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Montana is located in the Northwestern region of the United States and on November 8th, 1889 became the forty-first state to enter into the union. The capital of Montana is Helena and its largest city is Billings. The current governor of Montana is Steve Bullock, a Democrat. The U.S. Senate race in Montana in 2014 is pivotal to determining which political party will control the Senate overall.

[[NRA Grades]] - Rankings of Montana

U.S. Senate Denny Rehberg (R) Grade: A+

	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jon Tester (D)

Grade: A-

	 	Status: Incumbent

U.S. House of Representatives At-Large

Steve Daines (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Kim Gillan (D) Grade: C
	 	Status: Candidate

Statewide Elections Governor & Lieutenant Governor

Rick Hill / Jon Sonju (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Steve Bullock / John Walsh (D) Grade: B-
	 	Status: Candidate

Tim Fox (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Pam Bucy (D) Grade: B-
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN Public Service Commission - District 3

Roger E. Koopman (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate

  • John Vincent (D)

Grade: C

	 	Status: Incumbent

2012: Montana General Election

President/Vice PresidentStatewideU.S. SenateU.S. HouseState SenateState House

State Senate District 2 Dee L. Brown (R) Grade: B+

	 	Status: Candidate
David B. Fern (D) Grade: B
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Bruce Tutvedt (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
Shannon Hanson (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Janna Taylor (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Nancy Lindsey (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Jennifer Fielder (R) Grade: A-

	Status: Candidate
Mark Sheets (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Rick Ripley (R)

Grade: B-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Ron Szabo (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 10 Wendy McKamey (R) Grade: B+
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Brad Hamlet (D)

Grade: B+

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Jonathan Windy Boy (D)

Grade: F

	 	Status: Incumbent

Don Richman (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Greg Jergeson (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

  • John Brenden (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Julie E. French (D) Grade: C-
	 	Status: Candidate

Matthew M. Rosendale, Sr. (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Fred Lake (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Taylor Brown (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Jean Lemire Dahlman (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Roger Webb (R) Grade: B+

	Status: Candidate
Wanda Grindle (D) Grade: F
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 26 Malcom “Mack” Long (R) Grade: C-
	 	Status: Candidate
Robyn Driscoll (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate

Elsie Arntzen (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate

  • Gary Branae (D)

Grade: F

	 	Status: Incumbent

Tom Tuck (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Mike Phillips (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate

Scott Sales (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Michael B. Comstock (D) Grade: B
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Debby Barrett (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Richard Turner (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 37 Daniel “D.J.” O'Neill (R) Grade: A-
	 	Status: Candidate
Jon C. Sesso (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jim Keane (D)

Grade: D

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 41 Mark Perea (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Christine Kaufmann (D)

Grade: F

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 43 Jonathan L. Arnold (R) Grade: A-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Gene Vuckovich (D)

Grade: D

	 	Status: Incumbent

Fred Thomas (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Dan Metully (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 46 Kevin Blackler (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate
Sue Malek (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 47 Fred Carl (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Dick Barrett (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 50 Niles Brush (R) Grade: B
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Cliff Larson (D)

Grade: D

	 	Status: Incumbent

State House District 1

  • Gerald (Jerry) Bennett (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent

  • Mike Cuffe (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Ronald K. McDole (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jerry O'Neil (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Zac Perry (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

Tim Baldwin (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Ed Lieser (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Keith Regier (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
James Mahnke (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Carl Glimm (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Brenda Talbert (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Randy Brodehl (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
Diane Frances Taylor (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Steve Lavin (R)

Grade: C-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Brittany MacLean (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Scott M. Reichner (R)

Grade: B

	 	Status: Incumbent
Rodrick Brosten (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Mark Blasdel (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Alexander William Schaeffer (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 11 Greg Hertz (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Bud Koppy (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Daniel R. Salomon (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Luke Walawander (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Pat Ingraham (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
Debra J. Achatz (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Nicholas Schwaderer (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Christine Johnson (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Joe Read (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
Forrestina “Frosty” Calf Boss Ribs (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Lila J. Evans (R)

Grade: C-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Lea Whitford (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Christy Clark (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Mike Hemming (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jesse O'Hara (R)

Grade: F

	 	Status: Incumbent
Colter McCarty (D) Grade: B
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 19 Roger A. Hagan (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Richard D. Liebert (D) Grade: B
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Steve Fitzpatrick (R)

