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Montana News

Statewide news from Montana Public Radio. Montana politics, Legislature and elections; healthcare; wildfire; public lands; and more.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says first amendment rights need to be protected as Pres. Donald Trump is calling for governors to respond with force to violent protests popping up around the nation in response to the death of George Floyd.

Pigs peeking out of a pen.

The Montana Department of Agriculture reports an influx of domestic pigs coming from Midwestern states where major processing plants are closed down due to COVID-19. Officials are reminding anyone buying pigs about livestock import requirements.

Two different versions of Montana conservatism have been butting heads for years in the statehouse. And they’ll be pitted against each other again in Tuesday's primary election as GOP voters choose them between factions of the Republican party – business-minded Republicans willing to work across the aisle and party hardliners who legislate with strict ideology.

Pistol stock photo.

Gun and ammunition sales are surging nationally, and Montana is no exception. According to the FBI there were over 3 million background checks last month, the highest for any May on record.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check system has logged over 15 million checks so far this year, putting 2020 on track to break last year’s high of 28 million.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

As bear activity is picking up across northwest Montana, grizzly bear managers are juggling the uncertain and unexpected impacts of COVID-19 on wild places.

On Friday, state, federal and tribal wildlife officials met remotely over Zoom for their semi-annual meeting. The group discussed how to manage the largest grizzly populations in the lower 48 states – the bears in and around Glacier National Park.

Map showing the vicinity of the propose Stovepipe Project on the Flathead National Forest.
U.S. Forest Service

The Flathead National Forest is proposing a fuels-reduction project in the northwest area of the Flathead Valley. The project includes commercial logging and road building.


Demonstrators continue to gather in cities across Montana in response to the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Aerial view of Deer Lodge, Montana.
Sam Beebe (CC-BY-2) /

A search for a Montana State Prison inmate who escaped from the prison’s work reentry center over the weekend continued Monday.

The novel coronavirus.
Centers For Disease Control

06/01/20 4:55 p.m.

More than two dozen cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in tests run Friday through Sunday in Montana, bringing the state's total to 519 cases. Most of the state’s 41 active cases are in Yellowstone and Big Horn Counties.  Two people are hospitalized.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump on Monday called governors weak and urged them to "dominate" to prevent further violent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.