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Local Programs > Home Ground
Tuesdays at 6:30pm
hosted by Brian Kahn
Common Ground produces this award-winning half-hour, weekly public affairs
radio series, distributed via the internet and broadcast on public radio
throughout Montana and northern Wyoming. Home Ground's mission
is to stimulate dialogue about the changes and choices affecting our future,
and we pursue that goal through substantive and thought-provoking discussion
of western economic, religious, cultural, social and environmental issues
as well as our place in the larger world. While examining areas of conflict,
we emphasize shared values – the often-overlooked “common
ground” of diverse community interests. Guests and their views are
always treated with respect. Our goal is for listeners to develop appreciation
of differing viewpoints and to encourage them to fulfill their responsibility
as informed citizens in a democracy. Home Ground presents issues in ways
that are interesting and meaningful to a broad audience.
Ground is hosted by Brian Kahn,
whose diverse background includes work as collegiate boxing coach, attorney,
President of the California Fish and Game Commission, Director of
the Montana Nature Conservancy, author, journalist and documentary
filmmaker. In 2009, Brian was a recipient of the Montana Governor's
Award for the Humanities.
Home Ground was named in 2002 by the Montana Broadcasters
Association as the state’s Outstanding Non-Commercial Radio Program.
In 2003, Home Ground received the Small Business Administration’s
Journalist of the Year Award. In 2006, Home Ground won
the OWAA National Excellence in Programming Award.
In our age of fast-paced change, history can seem out of date—but a visit to the Montana Historical Society shows why it matters.
Your 19th century forebears settled in Montana and as a child you were enthralled at the stories they handed down. But your life as a lawyer has created a deep divide. To try to resolve it, you've written a novel. Meet Carrie La Seur.
100th Anniversary of MT Women's Vote
100th Anniversary of MT Women's Vote (WMA)
100th Anniversary of MT Women's Vote (MP3)
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of women in Montana getting the right to vote by learning how it happened.
Doug Chadwick (WMA)
Doug Chadwick (MP3)
Webster's defines reason as "justification or support with logical deduction," and while humans are good at it, we also have passion. In relation to the natural world, writer Doug Chadwick displays both—but when it comes to the near-extinct bears of the Gobi Desert, passion takes over.
Dan Wenk (WMA)
Dan Wenk (MP3)
Since its founding in 1872, Yellowstone Park's management decisions impact Park realities and its neighbors. Dan Wenk, Park Superintendent, makes those calls.
Jim Hagenbarth (WMA)
Jim Hagenbarth (MP3)
The settlers who came to Montana depended on livestock for their livelihoods and their lives. More than 150 years later, technology has removed most of us from ranching life. Not so for Jim Hagenbarth, who understands its needs, complexities, and rewards far better than most.
Steve Browning (WMA)
Steve Browning (MP3)
Steve Browning went from self-absorbed teen to a lawyer working in high-level politics, law, and philanthropy. What caused the shift from self-focus to citizenship, and what was learned along the way?
Jamie Williams (WMA)
Jamie Williams (MP3)
Fifty years ago Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Protection Act, and for the following half century, the Wilderness Society has been working to have selected lands enjoy its protection. Times change, and former Montanan Jamie Williams is TWS’ new President. There is new thinking, and some of it may surprise you.
Jann Gates (WMA)
Jann Gates (MP3)
What is the connection between the passionate study of 16th century European history, the equally passionate teaching of children, and now a career as a writer? That connection is historian, teacher, and writer Jann Gates.
Dan Whittle (WMA)
Dan Whittle (MP3)
We build boundaries, fences, and walls. Sometimes, they're political—like the longstanding embargo of the island nation of Cuba. But as Dan Whittle of the Environmental Defense Fund knows, the natural world has other ideas, and birds, fish, and even oil spills connect our two countries.
Dr. Jonah Western
Dr. Jonah Western (WMA)
Dr. Jonah Western (MP3)
In the American West, there is often conflict between agriculture and wildlife. Imagine what it’s like for an African farmer when a herd of elephants decides to raid you’re the crops. Neither the problems, nor the solutions, are simple. Dr. Jonah Western has spent a lifetime working on it, and what he’s learned just may be useful to us.
Richard Opper (WMA)
Richard Opper (MP3)
We don't know much about the work of many government agencies, and the same is true of the individuals who run them. Meet Richard Opper, head of Montana's Department of Public Health & Human Services, which employs some 3,100 people.
Special Olympics (WMA)
Special Olympics (MP3)
In athletics, we value winning above all else--but that's not true in the Special Olympics. In this competition, the human experience is everything, and we all win.
Brucellosis has appeared in bison, cattle, and elk near Yellowstone National Park, which upsets ranchers, hunters, and conservationists. MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks biologists are doing in-depth research they hope will lead to common ground.
Hydroelectric Dams (WMA)
Hydroelectric Dams (MP3)
It's rare in life to get a second chance, and rarer still to buy back something valuable that you've sold. Montana's electricity-generating dams are up for sale. Should we buy them back?
Jason DeShaw (WMA)
Jason DeShaw (MP3)
Music took and held you as a child. Later you wrote songs, began to sing, enjoying success. On tour one night you were sky high, imagining wild things. The next morning—deepest, hopeless despair. What is going on? Meet singer/songwriter Jason DeShaw.
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Greater Yellowstone Coalition (WMA)
Greater Yellowstone Coalition (MP3)
For decades the Greater Yellowstone Coalition has fought to prevent government and private sector practices it felt threatened grizzly bears. Now, with the great bear rebounding, can GYC shift gears and work cooperatively with those it once fought?
Les Purce (WMA)
Les Purce (MP3)
The family photos on Les Purce's wall tell a fascinating story of slavery, Indians, westward migration, hard luck, and hard work.
Evergreen State College
Evergreen State College (WMA)
Evergreen State College (MP3)
Evergreen State College was founded to offer integrated flexible, and reasonably-priced education. Its academic approach is highly unorthodox, with student studies crossing conventional lines.
