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An oily sheen on the shoreline of Flathead Lake near Somers. May 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

Future Uncertain For De-funded Flathead Basin Commission

A group tasked by the legislature to protect water quality in the Flathead Valley is in jeopardy after its funding was cut during Montana’s special legislative session in November and its executive director was terminated in February. On Wednesday the Flathead Basin Commission will meet in Pablo and reassess its future.

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The Rocky Mountains Have A Dust Problem

A menace lurks beneath the snow high up in the southern Rocky Mountains: dust. Lots and lots of dust. This dust speeds up spring water runoff, causing intense melting and streams to peak weeks earlier than usual — which wreaks havoc throughout the alpine ecosystem. Water managers and fire forecasters alike are sounding the alarm about the consequences of less water flowing in streams and reservoirs. At first glance the dust seems innocuous. How could something so simple undermine water...

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Arts & Music

Raven in flight.
(PD)

'Field Notes:' All About Ravens

I was walking through Greenough Park in Missoula the other day, enthralled by the bright spring afternoon. A yellow cascade of dandelions popped out against the grass. Rattlesnake Creek swelled with snowmelt. The air smelled of shoots, buds, and fresh growth. Then I heard an echoing croak. A raven swooped down and perched on a park bench, a defiant figure of darkness in the daylight.

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Montana Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Montana’s senior senator says politics played no role in the heightened investigation into President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jon Tester is the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

"When we started this investigation into Admiral Jackson last week," says Tester, "we got some calls that were very concerning about him as a person."

Those allegations against Dr. Ronny Jackson include over-prescription of drugs, creation of a hostile work environment and drinking on the job. Tester says what started as a standard vetting of Jackson’s qualifications rapidly escalated into an ‘all hands-on deck’ operation in the wake of those accusations.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. (File photo).
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Conservation groups alleged yesterday that Wyoming used part of Montana's grizzly bear hunting quota to increase its own allocation for a proposed hunt this year, even though Montana wildlife regulators voted not to give away any part of its quota.

Montana Senator Steve Daines at a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee meeting Tuesday
Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines

Senator Steve Daines put out a press release Tuesday saying he’s "building momentum" for the U.S. to re-join negotiations for the trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

In a White House meeting with Daines and other farm state lawmakers on April 13th President Trump made remarks that some interpreted as a potential policy change towards re-joining TPP talks. Pulling out of the trade agreement was one of Trump’s first actions after being elected, and he spoke strongly against it during his campaign.

Shortly after the April 13th meeting though, Trump tweeted that he would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the one offered to President Obama.

An oily sheen on the shoreline of Flathead Lake near Somers. May 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

A group tasked by the legislature to protect water quality in the Flathead Valley is in jeopardy after its funding was cut during Montana’s special legislative session in November and its executive director was terminated in February.

On Wednesday the Flathead Basin Commission will meet in Pablo and reassess its future.

"I met Scorchy in the summer of 1965 when I was 12 years old.  I was the new kid in a small town in south central Montana.  I was also pretty much a wimp and socially awkward.  Try as I might to fit in with the other boys, I lacked two of the most important attributes necessary for success in rural life, the first being that I wasn’t-as I was constantly reminded by the locals-“from around here,” and second, I wasn’t any good at sports.  Up to that time I had lived a very sheltered life as the son of a naval officer.  While that led to seeing a lot of the world in a few short years, it hadn’t helped me develop much in the way of social skills or athletic prowess.  Like Scorchy later said to me, “You’ve lived around, but you haven’t lived.” -- Cyrus Lee

A boat carrying invasive zebra mussels was stopped at an Anaconda inspection station.
Montana Fish Wildife and Parks

A boat carrying invasive zebra mussels was stopped late last week at an Anaconda inspection station.

An image from John Heenan's ad airing on Sinclair stations in Montana
YouTube

Democratic U.S. House Candidate John Heenan is buying ads on Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned TV stations that blast the company for forcing reporters to read conservative-leaning corporate statements on air.

Heenan's ad started airing today in Missoula, Bozeman and Butte. In it, he calls Sinclair: “A powerful corporation that forces its journalists to read corporate talking points on the air. A corporation using its power to take advantage of journalists, our democracy and the people of Montana. Not on my watch."

The Montana Democratic Party will make its case in Lewis and Clark County Court on Tuesday against the Montana Green Party appearing on election ballots this year.

Democrats say the Greens didn’t collect the required number of voter signatures on its petition to quality as an official political party on this year’s November ballot.

Flickr user, woodleywonderworks

After months of cooking with root vegetables, Jon is desperate for green stuff, but he's reluctant to buy vegetables flown in from thousands of miles away.

'Field Notes:' All About Ravens

Apr 23, 2018
Raven in flight.
(PD)

I was walking through Greenough Park in Missoula the other day, enthralled by the bright spring afternoon. A yellow cascade of dandelions popped out against the grass. Rattlesnake Creek swelled with snowmelt. The air smelled of shoots, buds, and fresh growth. Then I heard an echoing croak. A raven swooped down and perched on a park bench, a defiant figure of darkness in the daylight.

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