MTPR

Government Shutdown

Glacier Park's Lake McDonald.
Glacier National Park (PD)

Yellowstone National Park reports that it experienced another busy year last year. The park recorded over 4.1 million visits. That’s a 0.04-percent decrease from 2017 and a 3.5 percent decrease from the record-breaking year in 2016. It was the third busiest year on record.

Wyoming Bill Allows Takeover Of National Parks During Shutdown

Feb 6, 2019
Yellowstone National Park sign.
Flickr user lance_mountain (CC-BY-NC-ND)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Proposed legislation that would allow the state of Wyoming to take over operation of Yellowstone National Park and other federal facilities during a federal government shutdown has been approved by the state Senate.

Senate File 148 passed on a 17-12 vote Wednesday and now goes to the state House of Representatives for further debate.

Toll Of Government Shutdown Still Being Tallied At National Parks

Jan 30, 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park explore the boardwalks near Old Faithful.
Courtesy National Park Service

Update: The original story, published Jan. 30, was updated on Jan. 31, with an additional statement from Sen. Steve Daine's office.

WEST YELLOWSTONE — Federal employees have returned to work at public lands throughout the nation, but the cost of keeping national parks open during the record-length partial government shutdown remains unknown.

Sen. Tester urges the crowd to advocate for LWCF funding at an August 24, 2015 rally in Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

The bipartisan congressional panel that will determine the fate of President Donald Trump’s demand for an almost $6 billion border wall holds its first meeting Wednesday. And Montana’s senior Senator, Jon Tester, has a seat at that table.

Glacier National Park sign.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

National Parks in Montana are re-opening visitor centers and assessing how to move forward following the longest federal government shutdown in history.

Blue skies and sunshine made a rare appearance in Glacier National Park Monday morning as staff there returned to work after the 35 day partial federal government shutdown.

File photo of Forest Service helicopter crews practicing medical evacuation west of Missoula, MT. The government shutdown has put a halt to much of the Forest Service's wildfire training.
Lane Lamoreaux (PD)

Union representatives of Montana’s 7,000 federal workers impacted by the federal government shutdown say they’re pleased President Donald Trump has agreed to put them back to work for three weeks and authorize back pay. But they say questions still abound and damage has already been done.

iStock

Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, is only cautiously optimistic about the deal to end the 35 day partial government shutdown. In a statement released Friday, Tester described it as, "Only a short-term fix to this irresponsible government shutdown." 

The Republican members of Montana’s delegation, Rep. Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines, issued separate statements of support for the deal, saying it will give both parties a chance to negotiate in good faith.

Hay field. File photo.
PD

The U.S Department of Agriculture reopens all of its Farm Service Agency offices starting Thursday, Jan. 24. Nearly 10,000 FSA employees will come back to work, but won’t get paid until after the shutdown ends.

Hemp plant.
iStock

Montana’s senior U.S. senator wants to ensure the ongoing partial government shutdown doesn’t hamper farmers’ ability to grow hemp.

Specifically, Democrat Jon Tester wants to make sure hemp growers have access to federal Bureau of Reclamation water.

Screenshot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELhn51G0Xwc

Food and medication distribution and substance abuse counseling programs for Native Americans are being put on hold due to the federal government shutdown, panelists told members of the U.S. House Tuesday.

Aaron Payment, a board member of the National Congress of American Indians, testified before Democratic members of the House at the D.C. hearing.

"This is a crisis like we’ve never seen," said Payment.

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