Grade: C-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Lindsay Love (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 21 Steven R. Sem (R) Grade: C
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jean Price (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 22 George Paul (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Casey Schreiner (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 23 Patrick Flaherty (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Carlie Boland (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Brian Hoven (R)

Grade: C+

	 	Status: Incumbent
Tom Glover (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Cleve Loney (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Tom Jacobson (D) Grade: C-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Robert Mehlhoff (D)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent

  • Rob Cook (R)

Grade: B-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Roy Hollandsworth (R)

Grade: B

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Ryan Osmundson (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Todd Lark (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Bill Harris (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 31 Bridget Smith (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 32 Clarena M. Brockie (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Kris Hansen (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Brenda Skornogoski (D) Grade: D-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Wendy Warburton (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Karen S. Sloan (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 35 Mike L. Lang (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Floyd R. Hopstad (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Austin Knudsen (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent

David Halvorson (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate

Alan Doane (R) Grade: A-

	Status: Candidate
Jim Hicks (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Lee Randall (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent

  • Bill McChesney (D)

Grade: C-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Sterling Small (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Patricia Rae Peppers (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Carolyn Pease-Lopez (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Duane Ankney (R)

Grade: C-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Gary Perkins (D) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Jonathan McNiven (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Wallace Yovetich (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Tom Berry (R)

Grade: C

	 	Status: Incumbent
Carolee Hagstrom (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Clayton Fiscus (R) Grade: A-

	Status: Candidate

Daniel Zolnikov (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Dale E. Rumph (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Douglas Kary (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Rita Wells (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 49 Tim Stark (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Mary McNally (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

Dennis Robert Lenz (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Deborah D. Willis (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 51 Taj Mukadam (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Kelly McCarthy (D) Grade: C+
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 52 Kassidy Olson (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Virginia Court (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

Dave Hagstrom (R) Grade: B+

	Status: Candidate
Joseph Sands (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 54 David Lewis (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Margie MacDonald (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Cary Smith (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Bob Winger (D) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

Don Jones (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate

Sarah Laszloffy (R) Grade: A

	Status: Candidate
Sean Whiting (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Krayton Kerns (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Cole Olson (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Joanne G. Blyton (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Paul Beck (D) Grade: C-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • David Howard (R)

Grade: C

	 	Status: Incumbent
Jim Dickey (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Alan Redfield (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate

  • Dan Skattum (R)

Grade: A-

	Status: Incumbent
Reilly Neill (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Tom Burnett (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Frankie Wilmer (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 64 Clint Field (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Tom Woods (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 65 Nick Mahan (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Kathleen Williams (D)

Grade: D

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 66 Dave Ponte (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate
Jennifer “JP” Pomnichowski (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Gordon (Gordy) Vance (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent

  • Kelly Flynn (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent

  • Ted Washburn (R)

Grade: B+

	 	Status: Incumbent

Kerry E. White (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
April Buonamici (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Ray L. Shaw (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate

  • Jeffrey Welborn (R)

Grade: B-

	 	Status: Incumbent
Norma J. Duffy (D) Grade: C-
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 73 Gary Wold (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Pat Noonan (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Max Yates (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Ryan Lynch (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 75 Greg Miller (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Edith (Edie) McClafferty (D)

Grade: D

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 76 Amanda Curtis (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Kirk B. Wagoner (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Adam Lythgoe (D) Grade: F
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Steve Gibson (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Joe Cohenour (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 79 Mark Diaz (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Chuck Hunter (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Liz Bangerter (R)

Grade: D+

	 	Status: Incumbent
Kelsen Young (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 81 Ronald Lassle (R) Grade: A-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Galen Hollenbaugh (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

Samuel J. Hunthausen (R) Grade: B+

	Status: Candidate
Jenny Eck (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 83 Wylie Galt (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate
Marla C. Clark (D) Grade: A-
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Mike Miller (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Everett G. Sheets (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 85 John “Scott” Perkins (R) Grade: C+
	 	Status: Candidate
Gordon Pierson, Jr. (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 86 Elena Gagliano (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Kathy Swanson (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent

  • Pat Connell (R)

Grade: A

	Status: Incumbent
Jan Wisniewski (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Ron Ehli (R)

Grade: B+

	Status: Incumbent
Pam Erickson (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Nancy Ballance (R) Grade: AQ

	Status: Candidate
Peggy Steffes (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Edward Greef (R)

Grade: B

	 	Status: Incumbent
John D. Meakin (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

