MTPR

U.S. Department of Interior

Missoula County Courthouse.
Cheri Trusler / Montana Public Radio

The federal government is awarding Montana $34 millon of PILT funding this year. That’s a 15-percent drop from last year’s record-high allocation.

PILT stands for 'Payment in Lieu of Taxes.' These are payments awarded to counties with federal lands that aren’t taxable by local governments.

Vanessa Fields, planning team leader for the National Bison Range, presenting at the public meeting in Polson May 1, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio


The latest step in a years-long process laying out the future of the National Bison Range Monday night dredged up questions of race and public land ownership that have lingered since a failed 2016 proposal to transfer the refuge to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. 

Former US Interior Boss Parlays Post Into Private Career

Apr 24, 2019
Former Interior secretary and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

Corrected April 24, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is quickly parlaying his time in President Donald Trump's cabinet into a lucrative private career.

He's landed a more than $100,000-a-year post at a Nevada mining company and is pursuing involvement in natural gas exports that have surged under Trump, Zinke told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Jill Smail is the lead negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty for the U.S. State Department.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

U.S. and Canadian officials are holding closed door meetings Wednesday and Thursday in British Columbia on the Columbia River Treaty. Tribes across the Northwest hope the outcomes include their demands for a healthy environment. 

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Conservation groups are asking a federal judge to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on energy companies that were meant to protect a struggling Western bird species.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project, Prairie Hills Audubon Society and two other groups made the request Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.

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