Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Commerce


Out-of-state tourism in Montana has grown almost 25 percent over the last decade but most of it is concentrated near Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. People in the eastern part of the state are trying to attract more tourists with something many Americans are losing: a dark night sky.

U.S. Census hiring week kicked off Monday. Across the country that means the launch of targeted television ads and posters aimed at getting people to apply for the half a million temporary jobs the Census Bureau needs to fill before next spring.

The Republican National Committee is sending out policy surveys with the option of enclosing $15 for processing a "Census Document." The Montana Department of Commerce is reminding Montana residents the actual U.S. Census will begin in March 2020 and will not ask for any money.

Sign saying "Welcome to Blackfeet Indian Country."
Will Marlow (CC-BY-NC-2)

The U.S. Census Bureau is starting to hire workers to complete the 2020 enumeration that will determine  billions of dollars in funding to the state and whether Montana receives a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

However, new data gathering methods may make it harder for some people living on Native American reservations and some rural areas to be counted.

The U.S. Census Bureau is starting the process to hire people to count Montana’s population in the upcoming 2020 Census.

Montana's outdoor recreation activities.
Outdoor Recreation And Montana's Economy report, Headwaters Economics.

A growing set of business owners, non-profits and agencies in Montana are trying to expand what we think of when we talk about the economic value of the outdoors here.

Marne Hayes is the executive director for Business for Montana’s Outdoors, a group that advocates for preserving Montana’s outdoor heritage. She says Montana itself — its rivers, forests and wide open spaces — offers a competitive advantage for attracting new businesses and a talented workforce to Montana.

State budget cuts mean the Montana Indian Language Program has less than half the funding it had in previous years to try to stop the rapid decline of native language speakers. State lawmakers got an update from people who work with that program Thursday.

Casey Lozar, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes who also works as an advisor on tribal policy in the Department of Commerce, says there has become an urgency to their work in the language preservation program.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A legislative audit released Wednesday found over $1.5 billion worth of financial reporting errors in nearly $18 billion of Montana state and local government investments.

The Montana State Board of Investments has the sole authority to invest nearly $18 billion in public retirement system money and state workers compensation insurance funds.

Sign saying "Welcome to Blackfeet Indian Country."
Will Marlow (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana Department of Commerce is creating a new position to promote tourism in Indian Country.

Casey Lozar with the Department of Commerce says the new Tribal Tourism Officer will develop culturally appropriate visitor orientation and tourism services in cooperation with the eight Native American nations in Montana.

Residents in Kalispell asked for more affordable housing as well as programs for kdis and seniors November 2 at the annual community needs assessment meeting.
(PD)

A public hearing in Kalispell Thursday highlighted the need for more affordable housing and additional space for programs in the city for youth and seniors.

During Kalispell’s annual community needs assessment on how to spend federal grant money about two dozen Flathead Valley residents spoke about the general need for more space.

Pages