Big Timber

Left to right: Lill Erickson, Roger and Betsy Indreland and Chris Mehus on the Indreland Ranch north of Big Timber, MT, May 09, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

The Earth passed a new threshold this week — an observatory in Hawaii clocked the highest levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in human history. A number of studies say CO2 is part of what’s driving higher temperatures, drought and longer fire seasons in the West. Now ranchers in Montana are testing out a new program that’s trying to put some of that carbon back in the ground.

Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

Laurel and Big Timber are among the communities across Montana struggling to provide clean drinking water, deal with storm runoff, and maintain roads and bridges.  They are also scratching their heads over how to pay for these multi-million dollar projects with their small tax or rate base.