Tami Haaland (WMA)
Tami Haaland (MP3)
Webster's defines the word poem as "a composition in verse, especially a highly developed, imaginative one." The art form has not enjoyed the popularity it has in many other cultures. Does it matter? Tami Haaland, Montana's Poet Laureate, thinks so.
Montana DCI (WMA)
Montana DCI (MP3)
The trail of a murder case is 4 years old when arrests are finally made. Prosecution will be hard. Can anyone help? Yes, the professionals at the Montana AG’s Division of Criminal Investigations can do the job.
Justice Beth Baker
Justice Beth Baker (WMA)
Justice Beth Baker (MP3)
Pretty much all of us believe in our Constitutional Rights, but many would have trouble naming exactly what they are. And what happens when our rights conflict? Supreme court Justice Beth Baker’s job is to know our rights in-depth, and when they come in conflict, to make the call.
Access to Success
Access to Success (WMA)
Access to Success (MP3)
Nearly one-third of our kids fail to graduate high school, and many end up in dead-end jobs or prison. “Alternative high schools” offer an answer. One is Access to Success.
Anne Kania (WMA)
Anne Kania (MP3)
Like almost immigrants to the West, Anne Kania brought enthusiasm, experience, the richness of another culture, and hope for a better life. She also brought a stunning voice.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test (WMA)
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test (MP3)
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Test may just be a tool to predict a person's potential for issues such as alcoholism, depression, and even diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Robert Bonnie (WMA)
Robert Bonnie (MP3)
Last year, former Kentucky farm boy Robert Bonnie was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Hear what he has to say on climate change, forest fires, and finding common ground.
Royce Engstrom (WMA)
Royce Engstrom (MP3)
Our world is changing with accelerating speed, as knowledge, technology, economic structures, and human beings interact. With such rapid change, does higher education still matter? University of Montana President Royce Engstrom says yes.
George Bumann (WMA)
George Bumann (MP3)
For 200,000 years, humans have lived closely with wild anials, captivated by their beauty, intelligence, and power. However the technology of the last 1,000 years has separated us like never before. Does that matter? Sculptor and naturalist George Bumann thinks so.
Two-Year Colleges (WMA)
Two-Year Colleges (MP3)
When we say “higher education," we usually think of 4 year schools and overlook something highly important: our two-year colleges offer technical training in highly important skills as well as a path to personal confidence and achievement.
Betty Medsger (WMA)
Betty Medsger (MP3)
Edward Snowden has broken the law to reveal what he believes is government abuse. In 1971, eight Americans did the same, burglarizing an FBI office, then sending to the press the documents they found. In the process, they changed our nation’s history.
Cooper Hibbard (WMA)
Cooper Hibbard (MP3)
You grew up the 5th generation in a ranching family, and decided by age 12 your life would be to manage the ranch-the grass, the water, the livestock, the wildlife. Now you’re 29. Are you ready? Meet Cooper Hibbard.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration was created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. In a competitive world, that’s no easy task.
Bill Simmons (WMA)
Bill Simmons (MP3)
As the owner of a small business, Bill Simmons sometimes finds some of his employees are just coasting. Instead of reading the riot act, he reaches out to them.
Bryce Andrews (WMA)
Bryce Andrews (MP3)
An earnest, urban-raised youth takes a job as a Montana ranch hand, tending cattle in wolf country. Bryce Andrews’ new book describes with full honesty the hard work and hard choices from which we can all learn.
Holly Luck (WMA)
Holly Luck (MP3)
When bureaucracy stumps us, what do we do? Often, we call the office of an elected official, hoping they can make soemthing good happen. Holly Luck does just that.
Adam Winkler (WMA)
Adam Winkler (MP3)
Adam Winkler is the author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, a history of gun rights and regulations since 1776.
Bishop George Thomas
Bishop George Thomas (WMA)
Bishop George Thomas (MP3)
Catholic Bishop George Thomas shares his thoughts on Pope Francis, Time magazine's Man of the Year. Pope Francis has made waves by rejecting traditional formality, critiizing church hierarchy, and calling for a more engaged, humble priesthood.
Ray Domer's General Mercantile
General Merc (WMA)
General Merc (MP3)
The General Mercantile store is where we used to buy what we wanted--then talk with neighbors and maybe read the paper over a long cup of coffee. While those days may seem long gone, Ray Domer's General Merc in Helena has been going strong for forty-three years.
Assistance for Victims of Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence (WMA)
Domestic Violence (MP3)
Behind the words "domestic violence" are damaged human lives. There are, however, good places with good people where victims can get help.
Shodair Children's Hospital
How do you get through to a suicidal child and help her turn her life around? Shodair Children’s Hospital does just that.
Mental Illness in Children
Mental Illness in Children (WMA)
Mental Illness in Children (MP3)
Thousands of kids in Montana behave in ways that indicate serious mental illness. Are they really "sick"? Or reacting normally to a terribly abnormal childhood?
Trickle Trade (WMA)
Trickle Trade (MP3)
High-tech, instant communication certainly speeds things up. But can it be used to help humans reconnect in "old-fashioned" ways?
Criminal Rehabilitation (WMA)
Criminal Rehabilitation (MP3)
In much of the country, the attitude toward criminals is lock 'em up and throw away the key. But not in Montana, where some serious criminals are offered the chance to turn their lives around.
Conrad Burns, Pt. 2
Conrad Burns, Pt. 2 (WMA)
Conrad Burns, Pt. 2 (MP3)
Concluding a two-part interview, former Senator Conrad Burns shares his views on a wide array of issues.
Conrad Burns, Pt. 1 (WMA)
Conrad Burns, Pt. 1 (MP3)
In the United States Senate, he represented Montana longer than any Republican in the state's history. Hear what Conrad Burns has to say about money in politics, policy and power.
Home Ground Audio Archive
YPR maintains an archive of recent Home Ground
programs. They are available as on-demand, streaming audio using the Windows
Media format, and as MP3 files encoded at 64kbps.
