Tuesday: Chippy Restoration, County Budget, Indian Gangs

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Montana’s Department of Natural Resources are in the final stages of salvage, restoration and recovery for state lands hit by the Chippy Creek fire two years ago. The Flathead County commission unanimously approved a $71.5 million preliminary expenditure budget last week – an approximately $630,000 decrease off last year’s spending. New toilets are among improvement projects planned for Logan Pass, in Glacier National Park. A new study shows that treating security the same at both the Mexican and Canadian borders with the U.S. has slowed commerce and trade.

American Indian gang activity is on the rise across the country’s reservations. Gov. Brian Schweitzer may ask the EPA to clean up lead and arsenic contamination at a defunct Great Falls smelter under Superfund authority. Edra Blixseth of the Yellowstone Club is back in bankruptcy court today. The Missoulian’s Rob Chaney has more info on Sen. Jon Tester’s possible new wilderness bill, which his staff say could be more accurately termed a “forest jobs and stewardship” bill. The Billings Gazette has a great story about the tough market facing the eastern part of the state’s dairy producers. And in Miles City, the mayor is trying to save the old BNSF depot, which the railway company plans to tear down.