In The News

Bad Actors Are Fattening Their Wallets, Not Boosting Conservation

On Dec. 21, 2020, two brothers from Georgia, Stein and Corey Agee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US government. The Agee brothers played a role in generating over $1.2 billion in fraudulent charitable tax deductions. Upon their guilty plea, Stein and Corey appear to have cooperated in a broader Department of Justice investigation. Eighteen months later, seven others are under federal indictment for alleged crimes as part of a syndicated conservation easement tax scheme.  The recent guilty pleas and indictments reflect just a small portion of the illicit manipulation of the otherwise highly successful conservation easement deduction. The

Big Tech’s harmful censorship of Republican candidates

Big Tech in America has gone woke, and America sees it. From selective censorship of conservative viewpoints to policies that prop up the far-left’s agenda, these corporations have become the newest arm of the Democrat Party. With online platforms becoming increasingly central to the daily lives of many Americans, Silicon Valley companies have gained massive power to shape our politics, culture, and our elections.  Central to successful political campaigns is a candidate’s ability to convey their ideas to the public. Since the arrival of radio and TV, politicians have leveraged these channels of mass communication to engage, persuade and mobilize.

Steve Daines and Jim Risch: MT and Idaho have demonstrated ability to sustain healthy wolf population

Idaho and Montana’s successful recovery of the gray wolf was a significant achievement in species conservation. In less than 10 years, not only were biological recovery targets for gray wolves met, they were exceeded. Unfortunately, delisting of the wolf has been mired in politics rather than informed by science. Last month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland authored an editorial, devoid of facts but flushed with alarmist rhetoric, perpetuating the false narrative that Idaho and Montana’s wildlife management policies are driving gray wolves to extinction. What’s more, the Secretary disregarded both the spirit and procedure of the Endangered Species Act by explicitly threatening

Guest column: Addressing the challenges of Yellowstone’s next 150 years

In March of 1872, a groundbreaking idea was born in the West. The world’s very first national park was established right in our backyard and became part of our Montana way of life. Its impact would forever change how we protect our most beautiful landscapes, not only across America but around the world. As Yellowstone National Park commemorates its 150th anniversary this week it’s worth remembering what it took to establish this icon of conservation. Yellowstone’s wonders have been attracting people for thousands of years. More than 27 tribal nations have ties to the park for hunting, fishing, quarrying obsidian,

Opinion: Ranchers need support

In Montana, cattle outnumber people by nearly three to one, so it’s no wonder that Montana beef plays such a large role in our rich legacy of agriculture and our economy. Montana ranchers take pride in producing the best cattle and highest-quality beef in the world. The last thing they should have to worry about is getting a fair price for their product. I’m hearing concerns from hardworking Montana cattle producers who are struggling to compete with the four biggest packers who currently dominate the market. These large packers face serious allegations of creating a fiercely anti-competitive environment through unfair

Daines introduces bill to increase pay for people with disabilities

Wages grew in Montana during the pandemic, but a group of workers in the state — and across the country — are still being paid below minimum wage. A decades-old federal law allows businesses to legally pay people with disabilities below the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. There are 16 businesses in Montana — including one in Bozeman — that pay below minimum wage, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. That standard could change. Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines introduced a billon Thursday that would phase out a certificate program created by the Fair Labor Standards Act, enacted in

Guest view: Working Montanans can’t afford ‘Build Back Broke’ plan

Montana families across the state are feeling the pain in their pocketbooks from inflation and higher prices on everything from gas to groceries to heating their homes. What’s causing this? President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ wasteful spending problems, and their multitrillion-dollar reckless tax and spending spree bill will only make matters worse. Last week, inflation hit a nearly 40-year high, backing estimates that families will spend an extra $4,600 more this year alone. In fact, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Montana faces one of the highest inflation rates in the country. This year, Montanans will

Daines offers alternative to Biden’s 30×30 land plan

A group of GOP Congress members released an alternative to President Joe Biden’s 30×30 land conservation initiative on Tuesday, pushing for more attention to productive management of working lands. “Conservation is part of our Montana way of life — we know how to be good stewards of our lands,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, wrote of the proposal.  “I believe it’s a conservative principle to conserve,” Daines wrote. “That’s why I’m pushing a new ‘Western Conservation Principles’ initiative that uses science-based, time-tested, locally driven practices to bring about meaningful conservation outcomes, unlike President Biden’s vague 30×30 initiative.” Daines co-authored the 9-page document with Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington. The version released

Senate Republicans, led by Daines, move to block reported $450k payments to illegal immigrants

Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., on Wednesday moved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which would bar a reported plan by the Biden administration to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to illegal immigrants who were separated at the border – just as President Biden strongly denied the report. The amendment would prohibit cash settlements resulting from the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy — which in some cases led to children and their parents or guardians being separated. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services