Aaron Parrett (WMA)
Aaron Parrett (MP3)
We live in a culture of commerce, where even higher education is judged in commercial terms: Will it help get a better-paying job. Aaron Parrett has a different, old-fashioned view: It's education in the arts and literature that really counts.
Fracking can hugely increase oil and gas yield from rock formations. What, if any, are the risks? Here both sides.
Faye Krueger (WMA)
Faye Krueger (MP3)
In more than 30 years with the Forest Service, Faye Krueger's seen a lot of changes. Now she's Regional Forester and helps decide the agency's priorities. Where should they go from here?
Star Theatre (WMA)
Star Theatre (MP3)
The community of Whitehall, MT, is rallying to save the Star Theatre and the local, small-town movie theater experience.
Florence Williams (WMA)
Florence Williams (MP3)
Our consumer culture makes fantasies and fetishes of women's breasts. Florence Williams has written a book about them—the real ones.
Doris Bishop (WMA)
Doris Bishop (MP3)
“Farmer” and “union” don’t seem to go together. Farmers live on the land, grow food and take pride in independence. A “union” is an organization of people pursuing joint interests. So just what is a “farmers union”? Doris Bishop knows. She’s been a member of one for 70 years.
Shale Oil Development (WMA)
Shale Oil Developent (MP3)
The American west has a history of economic booms and busts. With shale oil development headed our way, are there lessons we can learn from our past?
Jeff Hagener (WMA)
Jeff Hagener (MP3)
Director of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Jeff Hagener has a job where he is routinely blamed for there being either too many or too few deer, elk, and wolves, and for restricting oil and gas development while also allowing too much of it.
Stream Protection Act at 50
Stream Protection (WMA)
Stream Protection (MP3)
Fifty years ago, the Montana Stream Protection Act was signed into law with overwhelming bipartisan support. It was the first such law in the nation designed to protect fish habitat.
Betty Babcock (WMA)
Betty Babcock (MP3)
Betty Babcock lived a long and remarkable life before passing away this month. Hear her in this 2004 interview from the Home Ground archives.
Bill McConnell (WMA)
Bill McConnell (MP3)
For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors made their own bows, arrow, and arrow heads for hunting. Because they had to stalk close to the wild animal, they understood their beauty and their power. Bill McConnell still does all that.
Little Shell (WMA)
Little Shell (MP3)
For Native Peoples, the 19th Century was an unimaginable loss of age-old freedom and restriction to "reservations." For the Little Shell people, it meant denial of their foundational identity as a tribe. They are fighting to regain it.
Dr. Alan Lockwood
Dr. Alan Lockwood (WMA)
Dr. Alan Lockwood (MP3)
Coal fires 40% of our nation’s electricity. It’s big business, a big jobs provider, and it has some big problems. Dr. Alan Lockwood has studied some of those.
Stephen Huganir (WMA)
Stephen Huganir (MP3)
Stephen Huganir was born and grew up in the segregated South. Even as a child, he knew it was wrong.
Annie Leonard (WMA)
Annie Leonard (MP3)
Across the past 60 years we've become used to consumer culture—a world defined by "stuff." Annie Leonard has never gotten used to it, and argues forcefully it is a dead-end.
Eduardo Del Llano
Eduardo Del Llano (WMA)
Eduardo Del Llano (MP3)
In Cuba, press and TV follow the government line, so it comes as a surprise that feature films do not. Eduardo Del Llano knows. He’s been making critical movies for 25 years.
Manik Talwani (WMA)
Manik Talwani (MP3)
Science and technology have revolutionized the world, but most of us know very little of how science works, or what it's taught us about our earth. World-renowned geo-physicist Manik Talwani does.
Our prison populations are exploding, and most former inmates end up back in jail. Can anything be done to help former felons stay straight? Billings’ “Passages” program says yes. They teach women inmates to be chefs.
UM Global Leadership Initiative
UM Global Leadership Initiative (WMA)
UM Global Leadership Initiative (MP3)
The specialization of modern life results in deeper, but narrower knowledge. But globalization demands understanding of broad issues and questions that cross national and cultural boundaries. Can higher education help? The University of Montana’s Global Leadership Initiative thinks so.
Todd Wilkinson (WMA)
Todd Wilkinson (MP3)
Todd Wilkinson's now book, The Last Stand, goes behind the scenes and reveals how and why Ted Turner blazed his own trail, his way.
Sid Armstrong (WMA)
Sid Armstrong (MP3)
Long active in Democratic politics, Sid Armstrong works equally well across political lines. How does she do it? In the answer to that lies the essence of our Montana community.
Jon Tester (WMA)
Jon Tester (MP3)
U.S. Senator Jon Tester discusses the values learned growing up on the farm, his serious study of music, the keys to being an effective legislator, and the impact of money in American politics.
Hometown Helena (WMA)
Hometown Helena (MP3)
A community is people with common interests living in the same area. But to know they have common interests, people need to communicate with each other. That still happens during a weekly get-together called Hometown Helena, and for more than twenty-five years, two friends have made it happen.
Duane Ankney (WMA)
Duane Ankney (MP3)
Political parties have been with us since 1791 and partisan politics are intense in Montana. Duane Ankney knows—he's Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee.
Guillermo Garcia Frias
Guillermo Garcia Frias (WMA)
Guillermo Garcia Frias (MP3)
Guillermo Garcia Frias is the leading figure in nature conservation in Cuba. But there's more to his story: At 28, as a peasant who could not read or write, he risked his life to save some young revolutionaries--and changed the course of history.
Margaret Scoles (WMA)
Margaret Scoles (MP3)
We all think we know what food is. But according to Margaret Scoles, we really don’t. As one of the world’s leading trainers for inspectors of organic farms, she ought to know.
Broadwater Health Center
Broadwater Health Center (WMA)
Broadwater Health Center (MP3)
Rural hospitals are appropriately held to high standards of service and care, and Townsend’s Broadwater Health Center was ordered closed last July by the Montana Department of Health. Faced with significant management and financial hurdles, it looked as though the care facility might never re-open. Then the community spoke.
