A crosscountry skier in Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Business Leaders Ask Congress To Pass Yellowstone-Area Mining Ban This Year

On Tuesday, a coalition of business leaders called on the state’s congressional delegation to pass a ban on mining near Yellowstone National Park by the end of this year. While Montana’s senators and lone congressman all support a ban, passing a bill probably won’t happen by the coalition’s deadline.

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A crosscountry skier in Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

On Tuesday, a coalition of business leaders called on the state’s congressional delegation to pass a ban on mining near Yellowstone National Park by the end of this year. While Montana’s senators and lone congressman all support a ban, passing a bill probably won’t happen by the coalition’s deadline.

Nate Hegyi / YPR

Most grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National park are bedding down for winter,  but the debate over the Trump administration removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the threatened species list earlier this year is not.

De-listing is being challenged in court, and for now, the grizzlies are being managed by the states. Wyoming is considering a potential grizzly bear hunt, and its wildlife management agency is holding a series of meetings to get public input on that. 

Sarah Brown

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill discusses his family's work to restore a 1920s era barn to calve in during the frigid central Montana Spring and to bring in much-needed revenue as an event center during the Summer and Fall.


Stella Fong

The Thanksgiving season focuses our awareness on food and volunteerism. Food represents abundance, the blessings we have in our lives and the bounty we want to share with those close to us, and to make connections with others.
 

Yesterday Republicans pushed a massive tax overhaul through the U.S. House, now a similar plan will be debated in the Senate. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many.

But Montana’s Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, isn’t a fan.

Jackie Yamanaka

The fact Montana lawmakers were going into this week's special legislative session with no pre-negotiated "deal" in place gave many at the Capitol heartburn. The session wrapped up shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Governor Steve Bullock called legislators back to the Capitol to help address a projected $227 million dollar budget shortfall and backfill the state's depleted wildfire fighting fund. 

Jackie Yamanaka

The gavel banged down shortly after 1 o’clock this morning to bring the special legislative session to a close after lawmakers passed a series of bills to address Montana's projected $227 million budget shortfall.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Republican controlled Montana Legislature voted to make permanent nearly $77 million in budget cuts the governor intended to be temporary. Both the House and Senate gave final approval to House Bill 2 and sent the measure on to the governor.

In the meantime, work continues on companion bills. This includes Senate Bill 9 which includes the GOP's intent to use the $30 million offered from CoreCivic, the company that runs the private prison in Shelby, to help offset the projected $227 million dollar budget deficit.

The transportation block grants the state of Montana pays to school districts is one of the sources Governor Steve Bullock is considering removing to help fill the state’s budget shortfall. Eliminating the grants in 2019 would save the state nearly $12 million.

But not all the school districts have a reserve fund to fall back on, and others that do can’t sustain the loss over an extended period of time.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state to accept $30 million from CoreCivic, the company that runs the private prison that houses some of the state's inmates. The company has offered to give the state that money in exchange for another 10 year contract to run the Shelby facility. The bill's sponsor says if Governor Steve Bullock accepts that offer then $15 m of that money would go into the wildfire fund and the rest could be used to soften cuts to state agency budgets.  Senate Bill 9 is part of the Republican majority's plan during the special legislative session to address the projected $227 m budget shortfall.

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Field Days

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill discusses his family's work to restore a 1920s era barn.

Resounds: Arts And Culture On The High Plains

Hosts Anna Paige and Corby Skinner bring listeners access to the creators who live in our communities and who tell our stories through their art.

Catch Up With

Host Stella Fong shares her personal love of food and wine in this monthly series. Celebrate the bounty of the region with Flavors Under the Big Sky.