YPRnews

Jackie Yamanaka

A Westmoreland Coal Company says its 3 Montana coal mines are profitable despite its current financial crunch and the company is working to keep its mines open.

Extreme fires, flash droughts, and fast-melting snowpacks are all predicted in the state's first ever climate assessment, which is slated for release on September 20th.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month earmarked billions of dollars for fighting wildfires.  Many conservationists and politicians celebrated that change.

But the legislation also rolls rolls back some environmental protections and that has split the conservation community.

Coal
Kym Farnik / Flickr

Over the past decade, the market for Mountain West coal has cooled. Renewables and natural gas in the U.S. are cheaper, stocks are tumbling and some coal companies are even teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Jackie Yamanaka

A Montana civil rights panel wants to learn more about alleged discrimination that affects Native Americans when it comes to the criminal justice system and interactions with law enforcement. Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says he looks forward to discussing this issue in Montana’s largest community Thursday in Hardin.

oil well
Montana Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled the federal government can’t ignore climate change when considering new fossil fuel leases in Montana and Wyoming.

"March for Our Guns" organizer Brent Webber opened the rally in Helena, Mont., on Saturday with a fiery speech: "Our freedoms come first. No one will infringe on our right to keep and bear arms."

Webber spoke to hundreds of people gathered near the steps of the state Capitol. They were there in response to calls for stricter gun control measures at "March for Our Lives" rallies in Montana and across the country.

Similar pro-gun marches were held in Utah, Idaho and other states.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana’s 4 Republican U.S. Senate candidates pointed out the differences among each other, albeit in a collegial way, during their first debate last night in Bozeman. The event was sponsored by the College Republicans at Montana State University.

18-year-old Joey Chester, a College Republican at Montana State University, is slated to speak at the rally on Saturday.
Gordon Calhoun / courtesy of Joey Chester

Hundreds of thousands of students are calling for stricter gun control measures at “March For Our Lives” rallies across the country on Saturday. But in Mountain West states like Idaho, Utah and Montana, counter-protestors are organizing pro-gun rallies. 

State of Montana

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.

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.

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