Joanne Berghold (WMA)
Joanne Berghold (MP3)
For more than 15 years, Joanne Berghold has traveled Montana’s back roads, photographing small town rodeos and open landscapes and deserted buildings. And she’s got two books to prove it.
Martin Palmer (WMA)
Martin Palmer (MP3)
To some, the need to preserve our natural world is based on a simple scientific fact--we humans need it to survive. Martin Palmer, environmental advisor to Prince Phillip, has a commitment driven by religious faith, which he feels is essential to success.
We have trapped animals for meat and fur since our earliest origins. But human culture changes with time, and over the past 50 years, calls to restrict or ban trapping have grown.
John Cech (WMA)
John Cech (MP3)
Mention two-year colleges and we tend to think of vocational training. But something significant is happening with Montana’s vo-tech schools. John Cech knows what’s changing, and why.
Winnett School (WMA)
Winnett School (MP3)
Nationwide, one in three students fails to graduate high school. Since 1996, in the public school at Winnett, Montana, only two kids have failed to do so. They do some things differently in Winnett, and given the results, maybe we should pay attention.
Dan Bucks (WMA)
Dan Bucks (MP3)
We all hate taxes. Yet without them we’d have no public schools, roads, social security, Medicare, police, public lands, and yes, even sewers! Since we need them, who should pay? Dan Bucks, recently retired head of Montana’s Department of Revenue, has strong views.
Cuban 5 (WMA)
Cuban 5 (MP3)
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution has a sacred guarantee: a fair trial by an impartial jury. A strong case is being made that did not happen in the case of the Cuban 5, convicted fourteen years ago of conspiracy to commit espionage. Four of the five are still in prison. The case has major implications, possibly holding the key to a sea-change in US-Cuba relations.
Shahid Haque-Hausrath (WMA)
Shahid Haque-Hausrath (MP3)
During the 2012 election, illegal immigration was a red-hot topic. But we didn’t learn much about who illegal immigrants are, why they come to America, or the pros and cons of allowing them to stay. Shahid Haque-Hausrath provides some context.
Deep Springs (WMA)
Deep Springs (MP3)
The campus is a cattle ranch in the high desert. The 26 students milk cows by hand, cut alfalfa, kill and cook the animals they eat, AND carry a full academic load. This is not your normal college. It’s Deep Springs.
Judy Tureck (WMA)
Judy Tureck (MP3)
The voices that speak for farmers and ranchers have long been male. But the living reality of family agriculture tells a different story. Judy Tureck of Coffee Creek, Montana, knows.
Bill McConnell (WMA)
Bill McConnell (MP3)
For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors made their own bows, arrow, and arrow heads for hunting. Because they had to stalk close to the wild animal, they understood their beauty and their power. Bill McConnell still does all that.
Charlotte Caldwell (WMA)
Charlotte Caldwell (MP3)
We think of the 1-room school house as ancient history. But roughly 60 still function in Montana. And the fact is, we have important things to learn from the way they educate children.
Andrew McGregor (WMA)
Andrew McGregor (MP3)
What key ingredients motivate school kids to learn? Andrew McGregor teaches at Harrow, England’s elite boarding school, founded in 1572.
Joe Sample (WMA)
Joe Sample (MP3)
Joe Sample pioneered TV broadcasting in Montana and spent three decades in the industry. It’s a tough business. Political advertising helps pay the bottom line, but in a world of relentless attack ads, should industry draw the line? Joe Sample says yes.
Webster's Dictionary defines community as people with common interests living in a particular area. That word took on special meaning in July when wildfire raged over 390 square miles, threatening people, dwellings, and a way of life.
Cyrus Habib (WMA)
Cyrus Habib (MP3)
You got cancer as a child, causing blindness at age 8. You did well in public schools, went to college, became a Rhodes Scholar. At Yale Law School, you edited the law review. Now you’re a successful lawyer, and want to go into politics. Why? Meet Cyrus Habib.
Chas Cartwright (WMA)
Chas Cartwright (MP3)
Americans have a romance with our national parks. But managing them and their millions of visitors is real work. Chas Cartwright knows. He’s Superintendent of Glacier National Park.
Tom Daubert (WMA)
Tom Daubert (MP3)
Medical marijuana, approved by voter initiative in 2004, got turned upside down by the federal raids and arrests of 2011. Tom Daubert, co-founder of MT Cannabis and well-known communications specialist, was looking at a long prison sentence.
David Quammen (WMA)
David Quammen (MP3)
AIDS, hantavirus, Ebola, avian flu—all have something in common: their underlying viruses all moved from animals to humans, with lethal results. Is something else on the way? In his new book, Spillover, noted author David Quammen says yes, it’s just a matter of time.
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor (WMA)
Sandra Day O'Connor (MP3)
She was the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court and she's the recipient of the Medal of Freedom, our nation's highest civilian award. In retirement she's working to insure that our children learn how our democracy works. Meet Sandra Day O'Connor.
George Black (WMA)
George Black (MP3)
The creation of Yellowstone National Park was a visionary act. But George Black's book Empire of Shadows shows that, like almost all human endeavors, it resulted from the complex and contradictory nature of us human beings.
Hanson Family (WMA)
Hanson Family (MP3)
When your family has lived for generations on the land, what do you do when wind-driven wildfire threatens the ranch? And what do you do when it's over and has burned your hay, your cattle's forage, and all your buildings except your house?
Todd O'Hair (WMA)
Todd O'Hair (MP3)
We’ve used coal for 5,000 years, and today it generates half of the world’s electricity. But burning it produces toxic smoke, and much of the carbon dioxide that scientists say is warming the planet. Should we get rid of coal, use it as is, or try to clean it up? Here what Todd O’Hair of Cloud Peak Energy has to say.
