In The News


Daines proposes legislation to reverse Cottonwood decision

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) on June 24 led a Republican bill that would remove the so-called Cottonwood decision, which the senator considers a roadblock to responsible forest management efforts on federal lands. "Even the Obama Administration agreed that the Cottonwood decision was flawed and crippled forest management," Sen. Daines said last week. "This law has tied the hands of our land managers, prevented them from following the best available science in management decisions, and diverted… Continue Reading


Bill to Settle CSKT Water Rights Gains Senate Committee Support

A $1.9 billion measure to help settle a long-disputed water rights deal between the state and federal governments and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes received its first congressional hearing on June 24, with both of Montana's U.S. senators and a senior Interior Department official praising the legislation as the best course of action to avoid costly litigation, modernize outmoded irrigation systems in the Flathead Valley and mitigate historic damage to natural resources. Introduced … Continue Reading


Sen. Daines visits local business to highlight federal relief

Several employees stood among wooden dressers, dining room tables, couches and chairs to greet Sen. Steve Daines as he visited the showroom for Black Timber Furniture in Four Corners on Friday morning. Black Timber Furniture received $65,000 from the federal paycheck protection program, a $349 billion initiative that provides loans to small businesses. The program was part of the $2.2 trillion congressional coronavirus relief package. When Gov. Steve Bullock issued a stay-at-home order in late… Continue Reading


Sen. Daines introduces bill in effort to save Montana's pro baseball teams

GREAT FALLS - On Thursday, Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill in an effort to save Montana's Pioneer Baseball League teams. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to prevent Major League Teams from receiving benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program or any lending programs from the CARES Act. Daines said in a press release that the bill is intended to pressure MLB to keep its minor league affiliations after proposed cuts, including those to the Great Falls Voyagers, Billings Mustan… Continue Reading


Daines' bill would cut Paycheck Protection loans if Minor League teams get contracted

It was just a matter of time before someone in Congress brought out the heavy artillery in the plight of 42 cities who stand to lose their Minor League Baseball teams if Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has his way. Leave it to someone from Montana to do it. On Thursday, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R, MT) has introduced legislation which, if passed, would amend the Small Business Act to prohibit MLB teams from receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program if any minor leag… Continue Reading


Border Patrol Extends Restrictions At Northern Ports Of Entry

Six ports of entry between Montana and Canada will continue to operate at reduced hours through July 21. Travel between the two countries is still restricted to essential only amid the new coronavirus pandemic.U.S. Customs and Border Protection reached an agreement with Canada on June 16 to extend the ban on non-essential travel for another 30 days. The limited hours of operation continue for ports of entry Raymond, Opheim, Morgan, Turner, Del Bonita, and Piegan in Montana and Porthill in Idaho… Continue Reading


Congress, rail passenger association question Amtrak cutting schedule

Amtrak has announced it will reduce service on its long-distance trains including The Empire Builder that runs along Montana's Hi-Line en route from Chicago to Portland and Seattle. Amtrak plans to reduce long-distance services to three days a week starting Oct. 1. "Due to the long-term impact of COVID-19 on ridership, Amtrak has made the decision to operate with reduced capacity through Fiscal Year 21," Amtrak Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Public Relations Manager Marc Magli… Continue Reading


Guest view: Great American Outdoors Act took bipartisan push

Once again public lands brought a divided government together. We saw this last week as I helped bring my colleagues from both sides of the aisle together to pass the bipartisan "Great American Outdoors Act" out of the U.S. Senate. This is one of the greatest conservation victories in fifty years, and the strong, bipartisan support we saw in the Senate last week shows that even during some of the starkest political divides in our nation, we can come together to do what's right. As a fifth-gene… Continue Reading


Daines introduces bill in effort to preserve minor league baseball in Montana

BILLINGS - U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is making another push to preserve affiliated professional baseball in Montana. Daines, a Montana Republican, introduced the "Support Baseball in Communities Act" on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The bill would deem Major League Baseball teams ineligible to participate or benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program or emergency lending programs within Title IV of the CARES Act if it moves forward with plans to reduce the number of minor league franchises across… Continue Reading


Montana businesses have received more than $2 billion in federal aid

Montana businesses have received more than $1.75 billion in mostly no-payback federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to figures released this week. The U.S. Small Business Administration reported Monday that 22,583 loans had been issued to Montana businesses. The program is by far the largest source of small business assistance offered by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By comparison, the state government received $1.25 billion to cover COVID-… Continue Reading


