public land

Helena National Forest.
Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The big federal funding bill that Congress is expected to vote on Thursday would mean some certainty on three big issues for Montana and other Western states.

The bill locks-in Secure Rural Schools Act money for up to four years, changes how wildland firefighting is funded, and allocates money to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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

There will be no more so-called "fire-borrowing" from the U.S. Forest Service if the big federal spending bill Congress is working on passes. 

Both of Montana's U.S. Senators confirmed today that the spending bill expected to be voted on this week fundamentally changes how America pays to fight wildfires

A new ad by the League of Conservation Voters launched on Wednesday against Congressman Greg Gianforte is the first significant outside spending in the race for Montana's U.S. House seat. 

A video ad repeatedly criticizes the Republican for "attacking" and "assaulting" public lands since he's been in office, a veiled reference to Gianforte's attack on a reporter last year. 

Controversial wilderness and banking bills rile Montana's House and Senate elections; support — or lack of — for single payer health care could play a central role in the House Democratic primary; a new online poll shows President Trump remains much more popular in Montana than in the rest of the country; and pleas for campaign donations are ratcheting up as the June primary gets closer. Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin discuss these stories and more, on this episode of "Campaign Beat." Listen in now.

Glacier National Park Entrance At St. Mary

The Park Service is sitting on an $11 billion repair backlog. Crumbling roads account for about half of those deferred expenses. Tennessee Republican Senator, Lamar Alexander, is lead sponsor of a new bill to increase park infrastructure funding using revenue from energy production on federal lands and offshore drilling.