Initiative 166 (WMA)
Initiative 166 (MP3)
On November’s ballot, Montanans are asked: Should corporations be treated as people, enjoying the Constitutional rights humans enjoy? And specifically, should they be allowed to contribute to election campaigns? Hear opposing views about Initiative 166.
Laurie McKinnon (WMA)
Laurie McKinnon (MP3)
Last week Ed Sheehy explained why he wants to be elected to Montana's Supreme Court. Now it's Judge Laurie McKinnon's turn.
Ed Sheehy (WMA)
Ed Sheehy (MP3)
A seat on the Montana Supreme Court is among the most powerful in our state's government. Ed Sheehy wants the job.
David Centner (WMA)
David Centner (MP3)
More than 50 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and Social Security and both face serious financial problems. David Centner, AARP's head of legislative policy, has some ideas.
Dennis Taylor (WMA)
Dennis Taylor (MP3)
People who devote their lives to “public service” in the public sector don’t get much credit these days. From the Marine Corps in Vietnam to long service in city manager positions, Dennis Taylor knows what public service means.
Ben Steele (WMA)
Ben Steele (MP3)
When we remember wars, we tend to focus on victories, not defeats. Ben Steele knows the other side of the story. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March—and more—in the terrible early days of Word War II.
Rifles, railroads, and markets nearly wiped out the American bison. A coalition of hunters and conservationists wants to bring them back to the plains of Montana. Not everyone agrees.
Roberta Zenker (WMA)
Roberta Zenker (MP3)
Roberta Zenker was born a boy, grew into manhood, became a lawyer, a husband, and a father of two. However, she secretly always wanted to be a woman. After considering suicide, she decided to become a woman—and did.
Laszlo Family (WMA)
Laszlo Family (MP3)
Ranchers tend to pride themselves on independence. So why would the Laszlo family decide to team up with conservation interests—and yes, the federal government—to restore wetlands on their Madison Valley ranch?
Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation
Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation (WMA)
Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation (MP3)
Charitable organizations usually review applications, make choices, and send money. It's a bit different with the Dennis and Phyllis Washinton Foundation—they get involved.
Jim Robbins (WMA)
Jim Robbins (MP3)
Trees are all around us, but almost never do we stop to think how important they are to us—or what it would be like without them. Science writer Jim Robbins has spent a lot of time thinking about precisely that.
Dr. Tia Nelson
Dr. Tia Nelson (WMA)
Dr. Tia Nelson (MP3)
Since childhood, she wanted be a veterinarian. And after becoming a renowned horse-shoer, she went back to college and got her vet’s degree. Her approach combines western, eastern and traditional methods – and communication with the animal. Meet Dr. Tia Nelson.
Bakken Boom, Part 3
Bakken Boom, Part 3 (WMA)
Bakken Boom, Part 3 (MP3)
The thousands of oil workers streaming into North Dakota are being followed by organized crime. Stunningly and tragically, that includes sex trafficking with children.
Bakken Boom, Part 2
Bakken Boom, Part 2 (WMA)
Bakken Boom, Part 2 (MP3)
Oil development in the Bakken Shale has turned some North Dakota communities' quiet way of life upside down. Two county sheriffs have been dealing with the consequences.
Bakken Boom, Part 1
Bakken Boom, Part 1 (WMA)
Bakken Boom, Part 1 (MP3)
The Bakken Oil Shale has exploded in an economic boom in North Dakota, and is headed our way. But part of the boom is a surge in serious crime. anything be done about it?
DOJ Sexual Assault Program
DOJ Sexual Assault Program (WMA)
DOJ Sexual Assault Program (MP3)
Sexual assaults on Montana's Indian reservations are two to three times the rate in the rest of Montana. The U.S. Department of Justice has announced a new program to try to do something about it.
Nicasio Vina (WMA)
Nicasio Vina (MP3)
Cuba's national academy of sciences is older than the on in the U.S. Nicasio Vina is a member and an internationally recognized conservation biologist.
Chase Hibbard (WMA)
Chase Hibbard (MP3)
The ranch has been in the family for well over a hundred years. What lessons have been learned along the way? Hear what fourth generation rancher Chase Hibbard has to say.
Health Insurance Co-Op
Health Insurance Co-Op (WMA)
Health Insurance Co-Op (MP3)
"Obamacare" does not include either a Medicare-style single payer system or a public insurance option. But it DOES allow health insurance co-ops—owned and run by its members. And Montana is about to get one.
Dr. Hugo Ponce
Dr. Hugo Ponce (WMA)
Dr. Hugo Ponce (MP3)
How do you stimulate the economy, increase productivity and accountability of business, try to insure everyone has a job, and maintain some form of economic justice? Dr. Hugo Ponce discusses economic change in Cuba.
Colt Summit Project
Colt Summit Project (WMA)
Colt Summit Project (MP3)
It's fairly common for the U.S. Forest Service to be taken to court by environmental groups. It isn't common for other conservation groups to take the forest service's side—but that's what's happening with the Colt Summit Project.
MLK Center (WMA)
MLK Center (MP3)
Martin Luther King lived and died fighting for the rights of the poor and oppressed of the United States. So what is the Martin Luther King Cultural Center doing in Havana, Cuba?
Elvira Roncalli (WMA)
Elvira Roncalli (MP3)
Classic philosophers extol reason, and have argued that the human body and emotions reflect weakness. Philosophy professor Elvira Roncalli says there is another way to see that.
Jose Gerhartz (WMA)
Jose Gerhartz (MP3)
In the rural West, we're used to wrestling with tensions between economic development and conservation. It's no different in Cuba. Meet Jose Gerhartz, the World Wildlife Fund's man in Havana.
We The People
We The People (WMA)
We The People (MP3)
Almost all of us say we support the Constitution, but few have read and discussed its provisions. "We the People," to be held April 20-21 at Carroll College, will give us that chance.
Julian Lampert (WMA)
Julian Lampert (MP3)
What are the ingredients that make up a virtuoso classical musician? Genetics? Nuturing special talent? You be the judge: meet composer Julian Lampert on the next Home Ground.