MT Water Rights Protection Act touted as 'permanent solution' to Flathead water dispute

MISSOULA - We're still short of final action. However, that proposal for a nearly $2 billion plan to settle tribal water rights in the Flathead Basin took a major step forward on Wednesday. Trump Administration officials tell the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee the proposal could avoid decades of litigation and save taxpayers billions of dollars. It was just over a year ago Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, a sweeping bill that aims to resolve d… Continue Reading


Daines bill would undo 9th Circuit ruling on thinning

Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines will introduce legislation today to remove a potential roadblock to forest management projects on federal land. Daines' bill would remove a requirement - imposed as a result of a lawsuit five years ago - that the Forest Service consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service on land management plans when "new information" emerges about potential effects on endangered species. In practice, the requirement means the Forest Service must reconsult with the Fish and … Continue Reading


CSKT Water Rights Bill Gets First Hearing In Congress

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee held its first hearing Wednesday on the Montana Water Rights Protection Act. The legislation would settle long-disputed water rights claims of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The bill would prevent costly litigation over thousands of water rights claims filed by the tribes, and would fund the rehabilitation of the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project. Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines spent much of his time during the hearing asking U.S. D… Continue Reading


Senator wants harsher fines for helicopter landings

Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana introduced legislation Monday that would impose stiffer fines for landing unauthorized aerial vehicles in national forest wilderness areas. The proposal comes after Samuel Schwerin, 48, landed a helicopter last month in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in northwest Montana. A horseback rider alerted the Forest Service after seeing the helicopter parked alongside the Flathead River, according to a Justice Department news release. "Wilderness areas were create… Continue Reading


Montana receiving $1M to combat meth crisis

Montana's U.S. senators announced that $1 million in federal funding is on the way to the state to to help communities combat meth use and trafficking in Montana. Sens. Jon Tester, D- Mont., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced that a $1 million U.S. Department of Justice grant was awarded to the state. The grant is from the Community-Oriented Policing Service - COPS - Anti-Meth Task Force funding, awarded will help stem the flow of meth and other dangerous drugs into Montana communities and h… Continue Reading


New state-of-the-art VA Center on track to open in Bozeman by summer of 2021

BOZEMAN- A new veterans Community-Based Outpatient Clinic will replace the existing VA clinic in Bozeman. The new 12,000 square foot facility will be twice the size of the former location and will offer primary care, behavioral health, laboratory and telehealth services to veterans. Both senators from Montana, Senator Tester and Senator Daines, were involved in helping to open the facility. "I'm excited to announce that Bozeman is on track to receive a new, state-of-the-art facility to serve… Continue Reading


'We want people to come back.' Assistant Interior Secretary says national parks are safe

If this were a normal year, Montana's national parks and recreation areas would already be filled nearly to capacity. The visitors center at Logan Pass would be crowded with motorists pausing midway through their journey across Going-to-the-Sun Road. The ring of cash registers would echo throughout cafes and souvenir shops in West Yellowstone, and the docks at Ok-A-Beh Marina would be filled with boaters preparing to explore Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. However, the summer of 2020 … Continue Reading


Montana Senators make case for CSKT Water Compact in Washington, DC

U.S. SENATE - At a U.S. Senate Hearing today, the Trump administration expressed support for U.S. Senator Steve Daines' bipartisan bill, the "Montana Water Rights Protection Act," which permanently settles the century-long Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) water dispute. At the hearing, Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Tim Petty discussed the benefits of the bill which will create more than 6,000 jobs, modernize critical NW Montana infrastructure, avoid costly litigati… Continue Reading


Montana receiving health care training funds

Montana's U.S. senators announced Monday that Montana universities are receiving nearly $1 million in federal funding for health care workforce training. Releases from the offices of Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., said University of Montana in Missoula will receive $438,278 and Montana State University in Bozeman will receive $344,880. The release from Tester's office said UM's funding will be for a program that trains medical residents in rural and underserved areas, an… Continue Reading


Daines to introduce bill raising fine for landing aircraft in wilderness areas

Montana's Republican Sen. Steve Daines announced Friday a plan to introduce a bill increasing the penalties for landing aircraft in designated wilderness areas. Landing a helicopter in a wilderness area is considered a federal misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine, six months in prison or both. Daines' bill will propose raising that fine to $20,000. "Montanans value wilderness for the solitude it provides and the adventure that is involved to travel to so many beautiful loca… Continue Reading

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