Government & Politics

A legal settlement reached Friday could have a big impact on the future of Colstrip – both to the coal-fired power plant there, and the town itself.

Some renewable energy advocates say the settlement means the Colstrip plant could shut down sooner than had been anticipated – maybe as early as 2027, instead of sometime in the 2040s. But that depends on a lot of variables, and Colstrip’s backers say it could stay open for decades.

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Republican congressman Greg Gianforte gave a keynote address to the Montana Association of Counties today.

It was the second stop in his “forest jobs tour,” and the congressman told county commissioners the best way to stop wildfires is to cut down more trees.

On Tuesday, congressional hopeful Grant Kier became the second challenger in the race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republicans for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat in 2018. Kier, a Missoula resident, made the announcement to a crowd of about 80 at the newly-built Kettlehouse Amphitheatre in Bonner.

Congressman Greg Gianforte invited the media Friday to what he called a roundtable talk about the U.S. Forest Service Stonewall vegetation project near Lincoln.

He says that lawsuits blocking projects like Stonewall are standing in the way of healthy forests in the Montana.

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney: By my count there are at least five formally declared candidates, and then there's Billings Judge Russel Fagg, who hasn't officially declared, but he certainly looks like a candidate. Is Fagg really just exploring a Senate run, or is he just saying that?

MSU Political Science Professor David Parker joins us with a look at the 2018 Senate race.

Running Weasel of the Blackfoot Confederacy sits on horseback near the historic Roosevelt Arch near Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Tribal leaders from Canada and the American West gathered in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday. They were there to protest places named after early explorers who advocated for the mass killing of Native Americans.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton pushed back against allegations Thursday that his office is claiming more than 300 cases of voter fraud in the May special election. The Republican Secretary of State says any reports claiming he made such allegations are false.

Congressman Greg Gianforte is kicking off what he’s calling a “Forest Jobs Tour” tomorrow in Helena. A press release says, “Gianforte will hold a roundtable briefing on the status of the Stonewall Project with key stakeholders.”

The Stonewall project is a U.S. Forest Service vegetation management proposal that called for logging, thinning and controlled-burning about 5,000 acres north of Lincoln. Shortly after it was approved in 2016 a federal judge temporarily halted it in response to a lawsuit from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Last night Senator Steve Daines held what he calls a “tele-townhall,” one of the periodic conference calls he invites Montanans to join, in which he takes a few questions from callers. This one was also live streamed on his Facebook page. The topic was forest management and wildfires.

The Secretary of State’s Office will expand on its claims of illegal votes cast during the special election earlier this year before a joint legislative committee on Thursday, September 14.

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