Little Big Horn
Little Big Horn (WMA)
Little Big Horn (MP3)
At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, we think of Custer and his men fighting heroically to the last man. It likely didn’t happen that way.
Dry Cotton Wood Creek Ranch
Dry Cotton Wood Creek Ranch (WMA)
Dry Cotton Wood Creek Ranch (MP3)
Combine the world’s largest mining restoration site, ranching, and conservation, and you get the Clark Fork Coalition’s Dry Cotton Wood Creek Ranch.
Edward Louis Henry
Edward Louis Henry (WMA)
Edward Louis Henry (MP3)
In the American myth, Mountain Men were loners, fighting Indians and the elements on their own. According to author Edward Louis Henry, that isn't quite the way it was.
Fred Haefele (WMA)
Fred Haefele (MP3)
Writing is considered an intellectual pursuit, removed from the dirt and sweat and honed physicality of the blue collar world. Fred Haefele disagrees. For thirty years he’s lived in both worlds.
Mike Cotter (WMA)
Mike Cotter (MP3)
U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter discusses the responsibilities of his office, which include prosecuting cases in Indian country.
Debra Magpie Earling
Debra Magpie Earling (WMA)
Debra Magpie Earling (MP3)
Leo Tolstoy said that to write well, one needed “to look closer, to weigh one’s words, to tell the exact truth.” Debra Magpie Earling’s writing meets that unforgiving test.
Bob Kiesling (WMA)
Bob Kiesling (MP3)
We tend to think of conservation as primarily involving government action. Yet the world of private conservation has exploded in the past 30 years. Bob Kiesling is one of its pioneers.
Holter Museum (WMA)
Holter Museum (MP3)
It’s a major surprise that Helena’s Holter Museum is exhibiting Asian bronzes dating back 3,000 years. And there is an additional surprise—the art itself shows the strong similarity between the ancient world of Asian grasslands and today’s American West.
Scott McMillion (WMA)
Scott McMillion (MP3)
Human attitudes toward Grizzly Bears often divide between love and hate. The truth is they are what they are, as are we. And when our species cross paths at close range, sometimes things go wrong. Scott McMillion has written a book about that, and what we can learn from it.
Americans Elect (WMA)
Americans Elect (MP3)
For those tired of the two party political system, the people at Americans Elect have launched a web-based system for Americans to select candidates for President and Vice President—and anyone can be a delegate.
High School Drop-Out Rate
High School Drop-Out Rate (WMA)
High School Drop-Out Rate (MP3)
Nationally, one-third of high school students drop out. Montana's Office of Public Instruction is teaming up with local schools, businesses, and communities to change that.
AmeriCorps employs 1,300 Montanans doing community service work. The program has been slated to either be cut significantly or eliminated altogether from the federal budget.
Seeley Lake School Lunch
Seeley Lake School Lunch (WMA)
Seeley Lake School Lunch (MP3)
Historically, school lunch programs have not rated well in terms of a balanced diet. Faced with an obesity epidemic, some schools are chaning that. One is Seeley Lake Elementary, where they're doing something quite special.
Visions Service Adventures
Visions Service Adventures (WMA)
Visions Service Adventures (MP3)
How would you like your child to experience another culture, another country, in-depth? Visions Service Adventures gives young people the opportunity to work in foreign lands with local people.
George Cole (WMA)
George Cole (MP3)
George Cole: You know him as a public radio host. Now you can know him as Laurel native, full-time journalist, high-level political aide, and political commentator.
Gilbert Caldwell (WMA)
Gilbert Caldwell (MP3)
America’s African-American community has not been resounding in its support of gay rights, or its comparison with the Civil Rights movement. Reverend Gilbert Caldwell is takes a different view.
Julia Altemus (WMA)
Julia Altemus (MP3)
Commercial logging has been controversial for decades, and Julia Altemus, the new executive director of the Montana Wood Products Association, has seen the battle from many angles.
Hank Burgess (WMA)
Hank Burgess (MP3)
Not many of us see a connection between William Shakespeare and the art of boxing. Hank Burgess does. For years he taught both at Carroll College.
Dan Todd (WMA)
Dan Todd (MP3)
Given Montana's recent experience with medical marijuana, the issue seems complex and confusing. But not to Dan Todd, a former Republican legislator.
Hugo Tureck (WMA)
Hugo Tureck (MP3)
When we think of farmers, we don’t tend to think of sociologists. Meet Hugo Tureck of Coffee Creek—he’s both.
Katie Davison (WMA)
Katie Davison (MP3)
In cities across the United States, Americans are making a statement by occupying places of economic power. But who are they? Katie Davison, 32 year old filmmaker, is one.
Steven J. Eagle
Steven J. Eagle (WMA)
Steven J. Eagle (MP3)
Law professor at George Mason Steven J. Eagle has written extensively on property rights, takings, and land use planning.
A Home Ground Special:
Whose Hospitals? (WMA)
Whose Hospitals? (MP3)
Our hospitals are not-for-profits who get tax breaks in exchange for public service. They are also big business in competition with others. To whom are they really accountable and how much should the public be involved? A special one-hour Home Ground Community Forum, co-sponsored by Carroll College.
Americans for Campaign Reform
Americans for Campaign Reform (WMA)
Americans for Campaign Reform (MP3)
$3.2 billion was spent during the 2010 election cycle, with the vast majority coming from less than one-quarter of one percent of the American people. Americans for Campaign Reform wants to change that.
Martin Holt (WMA)
Martin Holt (MP3)
Martin Holt knew he was dying when he came on Home Ground last December. His last months set a standard in wisdom and humanity.
Greg Lemon (WMA)
Greg Lemon (MP3)
Why would young journalist Greg Lemon take a job at Montana's oldest weekly paper in an age when local newspapers are getting hammered by the web?
An epidemic has engulfed Western forests: a tiny beetle that kills trees. Why is this happening and what can be done about it?
