Rachel Cramer

Bozeman Reporter

Rachel Cramer is YPR’s Bozeman-based reporter. While her roots are in the rolling hills of southwest Iowa, Rachel fell hard for Montana during family vacations. She started working for Montana Public Radio as a website assistant while finishing a master’s degree at the University of Montana, and joined the news team in 2017. As an evening newscaster and reporter, she covered issues ranging from wolf-rancher conflict solutions to tech start-ups. Later that year, she was selected for a fellowship with Crossing the Divide, a cross-country reporting project developed by the GroundTruth Project and WGBH. Rachel and four other early-career journalists covered divisions in five communities across the US, partnered with local news outlets and visited high schools. Before joining YPR, Rachel worked for Threshold, an award-winning public radio and podcast based in Montana.

Two people hold a can of pepsi and a piece of cake.
Drake Phillips

Update 03/27/30 at 12:30 P.M.: U.S. Sen. Steve Daines's office said in a press release the five men from Bozeman were on a flight back to Montana with help from the American Embassy and General Consul in Dubai.

Five men from Bozeman are among 300 people stuck at the Dubai International Airport after all flights were cancelled indefinitely. The group of friends has spent a week and a half trying to return to the U.S. from a spring break trip to the Philippines. They and their families say they had zero luck using the U.S. State Department’s recommended services for travellers in emergency situations.

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital exterior.
Bozeman Health / Bozeman Health

Bozeman Health says that within a month, it will be able to analyze COVID-19 swabs on site. The regional health giant says this could reduce the wait time for results to less than an hour.

Yellowstone National Park / Yellowstone National Park

Park and Gallatin County health officials are asking Yellowstone National Park to close immediately to prevent visitors from potentially spreading COVID-19 in gateway communities and overwhelming local health care facilities. 

Kay Erickson / Yellowstone Public Radio


Some book stores in Montana say they’re seeing higher sales as more people become homebound and public libraries close due to the novel coronavirus. 

Tourists visit the general store at Tower Fall, Yellowstone National Park, June 2018.
YNP/Public Domain / Yellowstone Public Radio


Montana’s travel industry is already feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus. Many businesses are worried about the long-term impacts of current cancellations, slow bookings and labor shortages.

Gallatin County Courthouse
Tim Evanson / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On the heels of a third COVID-19 illness case announced out of Gallatin County Wednesday, the County and the city of Bozeman have declared states of emergency. Existing closures of bars and eateries and now gyms, theaters and other indoor recreational facilities, have been extended into April as part of an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Health officers are saying communities need to be prepared for a potentially long-haul disruption to day-to-day life in response to COVID-19. Community volunteers in Bozeman are trying to make life a little easier for their neighbors.

A graph showing a comparison of many infections at once versus spread out over time.
Eric Dietrich / Montana Free Press

Several counties in Montana announced Monday they’re taking aggressive steps to reduce large gatherings to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The orders come just a day before St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off across the state.

This story has been updated to include notifications from Cascade County at 8:30 P.M. 03/16/20.

A campsite beside the Smith River on a float trip in April, 2016.
Jeff Jones/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

DEQ said Tuesday morning after the story had been published that the agency has decided to cancel the in-person meetings for the Smith River Algae Study and will offer the Helena meeting as a live stream on DEQ's YouTube channel, Wednesday from 3-5 pm.

Updates on an ongoing study of algae growth on the iconic Smith River are expected from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality this week. Details on the study will be released at public meetings in Helena and White Sulphur Springs.

A bull elk searches for food beneath the snow in Yellowstone National Park in February 2020.
Jacob W. Frank/YNP (Public Domain)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that an elk herd in the Bangtail Mountains has tested negative for brucellosis. State wildlife managers recently completed the two-year project aimed at understanding the risk and spread of the disease in wildlife and livestock.