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.

The ophthalmoscope (left) and stethoscope (right) are some of the tools a physican uses when checking a patient's health.
Adrian Clark / Flickr (CC BY-NA 2.0)

Montana healthcare professionals met this week to discuss how to support a person’s physical and mental health in the midst of reduced services.

Narrow leaf hawksbeard
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Editor's note: This story follows Environmental Protection Agency guidance and uses pesticide as an umbrella term for substances that control pests.

Earlier this month, a second Wyoming man filed a federal lawsuit against the agribusiness giant, Monsanto. It’s one of more than 18,000 lawsuits claiming the world’s most widely used pesticide causes cancer and that Monsanto has tried to cover up the risks. Reports that some agricultural experts in Montana are concerned that growing public scrutiny could affect trade and take away a tool for farmers. Others say they’re already losing that tool as weeds become more resistant.

Two trends are converging in large wildland states like Montana — more frequent and severe wildfires and rapid home development in wildfire prone areas. A conference this week examined how homes burn and how to protect them.

Participants in the 2019 Environmental Stewardship Tour look at several fish species collected from Deep Creek, Broadwater County, Montana, September 09, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Ranchers in Montana are finding innovative ways to support their livestock while conserving native fisheries. A group of ranchers, conservationists and wildlife advocates recently visited the Hahn Ranch, a 2018 National Environmental Stewardship Award finalist recognized for its role restoring Deep Creek.

Team Montana practices for nationals in Bozeman on September 8.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Roller derby is sometimes described as playing speed chess on wheels while someone throws bricks at your head. Team Montana made a splash at the national all-star tournament last year and is preparing to exceed expectations once again.

At the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman, the Haynes Pavilion fills up with roller derby fans. A woman with bright blue hair, a professor in a zip-up sweater and some guys in plaid all sit in the same bleacher section.

They’re here to watch Gallatin Roller Derby compete against Helena’s Helz Belles.

A woman wearing jeans and a handgun hip holster
Paul Weaver / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Montana is one of 31 states that allow people to openly carry firearms without permits in certain public places. Until recently, that included stores owned by Walmart, the nation’s biggest retailer.

Hannah Turner tosses barley at Post Agronomy Farm in Bozeman September 5.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana is one of the biggest malt barley producers in the nation. Most of the grain goes to Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, but that’s starting to shift as more microbreweries seek out local ingredients for a sense of place and unique flavors. Researchers breeding barley for the craft beer boom will be speaking with brewers at a conference in Missoula this week.

Kids playing in a preschool classroom
Brian Hart / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Montana is one of a handful of states that doesn’t publicly fund preschool. The last legislative session rejected two bills that tried to change this, shortly before the state’s preschool pilot project ended.

Brimstone Fire from Yellowstone Lake August 28, 2019
YNP/Public Domain

Yellowstone National Park staff are working to reroute backpackers southeast of Yellowstone Lake after the Brimstone Fire grew to an estimated 80 acres Wednesday evening.

Community leaders and affordable housing advocates break ground where 24 townhomes will be built as the Willow Springs Townhomes development in Bozeman, Montana, August 28, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Construction on Bozeman’s newest affordable housing project begins this week. There’s a waitlist of 200 individuals and families.