Crazy U (WMA)
Crazy U (MP3)
It's not clear which is harder: graduating from college or completing all the paperwork needed to see if thet'll let you in. Crazy U is a new book about one family's experience running that gauntlet.
Rhodes Scholars (WMA)
Rhodes Scholars (MP3)
We've all heard of Rhodes Scholars: exceptionally bright young people who spend a year at Oxford. But who are they, and what are they like?
Patricia Nell Warren
Patricia Nell Warren (WMA)
Patricia Nell Warren (MP3)
Patricia Nell Warren is the granddaughter of Conrad Kohrs, of the famous Grant Kohrs Ranch. She was raised on the ranch and grew up to be an award-winning journalist and writer.
No Labels (WMA)
No Labels (MP3)
No Labels is a new organization that wants serious discussion of our nation's problems, without political labels.
Eugene Linden (WMA)
Eugene Linden (MP3)
Eugene Linden is a veteran Time magazine reporter. He has insight into what happens when consumer culture collides with traditional peoples.
Kimber Emmons (WMA)
Kimber Emmons (MP3)
Two years ago, Home Ground talked with Kimber Emmons about her six-year-old duaghter Kenna's life-threatening illness and the need for a bone marrow donor. Since then, the family has walked a tough road.
Buttercup Market (WMA)
Buttercup Market (MP3)
There is more to the Buttercup Market and Café than meets the eye.
Wetlands Project (WMA)
Wetlands Project (MP3)
A family of long-time Madison Valley ranchers is working with conservation groups and the government on a collaborative wetlands project.
Bob Rowe (WMA)
Bob Rowe (MP3)
Delivering natural gas and electricity is a complicated business, regulated by Montana’s Public Service Commission. Bob Rowe is President and CEO of Northwestern Energy—and he’s sat on both sides of the table.
Bozeman Youth Initiative
Bozeman Youth Initiative (WMA)
Bozeman Youth Initiative (MP3)
The Bozeman Youth Initiative mixes a school bus converted into a mobile greenhouse with college and high school students mentoring elementary school kids on where food comes from and how to grow it.
Clayton Kirk (WMA)
Clayton Kirk (MP3)
Clayton Kirk was home schooled on a Montana ranch, then attended public high school. At age 21, after three years of college, he looks back on the pluses and minuses of his experience.
Blue Cross / Blue Shield
Blue Cross / Blue Shield (WMA)
Blue Cross / Blue Shield (MP3)
Blue Cross / Blue Shield is Montana's largest health insurance provider, handling coverage for more than 300,000 customers. In an effort to control rising health care costs, they’ve launched a three-pronged initiative involving administrative cost reduction, doctor and hospital payments, and the health of everyday Montanans.
Students & Climate Change
Students & Climate Change (WMA)
Students & Climate Change (MP3)
Getting through the University of Montana is tough enough without taking on extra work. So why are students getting involved in the fight against climate change—and what are they doing about it?
Carmine Mowbray (WMA)
Carmine Mowbray (MP3)
Carmine Mowbray was long interested in politics, but too busy with family and business to run for office. This January, however, she was appointed to the Montana Senate—and got a baptism by fire.
Grand Union Hotel
Grand Union Hotel (WMA)
Grand Union Hotel (MP3)
Fort Benton’s Grand Union Hotel was built in the 1880s, during the glory days of Missouri River steamboats. Fifteen years ago, the Gagnon family decided to restore its splendor.
Dr. Tom Trebon
Dr. Tom Trebon (WMA)
Dr. Tom Trebon (MP3)
Dr. Tom Trebon has announced his upcoming retirement as President of Carroll College. What has he learned along the way?
Health Care (WMA)
Health Care (MP3)
Break your leg in the US and it’s not usually a big deal, but in many countries it can mean economic disaster. Meet two doctors who are doing something about that.
Frog Exhibition (WMA)
Frog Exhibition (MP3)
There is just something special about frogs! And when kids meet frogs at the Museum of the Rockies' frog exhibition, good things happen.
Wal-Mart employs two million people and is the world’s largest grocer. So their new initiative to support sustainably grown, local food comes as quite a surprise.
Pat Williams (WMA)
Pat Williams (MP3)
Pat Williams represented Montana in Congress for 18 years. He’s been home for 15. What’s he been up to?
Sage Grouse (WMA)
Sage Grouse (MP3)
Sage grouse, once numbering in the millions, now number around 200,000. But a new collaborative conservation effort between the federal government and ranchers is achieving results.
Buffalo Bill Plains Indian Museum
Buffalo Bill Plains Indian Museum (WMA)
Buffalo Bill Plains Indian Museum (MP3)
The Buffalo Bill Plains Indian Museum in Cody is renowned for its dynamic exhibits, which show Indian culture as much more than a unique part of our past.
Alan Simpson (WMA)
Alan Simpson (MP3)
Former Wyoming Senator Al Simpson co-chaired the national bipartisan panel on long-term deficit reduction.
Innocence Project (WMA)
Innocence Project (MP3)
The Constitution has protections for those accused of a crime and none of us wants think innocent people are sent to prison. Unfortunately, they are.
National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)
For decades we’ve shied away from facing mental illness head-on. But today, Montanans are taking the lead in confronting the issue.
Mountain States Transmission Intertie
We all use electricity, but when it comes to how we get it from its generation point to the end user, there is often a fight.
Community Gardens (WMA)
Community Gardens (MP3)
An innovative network of community gardens in Missoula helps to maintain a sense of community in our fast-paced world.
Russ Miller (WMA)
Russ Miller (MP3)
Russ Miller is responsible for assuring the economic sustainability, environmental sensitivity, and conservation of native species on the two million acres of Ted Turner's 15 ranches.
Sheila Devins (WMA)
Sheila Devins (MP3)
Who would believe that 3-5 year-olds could set up their own museum? Sheila Devins is doing amazing things at the Liz Claiborne pre-school in Seeley Lake, Montana.
Denise Juneau (WMA)
Denise Juneau (MP3)
Our nation’s schools are facing real problems, but Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says Montana’s schools are working well.
