MTPR

Montana News

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

Montana Politics & Legislature news

Montana News podcast

Ways to Connect

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Construction on the Madison Street Bridge is expected to finish in August 2017.
Edward O'Brien

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Pretty much everybody involved says the Madison Street Bridge project is going to be an enormous pain in the backside.

The 65th session of the Montana Legislature begins Monday, Jan. 2. Montana's 90-day session is always a little hectic, here's how you can stay informed and keep in touch with your state representatives.

One of the paper menorahs Love Lives Here is distributing in Whitefish this Hanukkah
Nicky Ouellet

A few days before the start of Hanukkah, a small group gathered on a street corner in downtown Whitefish, holding stacks of paper menorahs. Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, a volunteer for Love Lives Here, a branch of the Montana Human Rights Network, reads an explanation from the back of the menorah:

"Obviously in response to the anti-semitic targeting of our local friends and neighbors in Whitefish, Love Lives Here invites everyone in the valley to hang a menorah in the window ..."

Ten thousand square miles. That’s roughly how much public land in Montana the US Forest Service is making new plans for at the moment.

Three National Forests, the Flathead, the Helena-Lewis and Clark and the Custer-Gallatin are all writing the basic governing documents that lay out what can and can’t happen, and where, in their vast territories. In January the Helena-Lewis and Clark is holding a series of public input meetings on their new forest plan.

All this new planning is happening under new forest planning rules. University of Montana Professor of Natural Resource Policy Martin Nie is on a national advisory committee about those rules. 

Courtesy Photo

Great Falls state representative Casey Schreiner Monday announced his intent to seek the Democratic party’s nomination for Montana’s at-large Congressional seat. Schreiner wants to replace Republican U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke, who’s been nominated to become President-elect Donald Trump’s Interior Secretary.

Whitefish, MT rail depot.
Flickr user Roy Luck (CC-BY-2)

A bipartisan group of Montana’s top elected officials today condemned a series of anti-Semitic, online attacks happening in Whitefish.

U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, along with Congressman Ryan Zinke, Governor Steve Bullock, and Attorney General Tim Fox released a joint statement saying that groups with anti-Semitic views will “find no safe haven here.”

It’s been just over a week since Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke was nominated to be secretary of Interior by President-elect Donald Trump. Since then, at least half-a-dozen Republicans and one Democrat have expressed interest in replacing him. If Zinke is confirmed by the Senate, Montana will hold a special election next year to fill his House seat.

To talk over what this means for Montana, we’re joined by Rob Saldin, a political science professor at the University of Montana and analyst for MTPR.

Courtesy Montana FWP

After putting in over 12 years and serving three governors, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department director Jeff Hagener retired this week.

More than a half-dozen Republicans have expressed interest in running for Congressman Ryan Zinke’s seat if he confirmed as secretary of Interior next year. They include 29 year old State Representative Daniel Zolnikov of Billings. The three-term state representative says that he is most concerned about the national debt:

Power line
(PD)

Federal regulators today approved a billion dollar energy storage project in Meagher County. The 400-megawatt pumped storage project would supplement electricity from wind turbines and other sources.

Pages