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The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

EPA Cuts Could Mean Millions Less For Montana

Environmental groups say President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency budget could mean less grant money for pollution control, drinking water protection and Superfund clean up in Montana.

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MTPR Features

Bobcat kittens
Summer M. Tribble (CC-BY-SA)

Do Bobcats Kill Deer? 'Field Notes' Investigates

Bobcats are relatively common in patchy habitats all across the U.S., but we don’t see them often because they are crepuscular or nocturnal and well camouflaged. But after a recent bobcat sighting, I'll be on the lookout for bobcats much more than I have before.

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Featuring artwork by Monte Dolack

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

State environmental officials will update Lincoln this evening on a major mine waste clean-up project in the Upper Blackfoot Valley.

The old and creaky Mike Horse Dam once lay at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River. But not anymore. Its removal was part of a $40 million cleanup of the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

Scientists and wildlife advocates meet Tuesday, 10/17 to discuss whether grizzly bears in northwest Montana are ready to lose Endangered Species Act protections.

Wildlife officials say they are, and want grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem de-listed by 2020.

But Michael Jarnevic, says that’s way too soon:

Health insurance companies in Montana will be allowed to adjust their prices to account for President Trump’s executive order that stops some federal payments to insurers.

That news came Monday, after one company said last week that if they couldn’t change their prices, they’d have to leave the Montana market due to the President eliminating Cost Sharing Reduction, or CSR payments.

Lake Koocanusa
Darren Kirby (CC-BY-SA-3)

A group that tracks water quality in northwest Montana is holding meetings this week about potential contamination in Lake Koocanusa and nearby rivers.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

Political salvos are flying between Governor Steve Bullock and Republicans amid a waiting game and hints of a special legislative session to potentially solve the budget crisis.

As Montanans wait to learn how, and if, the governor will follow through on his proposed 10 percent cuts to state agencies, Democratic and Republican leaders are digging into their tug of war over state spending.

Retired state district judge Russ Fagg made it official:  he’s a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. The announcement comes after a 4 month exploratory effort that Democrats have called a stealth campaign.   

"I love the people of the state," says Fagg, standing on a flatbed trailer parked in a helicopter hanger at Billings Flying Service. "I love the natural beauty of the state and so tonight for the very first time I am publicly announcing that I am going to run for the U.S. Senate."

Do Bobcats Kill Deer? 'Field Notes' Investigates

Oct 16, 2017
Bobcat kittens
Summer M. Tribble (CC-BY-SA)

Bobcats are relatively common in patchy habitats all across the U.S., but we don’t see them often because they are crepuscular or nocturnal and well camouflaged. But after a recent bobcat sighting, I'll be on the lookout for bobcats much more than I have before.

Site preparation work is underway on the expansion of UM's education center
Eric Whitney

The University of Montana announced it has received a major gift from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to expand the college of education and human sciences.

Matthew Rosendale, Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
Eric Whitney

Montana's insurance commissioner says two of the three companies offering health insurance through the individual market in the state cannot adjust their rates following President Donald Trump's decision to end federal subsidies for low-to-middle-income people.

Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says he'll hold the Montana Health Co-op and PacificSource Health Plans to the rate increases they proposed, which average four percent for the co-op and 7.4 percent for PacificSource.

Workers in SmartLam's current facility in 2015
Corin Cates-Carney

The Columbia Falls company SmartLam Technologies is expanding.

The timber products company plans to increase production and more than double its workforce to 75 employees. In January, it’s moving its operation to the former Weyerhaeuser lumber mill property in Columbia Falls.

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