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Three bills aimed at helping Indian tribes passed the Senate yesterday, and one of them is going to President Donald Trump’s desk. All three were sponsored by Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

A GRIT participant casts a brilliant flash of light as she learns the basic technique of stick welding.
Beau Baker

Wearing safety goggles and a hard hat, Sylvianne Wright, a Missoula high school student, is racing to pound nails into a beam in the main woodshop of Missoula College’s Department of Industrial Technology.

Wright, who goes to Willard Alternative High School, is part of a Missoula YWCA program called GRIT, or Girls Representing In Trades.

MFP project Architectural & Engineering Firm EPSTEIN Global, Inc.

The Alberta-based livestock company Friesen Foods is proposing a 3,000 acre slaughterhouse and food processing facility outside of Great Falls.

In the next month or so, the Trump administration will announce its plan to shrink or modify large national monuments across the country. Some people are heralding the decision, saying these designations are federal land grabs that strangle local economies and kill jobs.

Others say national monuments help local economies by boosting tourism. But an economist from Utah told a crowd in Bozeman on Thursday they might both be wrong.

Mandy Mohler started Field Guide Designs after spending a week in the Bob Marshall photographing items she found in the Spruce Park Cabin. She says her business wouldn't be possible if it weren't for Montana's public lands.
Nicky Ouellet

For the past two decades, Montanans have been making more money, creating more jobs and  increasing investment and retirement income in the state. What’s the cause for all this growth? Ray Rasker of Headwaters Economics Research says it has to do with the best asset in the last best state: public lands.

"Rural counties around the West that have a lot of federal land have faster growth in population, faster growth in employment, and faster growth in personal income," Rasker says.

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