In The News

06.17.20

Senate passage of $2.8B conservation plan praised in Montana

The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday sparked praise statewide, with Montana's two U.S. senators saying it was an example of Washington at its bipartisan best. The bill would spend about $900 million a year - double current spending - on the Land and, Water, Conservation Fund (LWCF), and make it a permanent fund. It would also spend another $1.9 billion per year on improvements at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and rangelands, the Associated P… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Montana delegation lauds passage of major conservation bill

Montana's congressional delegation and conservation groups applauded Thursday's passage of the Great American Outdoors Act by the U.S. Senate. The Senate voted 73-25 to pass the bill that fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually and removes it from the annual appropriation process. The bill also generates roughly $9.5 billion to finance backlogged maintenance on federal lands, including more than $6 billion toward the more than $12 billion backlog at nationa… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Daines Celebrates Senate Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

Montana Senator Steve Daines met with the media on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Senate's passage of the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act. "This has been a great day in the U.S. Senate," said Daines. "We made history today in the United States Senate by passing the Great American Outdoors Act. We had a strong bipartisan vote or 73 to 25 because this is a bipartisan bill that protects a critical conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Program." Daines described just one… Continue Reading


06.17.20

Senate Passes Bill Permanently Funding Public Land Management Programs

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a landmark bill to permanently fund public lands management programs and maintenance in national parks. Montana's U.S. senators, Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester, both voted in support of The Great American Outdoors Act. The Act received broad bipartisan support passing with a 73-25 vote. If approved by Congress and signed by president Donald Trump, the act promises $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF uses … Continue Reading


06.16.20

Want To Serve Your Country? Start A Business

Today is a great day to be an American entrepreneur. It might seem counterintuitive, with much of the country slowly re-emerging from months of physical and economic lockdown, businesses shuttered across the U.S. and some industries poised to never fully recover. At the same time, the attention of policymakers, advocates and lenders has never been more focused on small business owners. Entrepreneurs should make the most of this moment-not only for their own advancement, but to advance our natio… Continue Reading


06.16.20

Senators request telehealth access expansion be made permanent

Montana's U.S. senators issued press releases Monday announcing they are joining a bipartisan group of senators calling for the expansion of telehealth services included in response to the COVID-19 pandemic be made permanent. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., both joined in sending a letter to Senate leadership calling for making the expansion permanent. The releases said the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security - CARES - Act contained provisions to expand telehea… Continue Reading


06.16.20

$8 million project underway to repair St. Mary Canal collapse

HAVRE - If ever there was a summer when hundreds of Montana's Hi-Line farmers could use rain, it's this one. An $8 million infrastructure failure on the St. Mary Canal last month will restrict approximately 800 irrigators who work about 150,000 acres from Havre to Glasgow to about half the water they normally use during a season. The St. Mary Canal was built approximately 100 years ago to feed water from lakes Sherburne and St. Mary into the Milk River and make it possible for ag producers in… Continue Reading


06.13.20

Daines-sponsored $2.8B national parks bill gives Senate a chance to unite

At a time of national crises, the Senate has been able to come together on a topic both parties celebrate: the great outdoors. While the country copes with the coronavirus, an economic downturn and a reckoning over racism, lawmakers have reached bipartisan agreement on an election-year deal to double spending on a popular conservation program and devote nearly $2 billion a year to improve and maintain national parks. If approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, the Great Ameri… Continue Reading


06.12.20

Trump official visits Missoula, directs Forest Service to expedite environmental reviews

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, came to Missoula on Friday to issue a wide-ranging memorandum that directs the Forest Service to "expedite environmental reviews to support active management" and "increase the productivity of national forests and grasslands." Perdue was joined by Montana Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and a host of other officials and representatives from various agencies and industries, including the Montana Stockgrowers Assoc… Continue Reading


06.10.20

Senate to Vote on Historic Conservation Measure

As national parks begin reopening their gates amid public health concerns, many visitors seeking a respite from the urgency of a global pandemic may find their parks beset with crumbling roads or deteriorating buildings - problems that the U.S. Senate is poised to address this week. Americans emerging from lockdown are eager to explore their public lands, and a bipartisan coalition of senators has announced a conservation initiative that dedicates more than $9.5 billion to conserving and mainta… Continue Reading


