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Frank Church Wolves (part 1)
11:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Idaho officials want to eliminate two wolf packs in a popular wilderness area

Radio-collared wolf born in Idaho, later migrated to Montana
Credit Idaho Fish and Game

Should a state have the right to hire a professional to kill wolves in a federally designated wilderness area, to enhance the area's elk population for recreational hunters? 

As we reported yesterday, some conservation groups think not, and are suing federal and Idaho state officials over Idaho's plan to track and kill wolves from two packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.

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2014 Election
11:06 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The 2014 election officially begins

Rep. Austin Knudsen (R-Culbertson) speaks during a Thursday news conference held by GOP legislative candidates.
Dan Boyce

UPDATE 5:30 PM

The Secretary of State's Office has reported a total of 139 Montana candidates filed to run during the first day they could officially do so.

Republican legislative candidates at a news event Thursday afternoon said Montana voters are tired of what they call failed liberal policies both in the state and in Washington D.C.

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Commentary - January 9th, 2014
10:38 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Fracking: America’s new “F” word

Since the release of the film Gasland, the 60 year old petroleum extraction process of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking” has been lighting up the media like the flaming faucets used to scare energy consumers.

Fracking, a post drilling injection that pumps pressurized water, sand, and publicly disclosed chemicals into tight formations several thousand feet below ground, is being used today with another innovation; horizontal drilling, to take America from energy scarcity, to energy abundance.

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Flathead Water Compact
9:33 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Lawmakers, public still divided on Flathead water compact

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

A committee of state lawmakers said this week they still don’t they have enough information to recommend passage of the long-awaited Flathead Water Rights Compact.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation submitted a report to the Water Policy Interim Committee which was intended to answer lawmaker’s questions about the compact after the document was tabled by the 2013 Legislature. Committee Chairman Sen. Chas Vincent (R-Libby) said the report did not fully accomplish that goal.

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Tourism
1:43 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Montana tourism strong last year, hopes high for 2014

Norma Nickerson
Credit UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Research shows 2013 was a good year for Montana tourism and early signs suggest another positive year's in store for the industry.
    This according to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana.

ITRR director, Norma Nickerson, says Montana's tourism-driven businesses seem optimistic about what's in store for 2014.
    In this interview with Edward O'Brien, Nickerson discusses these generally positive trends and the factors used to determine them.

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Wolf Lawsuit
11:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Wolves in a federal wilderness: should they be left alone or managed?

Some conservation groups are suing federal and Idaho state officials over Idaho's plan to track and kill wolves from two packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.
     The lawsuit, filed by Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch on Monday, asks the judge to stop the extermination immediately to give the case time to work through the courts.

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Historical Nonfiction
5:58 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Massacre and a Generation-Spanning History of Native-White Intermarriage

The Red and The White: A Family Saga of the American West, by Andrew R. Graybill

Andrew R. Graybill talks about and reads from The Red and The White: A Family Saga of the American West, in which he writes about Malcolm Clarke and the Blackfoot Nation of Montana.

About the book:

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DNRC Water Plan
5:43 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What a new water plan could mean for state climate policy

The Montana Legislature's Water Policy Interim Committee meets Tuesday.
Credit Dan Boyce

A Democratic state representative believes a new water plan being developed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) may provide a vehicle for inserting more climate science into state policy.

On Tuesday, members of the legislature’s Water Policy Interim Committee heard presentations from several prominent state climate scientists on the future of agricultural water use. These addressed the changing of Montana’s mountain snowpack, key stresses on the state’s water sources, and projections of future water supply.

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Commentary - January 6th, 2014
2:17 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Sustainable growth in the forestry economy

With the global financial crisis of 2007 (hopefully) behind us, it is time to look at the future and what opportunities lay ahead for the forest products industry.

The world is increasingly becoming a single market, with interdependent production systems, consumption of similar goods and consumers responding to similar conditions.  We no longer compete only in a local economy.

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Kalispell Mini Maker Faire
2:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Montana's first "Makers Faire"

The Kalispell Mini Maker Faire follows in the tradition of the San Mateo, California Maker Faire which started in 2005 and has grown to feature more than 800 makers with nearly 110,000 people attending.
Credit Flickr / lemonkey

Inventors, practical science buffs, and “makers” of all kinds are invited to demonstrate their projects at an event called the Kalispell Mini Maker Faire.

The first Makers Faire happened in San Mateo, California in 2005. Now, it has featured more than 800-makers with nearly 110,000 attendees.

The World Maker Faire in New York has grown in three years to more than 500 makers with 55,000 attendees. 

Public Services Librarian April Szuch said the one planned for Kalispell will be much smaller, a Mini Maker Faire. She says it’s the first of its kind in Montana.

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