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U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

On Thursday morning, Congressman Ryan Zinke issued his first press release since media outlets broke the news he was President Elect Donald Trump’s top pick for Secretary of the Interior. In it, he wrote, "I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve Montana and America as Secretary of Interior."

The confirmation unleashed a mixed bag of reactions.

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters backed off from another potential confrontation with law enforcement Monday afternoon. The two sides had already clashed late Sunday night into early this morning, reportedly leaving several people injured.

"It’s getting real over here once again," says David Yelloweyes of Lame Deer, MT.

Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and Devon Energy CEO David Hager sign a ceremonial document at the Department of Interior Headquarters in Washington DC, Wednesday morning, as Blackfeet leadership stand behind
U.S. Department of the Interior

The United States Department of the Interior has announced a negotiated settlement with an energy company that cancels 15 of the remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area just east of Glacier National Park. 

Jeff Essmann, chairman of the Montana Republican Party.
Courtesy Montana Legislature

Montana’s Republican leadership says GOP wins here on Election Day are helping advance their long-term plan of tipping the state from at times purple, to completely red.

Republicans swept all of the statewide positions outside of the governor’s office on Election Day, while continuing their majority in the state Legislature. They also maintained their monopoly in the Public Service Commission.

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

The federal government says a lawsuit challenging their authority to deny an oil and gas lease in the Badger- Two Medicine area next to Glacier National Park should not go to trial.

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company agreed to pay 12-million dollars to the federal government and the state of Montana to resolve claims that stem from a 2011 pipeline break that spilled crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Laurel.

A proposed consent decree was filed in U.S. District Court on September 21, 2016 to address the natural resource damage.

An onlooker watches as Matt Roberts and Jason Begay, center, interview Syracuse journalism student Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, about her eyewitness account of the clash between protestors and Dakota Access Pipeline security  on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.
Courtesy Olivia Vanni/Montana Journalism Review

There are now thousands of people protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Last weekend, a team of student reporters from the University of Montana made the 12-hour drive to the Sacred Stone Camp to cover the media’s coverage of the protest.

The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota are drawing hundreds of people from across the country, including Montana’s Indian reservations.
Courtesy Orlando Avery

The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota are drawing hundreds of people from across the country, including Montana’s Indian reservations. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet spoke with a Flathead Reservation resident who’s there now.

Cows, Dogs, and 'The Montana Posse' Harass Hiker

May 18, 2016

In September 2012, Ken Ilgunas stuck out his thumb in Denver, Colorado, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta tar sands. After being duly appalled, he commenced to walk nearly 2,000 miles, (mostly) following the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

It would become a 4.5 month journey across the Great Plains. To follow the pipe, he couldn't take roads. Instead, he walked across fields, grasslands, and private property. He had to trespass across America.

Climate Activists Debate Over Tactics

May 3, 2016
About 60 people gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn to promote renewable energy. The March 29, 2016 rally was sponsored by the Northern Plains Resource Council.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

The debate about whether or not humans are warming the planet is essentially over – 97 percent of climate scientists agree that we are. But the debate over tactics, about how to reduce our carbon emissions, is just starting to heat up.

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