State of Montana

One Elk Tests Positive For Brucellosis Southwest of Dillon

State wildlife and livestock officials say an elk captured in southwest Montana tested positive for exposure to brucellosis. This is the first time a positive test was found in the Tendoy Mountains Southwest of Dillon, said officials from the Montana Department of Livestock.

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Mountain West News Bureau

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of teens are expected to march on Washington D.C. and around the country, calling for gun control. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with two students in Montana and Wyoming who do not plan to march, and are worried gun control reform could change their way of life.

The Bureau of Land Management held an online auction Tuesday for oil and gas leases in southeastern Utah. Conservation groups and Native Americans protested drilling in places that are also rich with cultural meaning.

States in the Mountain West sell everything from beef to computer parts to China.
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Ranchers and farmers in the Mountain West ship a lot of products overseas to China. Now the Trump administration is expected to hit China with $60 billion dollars worth of annual tariffs.

Last year China opened its doors to U.S. beef for the first time in more than a decade.

Montana ranchers jumped at the opportunity. They signed a multi-million dollar deal with a large Chinese company to sell beef.

George Haynes, an economist with Montana State University, wonders what the retaliation is going to be if the Trump administration slaps these tariffs on China.

In parched states like Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, water is a big issue, especially with growing populations that constantly need more and more. But there’s a big question: How do we accurately forecast the amount of water that will be available any given year? It’s not easy. But some Colorado scientists think they’re onto a possible solution -- inspired by Pokemon.

Study co-author Philip Higuera holding a burn severity map near Lolo, Montana.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

I’m marching through a stand of blackened, towering pine trees with fire ecologist Philip Higuera. He stops and sniffs the air.

“We can smell the charcoal here,” he says. “You smell that?”

Higuera is a low-key guy with a trimmed beard and sporty sunglasses. But when I ask him whether the massive wildfire that raced across Lolo Peak in Montana last summer was bad, he corrects my choice of words. 

The Last Piece Of Ground

A YPR special about the Northern Cheyenne, the coal industry, and the importance of land

A coal train in the Powder River Basin
Jerry Huddleston / Flickr

Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story Kathleen Sgamma was quoted as saying reducing royalty rates increases revenue for industry and the federal government.  Her point was in fact that reducing regulatory barriers achieves this goal.

On Wednesday, an Interior Department advisory panel will propose changing how the government receives royalties from coal dug up on federal lands. But some critics are calling foul as panel members either come from the energy industry or energy-producing states.

Montana Department of Transportation

Driving across the great expanse of Montana isn’t for the faint at heart. During the winter it can be a white knuckle experience with motorists confronting icy and snow packed roads, strong winds, and ground blizzards. Any time of the year critters can jump out on to the roadway.

This is what our candidates for statewide office face as they bounce from one campaign stop to the next on the seemingly endless ribbon of blacktop, gravel, and gumbo roads that connect our far-flung population.   

oil well
Montana Public Radio

The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

“This is a huge red flag,” says Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation group says it would cost taxpayers more than six billion dollars to clean up all the wells on federal land.

Jackie Yamanaka

The CEO of Red Oxx, a Billings-based manufacturer praises last year’s Republican tax package, saying it will help grow his business.

Resounds: Big Sky Trio

Feb 26, 2018
Anna Paige

Musicians Keller Paulson, Parker Brown, and Erik Olson spend a lot of time together. They’ve played music together in a variety of bands throughout the years they have lived in Billings, and they are all adjunct faculty members at Sheridan College. The three musicians carpool weekly from Billings to Sheridan, Wyoming to teach in the music department.

Field Days: Preparing The Barn For Calving

Feb 26, 2018
Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill cleans up his barn in preparation for calving.

Marco Nürnberger

Playlist #1846 Feb. 23, 2018

“Blue Light Boogie”, Cozy Eggleston, Honkers And Barwalkers vol. 1, Delmark Records,

“Heavy Heart Blues”, Champion Jack Dupree, New Orleans Barrelhouse Boogie, Columbia/ Legacy Records

“Heavy Heart”, Selwyn Birchwood, Pick Your Poison, Alligator Records,

A fierce debate is taking place across the country right now: What to do about immigrants who came here illegally as children. Up until recently, they qualified for a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects them from deportation. But the Trump administration rescinded that Obama-era rule and Congress is debating what will take its place.  

We talked to three people affected by that debate right here in the Mountain West.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

In the spring of 1942, official posters went up across the West Coast and Arizona. All people of Japanese ancestry had one week to report to assembly centers. Ultimately, more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly imprisoned in internment camps, many of them located in the Mountain West. This week is when we remember those camps and the people who lived in them.

One of them was a 13-year-old boy named Minoru Tonai.

Many members of Congress have returned to their home states this week to make the rounds at their local offices and meet with constituents.

Montana Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines made a stop Wednesday morning at the western Montana town of Phillipsburg where he toured a craft brewery.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi caught up with Daines at the noisy microbrewery. 


Field Days

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill does battle with a herd of elk to save his hay.

Sunday mornings at 11

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.

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.

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