceiling that will allow the country to avoid a potentially calamitous economic implosion, Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana is proposing to cut all funding for the Land Conservation and Wildlife Fund. Rosendale, a Republican representing Montana’s eastern […]

NorthWestern Energy’s Laurel project brings criticism, support for new power plant

By: - April 23, 2023

LAUREL – A Sunday afternoon meeting that was meant to rally Yellowstone County residents against a natural gas-fired power plant brought out people who said the refinery and railroad town already has too many corporate polluters, but also a number of people who supported the construction. The Yellowstone County Generation Station is currently under construction […]

Montana tried loosening vaping restrictions, but may not be checking youth access to products

By: - April 23, 2023

As the federal government tightens regulations around tobacco and nicotine products, classifying them as illegal to sell to those less than the age of 21, Montana seems to be going in the opposite direction. Different states reacted and approached the change to age 21 differently. Montana may not be doing enforcement checks, especially on retailers […]

Judge scolds Montana’s largest school district for unfair maps, but says May 2 election can proceed

By: - April 21, 2023

A federal judge has ruled that elections for Montana’s largest public school district can continue in several weeks, while chastising the school board for not properly updating its election maps and violating the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal weight to every vote. In a ruling that essentially forced federal court judge Brian M. Morris between […]

Rep. Zooey Zephyr, D-Missoula, tells Republicans supporting the governor's amendments to SB99 they should be "ashamed" of supporting the bill during floor discussion on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

A bullhorn and crowd wouldn’t have worked quite as well: Muzzling Zephyr will backfire

By: - April 21, 2023

Remember when Rep. Braxton Mitchell, R-Columbia Falls, suggested that the only reason more people didn’t testify in support of banning drag shows was because so many people had jobs? The implication: All the drag queens and their fans were unemployed. That was, of course, coming from a legislator who doesn’t appear to have a job […]

Clark Fork River named one of the 10 most endangered rivers in America

By: - April 20, 2023

The Clark Fork River, which runs more than 300 miles through Montana, has been named one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers by the conservation organization American Rivers, which studies river health and produces the annual list. It’s not the first time a Montana river has made the list. The Smith River was named in 2018 […]

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, testifies in favor of Senate Bill 154 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.

Just send the bill to the Montana taxpayers

By: - April 20, 2023

Would that it were true that the Montana Legislature is playing with house money. But, the truth is: They’re playing with yours. The legislature is passing many laws the majority of Republicans know are likely headed for the courts, only to be struck down after a long judicial process at the cost of hundreds of […]

Montana’s air gets worse in annual report

By: - April 19, 2023

Montana may be the “Big Sky” state, but the air beneath that large expanse may not be so healthy. In its 24th annual “State of the Air” report, the American Lung Association pointed out that the three-year average for air quality continues to deteriorate in Montana, largely due to pollution from forest fires, which sends […]


Some Montanans cheer for the bad old days to make a comeback

By: - April 13, 2023

The most dangerous rock-and-roll video I have ever seen wasn’t Madonna, who was a one-woman scandal machine when I was growing up. I remember obtaining a bootlegged copy of her video, “Justify My Love,” which looks awfully tame by today’s standards. Instead, the most sexually explosive performance I have ever seen happened in 1958 on […]

Lee Enterprises eliminates at least 13 journalism positions among its Montana papers

By: - April 12, 2023

Lee Enterprises, the largest newspaper publisher in Montana, has cut at least 13 newsroom positions throughout the state during the past week. The Davenport, Iowa based publisher, which has owned many of the Montana publications since the final days of the Copper Kings, reduced newsroom positions that represent anywhere from one-third to one-half of the […]

Montana’s ‘agency’ liquor stores may be open Sundays, holidays

By: - April 11, 2023

A bill that would allow state agency Montana liquor stores to remain open on holidays and Sundays appears to have gathered enough support to pass, especially among lawmakers who want to add the measure to a list of ways to get state government out of private business. House Bill 867, sponsored by Rep. Ed Buttrey, […]