MTPR

Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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A portion of the area north and west of Deer Lodge where Montana's DEQ plans to start work this fall
Montana DEQ

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality is preparing to haul 20,000 semi-truck loads of contaminated soil from the banks of the Clark Fork River in and around Deer Lodge.

State Budget Director Dan Villa and State Health Department Director Sheila Hogan hear input on how to allocate $45 million in restored state funding at a listening session in Helena, MT August 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / MTPR

"This has been a very difficult year," says Sheila Hogan, director of Montana's state health department.

She was talking to hundreds of people online and in a hotel ballroom in Helena who were not shy about telling her just how tough their year has been. They were people impacted by a nearly three percent cut in payments to people and organizations that help Montanans on Medicaid.

Yellowstone National Park Fire Ecologist Becky Smith in an area that burned in 1988, and again in 2016
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

This year is the 30th anniversary of the fires that burned nearly half of Yellowstone National Park in 1988.

They freaked a lot of people out. Media coverage at the time characterized the fires as causing unprecedented devastation and the destruction of park forests and wildlife habitat. 

A stack of logs.
(PD)

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of an environmental group challenging a timber and forest thinning project in the Kootenai National Forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that that Forest Service, “acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” by failing to determine whether the East Reservoir Project will result in new roads that will exceed a cap on them meant to preserve grizzly bear habitat.

The candidates for Montana’s seat in the U.S. House, Kathleen Williams and Greg Gianforte, have released their latest fundraising numbers, and Montana State University Political Science Professor David Parker says there’s a pretty big surprise in them. I spoke with him earlier today.

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