Timber Industry Roundtable
Timber Industry Roundtable (WMA)
Timber Industry Roundtable (MP3)
A coalition of timber industry, conservation, and public agency interests formed a roundtable for an ongoing discussion of how to stabilize the timber industry in the wake of Smurfit Stone's closure.
Montana Wildlife Federation
MT Wildlife Federation (WMA)
MT Wildlife Federation (MP3)
The Montana Wildlife Federation, working with a landowner, has developed a youth-based elk hunting program.
John Green (WMA)
John Green (MP3)
Career chemist John Green also has a passion for fine art and discusses his collection.
Karla Gray (WMA)
Karla Gray (MP3)
Retired Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Karla Gray discusses her referendum for accountability of judges.
Leslie Weldon (WMA)
Leslie Weldon (MP3)
Forest Service Region One Superintendent Leslie Weldon
Lance Craighead (WMA)
Lance Craighead (MP3)
Lance Craighead of Craighead Institute, an environmental research group in Bozeman.
Bud Moore (WMA)
Bud Moore (MP3)
A 2005 interview with the late Bud Moore, a forest steward and pioneer of "ecosystem management."
John Ries (WMA)
John Ries (MP3)
What did Christ have to say about our obligation to the poor? Carroll College's John Ries is our guest.
National Institute on Money in Politics
National Institute on Money in Politics (WMA)
National Institute on Money in Politics (MP3)
The National Institute on Money in Politics, based in Helena, discusses the influence money has on our state politics.
Gregory Hinton (WMA)
Gregory Hinton (MP3)
Gay filmmaker Gregory Hinton discusses the rural homosexual in Out West.
Martin Holt (WMA)
Martin Holt (MP3)
Noted videographer Martin Holt discusses his varied artistic career and his terminal illness.
Corky Brittan (WMA)
Corky Brittan (MP3)
Professor Corky Brittan discusses animal intelligence and rights
Bill Milton (WMA)
Bill Milton (MP3)
Bill Milton, Zen rancher of the Mussellshell
Doug Chadwick (WMA)
Doug Chadwick (MP3)
Doug Chadwick has the enviable job of studying wildlife in America's parks and wildlands.
Jim Leach (WMA)
Jim Leach (MP3)
National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach
Dr. Waded Cruzado
Dr. Waded Cruzado (WMA)
Dr. Waded Cruzado (MP3)
President of Montana State University Dr. Waded Cruzado
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
US Senator Jon Tester discusses his Forest Jobs and Recreation
Montana State Senator Carol Williams discusses the Montana Democratic
Bowen Greenwood, Executive Director of the Montana Republican
party, discusses the party platform.
Beth Baker is a candidate for Justice of the Montana
Nels Swandal is a candidate for Justice of the Montana
American Prairie Foundation
Prairie Foundation (WMA)
Prairie Foundation (MP3)
Prairie Foundation faces a backlash in its mission to preserve Montana's
great prairie for bison, birds, and other native species.
Danish immigrant Peter Koch arrived on a steamboat up the Missouri.
Hear how Montana changed him--and how he changed Montana.
Sec. of Education Arnie Duncan
Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan outlines his ambitious plan
to improve all schools, especially the under-achievers.
Pat Soden of the University of Washington Press discusses
the new world of book publishing.
Yellowstone Art Museum
Art Museum (WMA)
Art Museum (MP3)
The Yellowstone Art
Museum in Billings opens its permanent collection to the public and uses
an innovative approach to engage people of all ages.
The Wicked Wine of Democracy by Joseph Miller
David Levinthal of the Center
for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
C.C. Filson Company
Filson Company (WMA)
Filson Company (MP3)
The C.C. Filson Company still builds clothing in their Seattle factory in spite
of the high degree of globalization in the textile industry.
The pallid sturgeon swam with dinosaurs. In the blink of an eye human impact
could wipe out the nearly 70-million year old species. Montana's Department of
Fish, Wildlife and Parks is trying to do something about it.
Seattle author Frances McCue discusses her book on Montana poet Richard
Hugo's writing and the power of place.
National Wildlife Federation president Larry Schweiger discusses
the progress of the 75-year old organization.
Civil War scholar and Pulitzer prize winning author James McPherson
Montana Stockgrowers President Tom Hougen
Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock
George Dennison is stepping down after twenty years
as President of the University
of Montana and more than forty years in higher education.
Mark Rey, Undersecretary of Agriculture in the Bush
Administration, discusses his views about forest stewardship.
PG & E
& E (WMA)
& E (MP3)
Why would a major utility company advocate strong government action to combat
climate change? Pacific Gas and Electric Company is doing just that.
Dereck Hogan is the Senior State Department Advisor
on Afghanistan. He discusses the civilian aspects of the Afghan war.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell explains the agency's
new focus on landscape restoration.
Montana's workers' compensation system is 95 years old. How well does it work
Kenny Martin is a banker in Lincoln, MT. He explains
why Montana banks are surviving America's big-bank crisis.
Paul Roos is a former teacher, an outfitter, and a long-time
conservationist. He explains the for-profit concept he calls "Wetlands
FBI Special Agent Scott Cruse discusses the tough job of preventing
attacks, investigating crime, and protecting Constitutional rights in a post-9/11
Author Maile Meloy discusses the art and craft of writing well.
University of Montana graduate Lorin Granger spent part of last
year as an intern at the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Salish language school NkWsum strives
to preserve native cultures, values, and identity with its language immersion
The Morley family of Swan Lake makes red cedar canoes by hand.
Montanan Kit Fischer wasn't satisfied with his post-college
life as a ski bum--so he joined the Peace Corps and worked for two years in Africa.
Jack Stanford is the Director of the Flathead
Lake Biological Station, which is renowned for its research into
human-caused changes to the natural environment.
Is Montana's woody biomass a blessing or a curse?
Hemingway scholar Jeffrey Meyers discusses the variances between
the author's personal life and his writing.