David “Doc” Moore (R) Grade: A-

	Status: Candidate
Chuck Erickson (D) Grade: C
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 92 Paul Varkuza (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Bryce Bennett (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 93 Brandon Simpson (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Douglas Coffin (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 94 Lyn Hellegaard (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Ellie Hill (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 95 Karen K. Meyer (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Tom Steenberg (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 96 Jon Baker (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Carolyn Squires (D)

Grade: D-

	 	Status: Incumbent
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 97 Gary E. Sanders (R) Grade: AQ
	 	Status: Candidate
Nancy Wilson (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
WHAT THE GRADES MEAN District 98 Larry Jones (R) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate
Jenifer Gursky (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

Gary Marbut (R) Grade: A+

	Status: Candidate
Kimberly Dudik (D) Grade: ?
	 	Status: Candidate

  • Champ Edmunds (R)

Grade: A+

	Status: Incumbent
Dave Andrews (D) Grade: D
	 	Status: Candidate

NRA gives $ to “Gun Control Baucus” by Gary Marbut, President, Montana Shooting Sports Association

Montana is located in the Northwestern region of the United States and on November 8th, 1889 became the forty-first state to enter into the union. The capital of Montana is Helena and its largest city is Billings. The current governor of Montana is Steve Bullock, a Democrat. The U.S. Senate race in Montana in 2014 is pivotal to determining which political party will control the Senate overall.


The eastern 60% of the state is flat prairie and is slowly losing population, It is filled with cattle ranches, wheat farms, and oil and gas wells. The leading city is Billings, a medical and commercial center. The climate is especially harsh in the wintertime.

The western 40% is mountainous and is growing rapidly in population. Its economy is based on tourism and retirement centers, with Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park as prime attractions. The old copper mining industry that made Butte notorious has disappeared, and the logging industry is fading in importance. The very long border with Canada is becoming economically important, as oil from Alberta is brought by pipeline to refineries in Billings and to points as far south as Houston.


Montana is rich in fossil fuel resources and renewable energy potential. Its geologic basins hold more than one-fourth of the Nation’s estimated recoverable coal reserves. Montana’s eastern basins also hold large deposits of oil and gas. Rivers flowing from Montana’s Rocky Mountains offer substantial hydroelectric power resources. Montana contains considerable wind energy potential throughout the State.<ref> See Energy Information Administration, State Report 2009</ref> Strong environmental interests (based in the western part of the state where there is little energy) have largely blocked the mining of coal and gas and are trying to stop pipelines from Canada. They instead want biofuels and wind power, which have not been profitable.

The state is a leader in CO2 sequestration, and has signed agreements with Saskatchewan so that CO2 will be piped into the state and stored for thousands of years.

Montana’s population is only 1 million and so total energy demand is low. However, the State economy is energy intensive and per capita energy consumption is relatively high. The industrial sector, which includes the energy-intensive mining industry, dominates State energy consumption.


Montana typically accounts for roughly 2% of annual U.S. crude oil production. Production is concentrated in the Williston Basin, which covers eastern Montana and western North Dakota and contains two of the Nation’s 100 largest oil fields. Several pipelines carry Williston production south to Wyoming and east to Midwest markets. Refineries near Billings supply regional markets with petroleum products, using crude oil brought in primarily from Wyoming and Alberta, Canada. During the winter months, Montana requires oxygenated motor gasoline in the Missoula area but allows the use of conventional motor gasoline in the rest of the State.

Natural Gas

Montana produces minor quantities of natural gas. Although production is low, demand is lower, and Montana ships nearly one-half of its natural gas output to out-of-State markets. Several natural gas pipeline systems pass through the State, transporting Canadian supplies to Midwest markets. About three-fifths of Montana households use natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating.

Coal, Electricity, and Renewables

Montana's coal industry began with discoveries in the 1860s through a growth period 1900-45, a 15-year decline, and an unbroken rise since 1968. Historically, coal mining has shifted from Western to Eastern Montana, from underground to surface mining, from bituminous coal to sub-bituminous and lignite, from locomotive and smelter fuel markets to thermal generation of electric power.<ref> Robert A. Chadwick, “Coal: Montana's Prosaic Treasure.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1973 23(4): 18-31 </ref>

Today Montana typically accounts for 4% of total annual U.S. coal production. The majority of output is produced from several large surface mines in the Powder River Basin, which straddles the border between Montana and Wyoming. Just over one-fourth of Montana’s coal production is used for State electricity generation; Montana delivers the remainder to markets in more than 15 States. Minnesota and Michigan are the largest recipients of Montana coal.

