Hearing on Montana Water Court overhaul highlights divisions over water rights

BY: - January 10, 2023

A Senate committee hearing Monday on a bill that seeks to overhaul the Montana Water Court as the state tries to finish working through 50 years of water rights adjudication showed just how complicated water law is, and how many people it affects in the Treasure State. Senate Bill 72 had its first hearing Monday […]

Farmers endured a rough year, but fertilizer companies cashed in

BY: - January 10, 2023

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Lance Lillibridge, a farmer in east central Iowa, knows farming’s ups and downs. He has been in this business since he was “knee-high to a grasshopper” and is the first of a family of farmers to own his land. But he said the sharp increase in fertilizer […]

Cascade County judge upholds jury’s $36.5M decision in asbestos case

BY: - January 9, 2023

A Montana judge recently upheld a Cascade County’s jury verdict of more than $30 million in damages against an insurance company that conspired with a Libby-based asbestos mining company to conceal the extent of the dangers workers faced as they mined the material that would be used in many settings from garden fertilizer to housing […]

Tribal nations receive federal relocation grants to escape the effects of climate change

BY: - January 7, 2023

The Newtok Village and Native Village of Napakiak, both in Alaska, as well as the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington have each received $25 million in federal support to relocate due to climate change. “As part of the federal government’s treaty and trust responsibility to protect Tribal sovereignty and revitalize tribal communities, we must safeguard […]

Montana tries again on annual fees for electric vehicles

BY: - January 6, 2023

Another attempt to impose annual fees on electric vehicles in Montana saw its first legislative committee hearing Friday following Gov. Greg Gianforte’s 2021 veto of a similar measure — and extensive work done since by an interim committee to come up with what the sponsor says is a good compromise. House Bill 60, sponsored again […]

Emails show Utah company managing Holland Lake Lodge, while group says permit no longer valid

BY: - January 4, 2023

Nearly one year before the U.S. Forest Service announced a controversial expansion at Holland Lake Lodge, an email shows the federal agency knew an out-of-state company, POWDR, was managing the resort. POWDR is an “adventure life” company based in Utah that is buying the lodge in the Swan Valley. It is working with former owner […]

Climate change forcing cities to reconsider their tree mix

BY: - December 31, 2022

Cities need to plant more trees. But not just any trees. As communities prepare for a massive influx of federal funding to support urban forestry, their leaders say the tree canopy that grows to maturity 50 years from now will need to be painted with a different palette than the one that exists today. “You […]

Thirteen bison die after being hit by semitruck north of West Yellowstone

BY: - December 30, 2022

Thirteen bison were killed or euthanized after they were hit by a semitruck Wednesday evening north of West Yellowstone on U.S. Highway 191, according to the police department there. The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. near mile marker 4. West Yellowstone Police Chief Mike Gavagan said in a news release the semitruck hit all the […]

FWP: Wolf trapping opens in grizzly bear habitat in Montana

BY: - December 27, 2022

Wolf trapping season is open as of Saturday, Dec. 24, in all areas of occupied grizzly bear habitat across the state, including deer and elk hunting district (HD) 130 in northwest Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Friday in a news release. The news release noted wildlife staff completed its final assessment of grizzly bear […]

Gianforte appeals BLM decision, continues to fight against American Prairie, bison

BY: - December 23, 2022

The Gianforte administration has appealed the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to grant a 10-year grazing permit to American Prairie, the Bozeman-based organization dedicated to preserving prairie land and restoring bison to Montana’s plains. The appeal also indicates an increasingly acrimonious relationship between Montana’s executive branch and one of the largest landholders in the state. […]

Snow-covered mountains and roads during -26-degree temperatures in northwest Montana

Arctic air breaks cold weather records across Montana

BY: - December 22, 2022

The Arctic air mass that moved into Montana late Tuesday night has broken decades-old records in parts of the state and will threaten record low maximum temperatures on Thursday, according to forecasters.  Temperatures in central and western Montana reached the -30s and -40s early Thursday morning and are only expected to warm to the -10 to […]

EPA proposes settlement for Clean Water Act violations on Blackfeet Reservation

BY: - December 21, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced a proposed settlement with a tribal water company on the Blackfeet Reservation that has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle violations of the Clean Water Act at two treatment facilities. Two Medicine Water Company agreed to the proposed settlement after it was found to have failed to […]