Montana News

News from around the state from Montana Public Radio.

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Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire.

A Bitterroot Valley group is bringing an alternative perspective on wildfire prevention to town tonight. At a time when much of the debate over forest policy is focused at federal policies about how to pay for ever-growing firefighting budgets, or how to take trees out of fire-prone forests, George Weurthner has different ideas.

Kalispell Core Area Revitalization Study Area Boundry
Courtesy City of Kalispell Planning Department

A $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant announced this morning is giving a boost to a project reshaping Kalispell.

The federal grant is funding the Core Area Revitalization Plan. The plan involves removing the railroad tracks that divide downtown, paving new sidewalks, connecting streets and creating a park path running through the city.

Amber Alert: Gabriella And Abbigail Stratton

Oct 26, 2015

Amber Alert issued for Gabriella And Abbigail Stratton.

[Update 8:30 a.m. 10/27/15] Amber alert canceled. Both girls found safe in Great Falls. Donald Stratton was arrested on a $15,000 custodial interference warrant.

[Update 5:00 p.m. 10/26/15] Maria Sandoval is in custody in Vaughn, Cascade County.  The children and suspect Donald Stratton are still missing.

Two small children abducted by non-custodial parents under life threatening circumstances. Believed to be heading to Great Falls Montana in a Blue/Gray 1994 GMC Suburban, Montana license plate 3C9021H. The Gold/Silver KIA has been located unoccupied in Billings. If seen please call Billings Police department at 406-657-8460

The state of Montana is in the process of updating arts content standards for the state’s public schools.

The state of Montana is in the process of updating arts content standards for the state’s public schools. Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Denise Juneau has appointed a 16-member committee to consider recommendations presented to them by educators and artists from across the state.

Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox today joined the state to a lawsuit to stop President Obama’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

"It does not really have anything to do with whether this is wise policy, it has to do with whether it violates the rule of law, the individual states’ sovereignty," Fox said.

Crow Tribe Says Coal Development Crucial To Survival

Oct 23, 2015
Coal train.
Flickr user Erin Kinney(CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

In south-central Montana, plans are underway to get more coal out of the ground and onto ships headed to Asia. The Crow Tribe and Cloud Peak Energy of Wyoming are partnering to develop a new coal mine on the reservation and to open a new export terminal in Washington’s Puget Sound. Although coal prices are in decline and a protest movement is growing, the Crow are undeterred. For them, coal equals survival.

Photograph showing the seepage outflow from the drain pipe at the     American Tunnel at Gladstone, Colorado, as it appeared on September 3, 2015, with  about 100 gpm of acid water flowing out.
U.S. Department of Interior

An Interior Department probe blames sloppy work by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 3 million gallon wastewater spill from a Colorado gold mine.

Roughly a third of Montana's estimated 3,000 known abandoned mines could potentially pollute surface water.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

This week more voices came out in support of canceling oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Nineteen retired U.S. Forest Service leaders sent a letter to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture urging the cancellation of the 18 remaining leases.

States Can Now Sue Over 'Clean Power Plan'

Oct 22, 2015
Colstrip power plant
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

The Obama Administration’s signature climate change rule will be published in the federal register Friday. As Inside Energy’s Emily Guerin reports, that opens the door for lawsuits from states unhappy with the plan.

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
File photo (PD)

Former Governor Brian Schweitzer says Montana is well-positioned to help lead what he believes is the country's inevitable energy revolution.

"We're one of the 31 states that passed a [mandatory] renewable energy portfolio. Electricity that we're using in Montana, more than 15 percent of our portfolio is already from renewables."