Author Archives: Peggy Trenk

BLM reopens public input on rule-making

Source:  Helena Independent Record, Tuesday, July 4, 2017       By:  Rob Chaney

MISSOULA – After interrupting its “Planning 2.0” process just as it was getting started, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has announced a new round of public ideas to shape its decision-making system.

“Our goal is to identify inefficiencies and redundancies that should be eliminated from our land use planning and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) processes, while ensuring that we fulfill our legal and resource stewardship responsibilities,” acting BLM Director Michael Nedd wrote in a press release on Monday.

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Much Ado About Nothing

Source:  Montana Petroleum Report, June 14, 2017    Montana Petroleum Association

Contact:  Jessica Sena (406) 590-8675

It’s become difficult to decipher between reality and alarmism these days.  To add insult to injury, President Trump can’t seem to take two steps without being ridiculed from every direction.

The latest point of contention has been his decision to disengage from the Paris Climate Accord (PCA).  But is all the noise justified?  Perhaps not, and here’s why.

First, the agreement is called an “accord” in the United States, rather than a treaty.  This is significant because the difference is that a treaty must be ratified by the U.S. Senate.  Fearing rejection in Congress, former Secretary of State, John Kerry argued against binding targets to reduce emissions such as those in the Kyoto Protocol.  As an “accord”, the President could bypass Congress and commit $1 billion in taxpayer dollars towards the $100 billion-dollar goal promised by signors of the climate agreement to assist developing nations in reaching their respective climate goals.  That’s $1 billion dollars that could have been used on research and development of innovative and emerging energy technologies on American soil.

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Interior Chief to Review Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan

Source: Matthew Daly,  Associated Press       June 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday he is ordering a review of federal efforts to conserve the imperiled sage grouse to ensure that officials in 11 Western states where the bird lives are fully consulted.

While the federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to protect the ground-dwelling bird, “we also have a responsibility to be a good neighbor and partner,” Zinke said. 

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Daines Picked to Lead Parks Committee

Source:  Helena Independent Record   February 1, 2017    By: Rob Chaney, The Missoulian

MISSOULA – Montana Sen. Steve Daines has been appointed chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on National Parks.  The panel has oversight of the National Park System, Wild and Scenic River System, National Trails System, historic sites, military battlefields and the Land and Water Conservation Fund reports to the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Republican Daines also sits on Public Lands, Forests and Mining, and Subcommittee on Energy. 

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2017 Legislative Leaders Elected

The Montana State Senate and House of Representatives elected their leadership for the 2017 Legislative Session on Monday, November 14, 2016.  They are:

House of Representatives:

Speaker:  Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson

Speaker Pro-Tem:  Greg Hertz, R-Polson

Majority Leader:  Ron Ehli, R-Hamilton

Majority Whips: Alan Doane, R-Glendive; Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton; Seth Berglee, R-Joliet; Brad Tschida, R-Missoula

Minority Leader:  Jennifer Eck, D-Helena

Minority Whips:  Casey Schreiner, D-Great Falls; Nate McConnell, D-Missoula; Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula

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MT Officials Fault EPA

November 5, 2016  Helena Independent Record    By Holly Michels

On Wednesday (November 2) Montana’s attorney general and the Public Service Commission joined several other states in submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency, criticizing the agency for ignoring the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay of the agency’s proposed carbon emissions regulations.

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Daines Urges Colleagues to Reverse the Ninth Circuit’s Cottonwood Decision

U.S. Senate – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today urged the members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to reverse the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disastrous Cottonwood Decision.  In a memo to his colleagues, Daines underscored the critical nature of quick action to avoid further crippling of federal land management across Ninth Circuit states, and demonstrate why Congress should statutorily reverse the decision this year.

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Daines, Feinstein Call on Energy Conferees to Accelerate Forest Management, Fix Wildfire Funding

Earlier this month Montana Senator Daines and Senator Feinstein from California sent a letter to the Energy Bill Conferees.  They asked the conferees to fix wildfire funding, accelerate responsible management, and address litigation challenges.  This bipartisan letter is part of Senator Daines’ overall effort to reform forest management.  

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City of Helena Adopts Smith River Resolution

October 18, 2016  Helena Independent Record   By Tom Kuglin, IR

Following lengthy public comment (including comments from TSRA’s Executive Director in opposition), the Helena City Commission adopted a resolution Monday evening calling for assurance that a proposed Meagher County copper mine will not harm the Smith River.

Commissioners Robert Farris-Olsen, Ed Noonan and Andres Haladay voted in favor of the resolution while Mayor Jim Smith and Commissioner Dan Ellison opposed.  

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