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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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Show your support for MTPR during our fall pledge week. Your donation helps support the Montana news, arts & culture and hand-picked music you love on Montana Public Radio. You can donate online now , or call 1-800-325-1565. Together we are Montana Public Radio.

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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 Lawmakers Consider 6 Percent Tax On Medical Marijuana
Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Montana’s medical marijuana providers have to start paying taxes on their product this month.

The Orphan Girl mine dump behind Montana Tech
Susan Dunlap / Montana Standard

More than 30 years after being declared part of a Superfund site, Butte residents still don't know what's in their backyards, or if they're safe. An EPA report recently revealed that the agency hasn't even started to evaluate possible human health risks from mining waste in a whole section of town. Nora Saks spoke with David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard, to find out more.

The Rice Ridge Fire seen from Seeley Lake on August 1st, 2017.
Eric Whitney

The town of Seeley Lake is launching some First Friday events to try to bounce back after a difficult fire season. The first is this Friday night.

Chris Stout, Seeley Lake’s school superintendent, helped organize the event. He said, "The more we can offer in town, and the more that’s going on in it,  just benefits us because rural communities in Montana are sort of drying up.”

Hamilton Republican Nancy Ballance chairs the Legislative Finance Committee
Corin Cates-Carney

Some Republican legislative leaders are now saying Montana will need a special session to deal with the state’s current budget crisis, and that they may be open to targeted, temporary tax increases. 

Hamilton Representative Nancy Ballance joined several other Republicans on the Legislative Finance Committee today in saying that the state needs to pay for this summer’s firefighting costs.

“So I think the likelihood of a special session is high," Balance said, "But from our perspective that would be restricted to fire costs.”

One section reserved for objectors at the September 19 public hearing on the proposed Creston water bottling plant in Kalispell.
Olga Kreimer

The owner of a company proposing a much-contested water bottling plant in Creston in the Flathead Valley won't be compelled to testify before the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

After Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, gun control has yet again become a hot topic among U.S. lawmakers. But this time some top Republicans and the National Rifle Association are hinting they may support additional regulations on  bump stock modifications for assault rifles.

Republicans Nancy Ballance, Llew Jones, and Eric Moore sit opposite Democrats Jon Sesso and Kelly McCarthy as they draft a letter asking the governor to reconsider  some of his 10 percent cuts to state agencies
Corin Cates-Carney

Updated 7:00 pm

Some Republican legislative leaders are now saying Montana will need a special session to deal with the state’s current budget crisis, and that they may bring debate of targeted, temporary tax increases.

Hamilton Representative Nancy Ballance joined several other Republicans on the Legislative Finance Committee yesterday in saying that the state needs to pay for this summer’s firefighting costs.

Fifteen thousand people in Crow Agency are without water after vandals this week essentially destroyed the town’s water treatment plant.
Josh Burnham

Fifteen hundred people in Crow Agency are without water after vandals this week essentially destroyed the town’s water treatment plant.

Its manager calls it an act of terrorism and thinks she knows who may have done it.

National Parks Service (PD)

A new group that aims to harmonize Montana’s response to invasive mussels, and prevent the economic and environmental damage they can cause, met for the first time Wednesday in Missoula.


“Even if there are people in your life who don’t love you, the sky loves you, the ocean loves you, the land loves you. You are always connected to something that loves you.” -- Jennifer Finley

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