George Ochenski

George Ochenski


Don’t blame judges or conservationists when the Forest Service breaks the law

By: - September 15, 2023

A recent column by an Oregon timber industry mouthpiece assailed two of Montana’s federal court judges claiming: “Bad juju is drifting through the halls of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Missoula.” Apparently he thinks it’s “bad juju” because they found the U.S. Forest Service’s planned logging projects in Northwest Montana violated federal law. Not only […]


Tester, Schweitzer and a special session charade

By: - September 8, 2023

It’s pretty tough to figure out who’s leading what’s left of the Montana Democratic Party these days. The confusion has only been increased by what appears to be conflicting positions on seeking a special legislative session to deal with Montanans’ “shock and awe” when their tax bills arrive based on the new and severely inflated […]


Role reversals and identity crises for political parties

By: - September 1, 2023

It’s no surprise citizens find the policies of the two major political parties are leaving them scratching their heads these days. There have been so many flip-flops the old labels of “liberals” and “conservatives” hardly seem applicable in the larger policy arenas at both the state and national level. Take, for example, the on-going actions […]


We’re tired of being threatened with the 2020 election

By: - August 25, 2023

As I write this, Donald Trump is going to be surrendering to the Fulton County Jail in Georgia to face his fourth indictment in as many months. A very uncommon criminal, he’ll insult the judge, bluster about his innocence, make his endlessly repeated “witch hunt(s)” claim, and threaten the nation with his “very angry supporters.” […]

Most of the Held v. Montana plaintiffs and their attorneys pose in the courtroom for photos as the trial nears an end.

Montana youth win overdue ‘clean and healthful environment’ victory

By: - August 18, 2023

It’s been more than 50 years since Montanans voted to ratify the 1972 Constitution which has drawn worldwide praise for its clarity and protections for a broad spectrum of citizens’ rights — including our “Inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment.” Yet only now, half a century later, has that right finally been fully […]


Gianforte dead wrong on ‘bad actor’ decision

By: - August 11, 2023

Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, has decided to ignore a court order, the Montana Constitution, and the state’s “bad actor” law intended to prevent mining executives who have left environmental damages behind from receiving new mining permits. Even worse, his decision is intended to benefit extremely “bad actor” CEO Phillips Baker, Jr., to allow him […]


Time for the access vs. conservation debate

By: - August 4, 2023

You’d be hard pressed to find many — or any — Montanans who think stuffing ever more people into their favorite campsites, hunting spots or fishing holes is beneficial to the experience or the resource. Yet many former “conservation” organizations seem to ignore that reality as they actively promote “access” by ever more people without […]


Montana’s headwaters are in hot water

By: - July 28, 2023

  It’s not even August and Montana’s world-famous trout streams are being shut down due to low flows and high water temperatures — so high they severely stress or kill fish that rely on enough cold, clean water to survive. Given these are the headwater streams and rivers pouring off the snow-capped mountains of the […]


The Democrats’ very naive call for a one-day special session

By: - July 21, 2023

Faced with an increasingly hostile Montana about the recent skyrocketing property tax reappraisals, the state’s Democrats are backing a one-day special legislative session to deal with the issue. Make no mistake, this is a very, very bad idea that’s trying to paste over the dereliction of duty by both parties to comprehensively address the complex […]


Politicians leap into action — blaming each other over property tax debacle

By: - July 14, 2023

You can’t make this stuff up. The recent property reappraisals sweeping across Montana have left residents in various stages of extreme shock, concern, and wondering if they’ll be able to afford to live in their own homes. But never fear, fellow Montanans! The politicians are coming to homeowners’ rescue by — wait for it — […]


Be your own power plant: Rooftop solar brings real freedom

By: - July 7, 2023

Despite the never-ending whining by antiquated adherents to fossil fuel-generated electricity, the good news is that rooftop solar is providing more real freedom for millions of Americans than those shackled to their oil gas, and coal collars. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding — and there’s simply no doubt that roof-top solar’s “behind […]


Coming soon to Montana politics: Property tax revolt

By: - June 30, 2023

I see that train a’coming, a’coming down the tracks It’s building up a head of steam and it ain’t turning back It’s fair to say Montanans who own homes and businesses are in mass shock having just received the new reappraisals on their homes, businesses and property. For many, if not most, the new valuations […]