In The News


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


'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


Daines listens to anxious West Glacier business community

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines visited West Glacier on Friday morning to meet with local business leaders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of Glacier National Park. About a dozen members of the West Glacier business community joined Montana's Republican senator at Glacier Outdoor Center for the roundtable. All expressed concerns and frustrations over the way COVID-19 has impacted the local economy and their businesses. Jeff Baldelli, co-owner of Glacier Raft Company and the Glacier Ou… Continue Reading


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


Senators: Trump reverses on Guard COVID active duty

Montana's U.S. senators have said the Trump administration has reversed course on plans to limit the length of service for National Guard members during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving them access to additional federal benefits. To assist local and state governments in their response to the national health emergency, troops from the Army and Air National Guards across 54 states and territories, including Montana, have been put on state active duty or mobilized under Title 32 orders. Title 32 orde… Continue Reading


West Glacier businesses meet with Daines to discuss GNP opening date

A handful of West Glacier businesses met with Montana Sen. Steve Daines on Friday to express frustration and concern over an opening date for Glacier National Park. MTN spoke with Gary Hamilton who is the CEO of Hamilton Group Limited, a souvenir manufacturing company that relies on Glacier Park tourism. "With respect to the park we're in a very difficult situation," he said. "The park is not open and they're hopeful for some time of reopening in June. A lot of the customers we deal with in an… Continue Reading


'It's kind of a scary time': Glacier-area businesses await reopening

WEST GLACIER - Normally, Montana House is the only business in Glacier National Park's Apgar Village that is open year-round. But these are not normal times. "This would be, for the early season, a very busy weekend," said Monica Jungster, owner of the craft shop. Friday brought temperatures in the 70s, plenty of sunshine and just a wisp of breeze to Glacier National Park's western gateway. But with Glacier still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only ones there to enjoy it were a handf… Continue Reading


Daines, Tester say U.S. Postal Service must be preserved

HELENA - Montana's two U.S. senators say Congress must act to salvage the Postal Service, which is bleeding cash and says it needs a $75 billion infusion. "Montanans rely on the U.S. Postal Service for everything from prescription-drug delivery to absentee voting," Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said Friday. "To say it is a crucial lifeline, especially for folks living in rural communities, would be an understatement." Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines also called the USPS "vital for a rural … Continue Reading


Helena brewery tells Daines he'd like longer PPP terms in future aid

About $82,000 from the federal Paycheck Protection Program allowed Helena brewery owner Max Pigman to keep all 13 of his production employees at work through the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Pigman told U.S. Sen. Steve Daines during a tour of Lewis and Clark Brewing Co. that he'd like to see another round of funding on an extended timetable as the state moves toward what's expected to be a slow economic recovery. "The worst thing that you fear as a business owner, as you grow a te… Continue Reading


Daines, Lewis & Clark Brewing highlight value of Paycheck Protection funding

HELENA - Max Pigman, owner of Helena's Lewis and Clark Brewing Company, says the COVID-19 pandemic hit at a difficult time for his business. "We were in a mode where our business was really growing well and we were just moving into new markets and just expanded into Las Vegas - and then all of a sudden the faucet got turned off," he said. Pigman estimates Lewis and Clark lost at least 12% to 15% of its expected revenue from brewing, and the company is seeing smaller profit margins because it h… Continue Reading


MT conservation groups throw support behind permanent outdoor funding

LOLO - Montana conservation groups are throwing their support behind a bill that would provide permanent financial support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The groups say the Great American Outdoors Act would resolve the uncertainty that's existed for the important pot of money for the past several years. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) is a co-sponsor of the measure which has bi-partisan support in the Senate as a means to permanently pay for the LCWF. That money, which is genera… Continue Reading


Senator: SpaceX mission includes single-use lockers built in part by Montana students

A little bit of Montana will be heading skyward soon as part of historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station, a U.S. senator said. The mission, known as DM-2, will include single-use lockers built in part by students from Billings and Helena, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a news release. This was done through NASA's High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware program. Wednesday's launch was called off with less than 17 minutes to go in the countdown because… Continue Reading


Daines hopes bi-partisan measure will specifically help small business hit by COVID-19

While the CARES Act approved by Congress during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic provided a broad shot of financial help for individuals up to large businesses, there have still been reports of some small businesses that continue to struggle. Montana Senator Steve Daines is hoping a bill he's co-sponsoring with New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker will help fill some of those gaps. The Small Business Local Relief Fund would target $50 billion in economic relief to "seed and scale"… Continue Reading


Daines visits trail project site ahead of vote for permanent LWCF funding

MISSOULA, Mont. - Sen. Steve Daines is one of more than 50 senators hoping to see the Great American Outdoors Act pass in the U.S. Senate next month. He calls it one of the greatest conservation acts in decades and on Wednesday visited one of the Montana sites it would fund. The Lolo Phase II Trail LWCF Project is a priority project for fiscal year 2021. It would add about 8,000 acres to the existing site near Lolo. It's just one that would be funded by the LWCF if the act gets through the Sena… Continue Reading

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