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Montana news focused on the western side of the state. Montana politics, healthcare, wildlands, wildlife and wildfire.

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Marty Whitmore is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.
Josh Burnham

With the first big winter storm of the season headed to western Montana, Marty Whitmore, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula joins Michael Marsolek to talk weather. Whitmore previews the incoming storm, explains what those weather zones (pictured above) mean , and talks about why western Montana is one of the most challenging places to forecast in the country.

Oceti Sakowin camp, as seen from "Media Hill," where MTPR's Nicky Ouelette spoke to News Director Eric Whitney earlier today.
Nicky Ouellet

MTPR’s Nicky Ouellet has been in North Dakota this week, covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protest for Inside Energy. Earlier today, Eric Whitney spoke with her about her experience there.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

Debate over the constitutional amendment voters passed this year has now turned into a lawsuit filed with the Montana Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, along with several county and attorney associations, filed a lawsuit today to block the constitutional change known as Marsy’s Law from taking immediate effect.

University of Montana's Main Hall
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana is wrapping up a tumultuous week. State education officials yesterday announced UM’s president will step down at the end of the month.

Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian predicts history will smile on Royce Engstrom’s six years at the helm, but says change is necessary.

Jacob Brooks of Ann Arbor, MI works on one of the many "tarpees" erected in the camp, a winter dwelling developed by Paul Cheyok'ten Wagner.
Celia Talbot Tobin/Inside Energy

President-elect Donald Trump indicated for the first time on Thursday that he supports completion of the Dakota Access pipeline. Protesters have been camped out at the construction site in North Dakota for months, and now winter has arrived, dumping almost two feet of snow on the encampment this past week.

The two-day deluge drove out some of the fairer-weather protesters, but most are gearing up to stay.  All are waiting to see what happens on Monday, the deadline set by the Army Corps of Engineers for protesters to leave federal land.

Winter Storm Headed To Western Montana

Dec 1, 2016
National Weather Service headquarters in Missoula, Montana.
Josh Burnham

There’s a winter storm headed towards western Montana, and it’s expected to begin with a cold front Saturday night.

Meetings this week address revisions and amendments to a few of Montana's National Forest plans.
Flathead National Forest

Wilderness advocates say they’re “really excited” at the number of public comments supporting wilderness and wildlife habitat in Flathead National Forest.

 Comissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian
Edward O'Brien

The University of Montana was blindsided with today's announcement that UM President Royce Engstrom was stepping down from his position in four weeks.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history at the University of Montana
Mike Albans

A University of Montana professor who’s been put on a conservative “watchlist says he’s wary, but won’t be intimidated.

Tobin Miller Shearer teaches history and is director of African American Studies at UM. A couple of weeks ago a colleague emailed him to let him know he’d been put on an online list with dozens of other academics nationwide.

A  June 2016 Hamilton Playhouse production of "Into The Woods."
Courtesy Tom Braden

Last week a case of mistaken identity brought the New York City theater world and Washington D.C. politics slamming into a small non-profit in the Bitterroot Valley.