06.10.20

U.S. Senate moves close to passage of landmark conservation bill

The U.S. Senate is moving toward passage of a major conservation bill. This week, federal lawmakers are considering the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide $900 million annually from oil and gas royalties to conservation projects and would allocate $9.5 billion over five years to deferred maintenance on public lands. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation soon. Montana Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester, both bill sponsors, have spoken in favor of its passage. On Tuesd… Continue Reading


06.09.20

Daines working to protect Montana’s public lands

If there's one thing that unites Montanans, it's our two iconic national parks, countless public lands, recreational sites and historical landmarks. It's our duty to protect our state's natural beauty. In Montana and all over the country, our national parks have fallen into disrepair. The National Parks Service has a deferred maintenance backlog of almost $12 billion, and in Montana specifically, has a backlog of more than $325 million. When our parks suffer, our environment does too. As of… Continue Reading


06.09.20

Montana senators push for LWCF, national parks' funding bill

Montana's two U.S. Senators were among lawmakers who took to the floor of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to urge passage of a bill to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and to partially fund maintenance backlogs at national parks and other federal lands. On Monday the Senate voted 80-17 to proceed with consideration of the Great American Outdoors Act. The bill, which has 59 co-sponsors, would fund LWCF at $900 million annually and remove it from the annual appropriation… Continue Reading


06.09.20

Parks, LWCF package on the move

PUBLIC LANDS PACKAGE ON THE MOVE: The Senate can formally begin debate over a massive public lands package, H.R. 1957 (116), after the measure cleared a key procedural hurdle Monday evening, 80-17. The bill, championed by Sens. Cory Gardner, Steve Daines and Joe Manchin, would permanently provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and billions for the nation to repair its crumbling public lands. Amendment suspense: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell h… Continue Reading


06.07.20

Justice Department looks at competition in beef industry

The U.S. Department of Justice wants information about cattle market competition from the four largest meat packers in the country. Last month President Trump, U.S. Senators, State Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked for an investigation. The Justice Department issued subpoenas to the four largest meat packers concerning allegations of price fixing livestock markets, according to the office of Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Four companies control more than 80 percent of… Continue Reading


06.05.20

Small business loan program extended

The Paycheck Protection Program has been given new life just ahead of the "use it, or pay it back" deadline for the small business loans. Part of the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program offered businesses no-payback loans to cover eight weeks of payroll and other select expenses. Provided 75% of the money went to payroll and the other 25% to things like rent and utilities, business owners didn't have to pay the money back. Money spent outside those… Continue Reading


06.04.20

Lands package reaches Senate floor. Now comes the hard part

Conservation advocates have been working for months to build a coalition capable of pushing a multimillion-dollar public lands package over the finish line. They anticipate seeing the culmination of these efforts in the coming days. Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to officially schedule S. 3422, the "Great American Outdoors Act," for floor consideration next week (E&E Daily, June 1). The bill would permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation… Continue Reading


06.04.20

Bill for greater PPP flexibility to support Montana small businesses heads to President’s desk

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today secured Senate passage of his bipartisan bill giving greater flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support and provide more relief for Montana's small businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The bipartisan bill now heads to President Trump's desk to be signed into law. "I'm glad to have secured passage of my bipartisan bill to increase flexibility in the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure Montana small businesses have th… Continue Reading


06.01.20

'It's been a long road': Billings widow finally holds her husband's lost remains

A Billings woman can finally get closure and plan her late husband's military memorial after his remains were finally returned back home after they were lost in the mail for two months. On Monday morning, a carrier with the United States postal service dropped off a cardboard box with the remains of Donald Tyler at the Billings residence of his wife, Christine Tyler. Tyler had been waiting since March to get the remains in her possession to plan a memorial service for Don, who served in the Ai… Continue Reading


05.30.20

Billings veteran's cremains are found and 'coming back home' after getting lost in the U.S. mail

BILLINGS - A Billings veteran, who died of COVID-19 in March and whose cremains got lost in the mail has been found and will be coming back home to Montana. On Thursday, MTN news spoke with Christine Tyler who lost her husband, Don to the virus while traveling abroad this March in Spain. She opted to have Don cremated and flown home with military tradition because he served in Vietnam. But on the way back to the United States, his body became lost at a United States Post office facility in Chi… Continue Reading

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