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.

Federal judge tells Forest Service that Red Lodge logging project still doesn’t pass muster

By: - August 29, 2023

A federal judge has stopped a large logging project near Red Lodge because the United States Forest Service ignored that new maps it used to help determine the scope of the timber plan potentially cut out thousands of acres of the threatened Canada lynx habitat. The project would span more than 21,000 acres in the […]

Montana education chief claims evidence of litterboxes in schools. Department provides none.

By: - August 24, 2023

Many Montana school districts started class this week. School supplies lists for students included the normal things – pencils, notebooks, maybe even some glue sticks. But no district is requiring cat litter. Still, Montana’s top state education official, Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, has repeated unsubstantiated claims of school districts across Montana providing litterboxes […]

Federal judge considers stay in abortion case affecting Montana, Kansas and Virginia

By: - August 23, 2023

A federal judge in Virginia will likely stay – or pause – a case regarding medical providers and mifepristone, a drug commonly used as part of chemical abortions, because of similar challenges in Texas and Washington. Groups from Virginia, Montana and Kansas had filed the suit in the Charlottesville division of Virginia and asked Judge […]

Court says DEQ can enter Zortman-Landusky mine site to clean up mine owner’s ‘disturbances’

By: - August 22, 2023

In a move that officials said will protect nearly $100 million of money spent to clean up the decades-long toxic effects of gold mine waste near the Fort Belknap Indian community, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality on Monday announced that a Phillips County judge said the state could immediately begin clean-up efforts after the […]

The Montana State Capitol on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, a day after the legislature adjourned the 2023 session.

Former lawmakers propose ballot initiatives that would open primaries, require a majority winner

By: - August 21, 2023

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the number of times Frank Garner won an election. Frank Garner won four elections to the Montana Legislature and they were contested. The former police officer from the Flathead area was a Republican in a place known for its conservative politics. Even he admits the final results […]

Group notifies U.S. Forest Service it plans to sue over Mud Creek logging project

By: - August 20, 2023

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, alerting them it intends to sue the federal government for approving a large timber sale in the southern Bitterroot mountain range. They said the plan will harm two already […]

Federal judge halts ‘Black Ram’ logging project in Kootenai National Forest

By: - August 19, 2023

A federal judge has halted an expansive logging project in the Kootenai National Forest, often referred to as the “Black Ram Project,” after finding that the U.S. Forest Service made critical errors in evaluating the project, especially its impact on grizzly bears. The Black Ram Project encompasses more than 90,000 acres of federal forest land, […]

Laurel residents tell court they were cut out of public process in gas plant permitting

By: - August 16, 2023

When Yellowstone County District Court Judge Jessica Fehr asked assistant county attorney Levi Robison where residents who object to the Laurel Generation Station methane-fired power plant could lodge complaints, he answered, “Neither the city nor the county had the authority.” That was – and remains – the crux of the problem that brought the matter […]

Stony Hill Communication Site was wrapped by firefighters on Monday, July 31st.

Report says Montana should adopt better wildland zoning for local government to curb fires

By: - August 15, 2023

As wildfires dot the Western landscape, and a popular, historic Hawai’ian town is overrun by flames, a recent report about wildfires and zoning may become even more critical. Headwaters Economics released this spring “Building for Wildfire in Montana: Protecting Communities with Statewide Wildfire Safety Standards.” This week, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance issued a […]

Montana Assistant Attorney General Thane Johnson asks questions of state expert witness Terry Anderson on June 19, 2023, during the Held v. Montana trial.

The ‘youth climate trial’ decision is so simple, even I can understand it — and that’s the point

By: - August 14, 2023

Predictably, the Montana Attorney General’s Office was chastened but not embarrassed – because that would require some modicum of shame – by state district court Judge Kathy Seeley’s decision about climate change and Montana. Characterizing her as an activist liberal judge, the attorney general’s office tried to sell the notion that every court in America […]

Federal judge says BIA can’t be held responsible for officer’s rape of Northern Cheyenne woman

By: - August 11, 2023

The facts of the case are horrific and undisputed. Former Bureau of Indian Affairs Officer Dana Bullcoming used the threat of jailing a Northern Cheyenne woman and taking away her children as leverage to coerce her into unprotected sex. The woman had a child as a result of the sexual assault, and she sued both […]

Recent otter attack in Montana (almost) unheard of

By: - August 10, 2023

The three women who were recently attacked by an otter while floating on the Jefferson River near Three Forks stood about a near-equal chance of being charged by an angry unicorn. Otter attacks with injuries or fatalities are so rare that biologists have tracked a very specific number: There have only been 59 documented attacks […]