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Articles from the February 4, 2024 edition


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  • Survey finds growing tolerance among Montanans for wolves

    News Release, College of Forestry and Conversation|Updated Feb 12, 2024

    MISSOULA – Montanans have varying attitudes and beliefs about wolves and wolf management, and over time some of those feelings have shifted, according to a new survey conducted cooperatively by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the University of Montana. The survey was distributed three times – in 2012, 2017 and 2023 – tracking trends in how residents view wolves and wolf management. It provides insights to wildlife managers and officials tasked with making decisions on wo...

  • Federal government denies petitions to restore protections for gray wolves

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Feb 12, 2024

    The federal agency that oversees the Endangered Species Act announced late last week that it will not add Northern Rockies wolves back onto the list of threatened and endangered species. In an announcement on Feb. 2, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that its decision was based on its analysis of "the best available data" from federal, state and tribal sources, academic institutions and the public. The agency found that the number and distribution of gray wolves, paired...

  • Dalton Bridge project out for bid

    Roger Dey, Blackfoot Valley Dispatch|Updated Feb 12, 2024

    Six and a half years ago Dalton Mountain Road bridge was closed due to failing piles. Although it re-opened a few weeks later as a one lane bridge, the lingering question has been: when will it be replaced? This year finally seems to be the year, as the Montana Department of Transportation opened bids Feb. 1 for the bridge's replacement. At the. Feb. 2 Lincoln Government Day meeting, Lewis and Clark County Public Works Director Jenny Chambers said the Montana Department of...

  • Lincoln School Board Agenda Feb. 12, 2024

    Updated Feb 12, 2024

  • Montana files notice of intent to sue over wolverine listing

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of its intent to pursue legal action over the recent listing of wolverines as a threatened species. "In Montana, wolverines continue to do well and inhabit much, if not all, of their available habitat," said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Chief of Conservation Policy Quentin Kujala. "We work closely with our neighboring states to ensure the continued conservation of these iconic speci...

  • Yellowstone and Hellcat: a discussion of two Montana names

    Rick and Susie Graetz, University of Montana|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Call it 670 miles or perhaps more precisely 674 miles, but either way, the Yellowstone River remains the nation's longest undammed waterway. It's a great river that gathers some of the finest mountain and prairie topography on the planet as it passes peaks reaching 12,000 feet in elevation, the largest high-mountain lake on the continent, dense evergreen forests, buttes, colorful badlands, deep canyons and sweet-smelling sage and juniper covered hills. A good portion of this...

  • OP-ED: Fighting for Montana values

    Sen. Steve Daines - R, U.S. Senate|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    With the holidays behind us and Congress gearing up for a new session, I look forward to continuing my mission fighting for our Montana way of life in Washington, D.C. Under President Joe Biden and Democrat congressional leadership, Montanans are facing the highest inflation rate in three decades, driving up prices of everything from groceries to used cars. In addition, the wide-open southern border is allowing record amounts of fentanyl to devastate our communities, and the...

  • Op-ed: Montana Supreme Court is Wrong on Legislative Rules

    Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick - R, Senate Majority Leader.|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    As a practicing lawyer, I am often reluctant to criticize decisions made by a court. However, last week, the Montana Supreme Court rendered a decision involving legislative rules which is absolutely stunning. One of the basic principles of our system of government is the separation of powers. Under our constitution, there are three separate and equal branches, each with their own duties and responsibilities. As a fundamental principle, each branch is charged with running and...

  • PSC declines to reverse NorthWestern Energy rate hike

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    The NorthWestern Energy rate hike that the Montana Public Service Commission adopted in October will stand following a decision from the commission this week. The increase was originally forecast to raise residential customers' electricity bills by 28 percent, but a reduction in NorthWestern's property tax bill and a "true-up" process designed to square NorthWestern's forecasted market power purchases with its actual expenditures have brought that figure down slightly. The...

  • Governors and members of Congress tell the President not to restrict consumer choice of vehicles

    Jason Mercier, Mountain States Policy Center|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Republican Governors across the country sent President Biden a letter on January 22 in opposition to proposed federal rules they say would unduly restrict the vehicle options available to Americans and force the use of electric vehicles. Among those signing the letter were Idaho Governor Little, Montana Governor Gianforte, and Wyoming Governor Gordon. The Governors wrote: "We are writing today on behalf of the American consumer to urge you to change course on your current mand...

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