Accounting for about two-thirds of State electricity generation, coal-fired power plants dominate the Montana electricity market. Hydroelectric power accounts for most of the remainder. Montana is among the leading hydroelectric power producers in the United States, and seven of the State’s 10 largest generating plants run on hydroelectric power. The State has also initiated programs to expand and enhance hydroelectric power capacity. With several operational wind farm projects in central Montana, just east of the Rockies, the State had 146 megawatts of wind power capacity at the end of 2006. High-voltage transmission lines connect Montana to other western electric power grids, allowing Montana to export large amounts of electricity to neighboring States

Water battles

Although western Montana has plenty of water, it is not always in the right place in the arid eastern half. The result has been extended controversy of state and local controls, the use of tens of thousands of private wells, the rights of Indian tribes, and the needs of oil refineries.<ref> Brian Shovers, “Diversions, Ditches, & District Courts: Montana's Struggle to Allocate Water” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2005 55(1): 2-15 </ref> The State Engineer's Office operated 1890-1964 but was unable to control water regulation and insure dam safety. It faced varying climatic conditions, economic boom and bust, and political opposition. It never ultimately achieved the same regulatory authority of counterparts in other states. In 1965, the legislature abolished the Montana State Engineer's Office and incorporated it into the Montana Water Conservation.<ref>James E. Sherow, “'The Fellow Who Can Talk the Loudest and Has the Best Shotgun Gets the Water': Water Regulation and the Montana State Engineer's Office, 1889-1964”. Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2004 54(1): 56-69 </ref>

Montana has been fighting Wyoming for a century over control of unappropriated water in the Tongue and Powder Rivers. Both rivers originate in northeastern Wyoming and flow northward and ultimately drain into the Yellowstone River in Montana. The water rights arguments between Wyoming and Montana water users have been contentious and of long duration. Creation of the Yellowstone River Compact Commission in 1943 failed to resolve disputes over allocation of water. In the 1970s the Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Indian tribe claimed a portion of unappropriated Tongue water, further complicating the issues. Agreements that were reached often failed to be ratified by one or the other state legislature. In 2007 the state of Montana sued Wyoming in the US Supreme Court over loss of water. After almost a century of failed compromises and continuing debate, the allocation issue remains unresolved.<ref> Hugh Lovin, A Battleground: Wyoming, Montana, and the Tongue and Powder Rivers. Lovin, Hugh.; Annals of Wyoming 2008 80(2): 2-13 </ref>

State government

The challenge of the 1960s was to modernize outmoded policies in state government, especially regarding prison reform, the state's budgeting and auditing procedures, public school oversight, improving state land development and investments, and the evolution of a more efficient, streamlined state government.<ref>Eugene C. Tidball, “The Seminal Years of the Montana Legislative Council, 1957-1965” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2008 58(1): 35-54, 98-99</ref>



In the territorial era, from 1864 until statehood in 1889, Montana Territory's 14 elections of territorial delegates to Congress show that the electorate voted for candidates they believed would have influence in Washington to gain federal support for territorial development. Martin Maginnis (1872-84), the longest tenured territorial delegate in the western territories, exemplified the delegate who could secure support in Washington for his constituents' projects. Maginnis, Joseph K. Toole (1884-88), and William H. Clagett (1871-72) were considered successful delegates because they were able to win congressional approval for additional forts, aid for railroads, and reduction of Indian reservations in Montana.<ref> Richard B. Roeder, “Electing Montana's Territorial Delegates: the Beginnings of a Political System.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1988 38(3): 58-68 </ref>

Montana's political life in the 1890s was characterized by stalemate, uncompromising parochial demands, personal animosity, and corruption as local communities fought over the prizes of statehood. The major prize, the state capital, was won by Helena after a campaign featuring class and community antagonism, racist rhetoric, personal attacks, and vote buying. In the interests of local power brokers, the legislature created several units of higher education instead of establishing a consolidated university. The battles over the spoils of statehood created a pattern of cynicism and parochialism that continues to influence the state's political life.<ref>William L. Lang, “Spoils of Statehood: Montana Communities in Conflict, 1888-1894.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1987 37(4): 34-45 </ref>

Elected Officials



  • Governor Steve Bullock (D)
  • Lt. Governor John Bohlinger (R)
  • Attorney General Steve Bullock (D)
  • Secretary of State Linda McCulloch (D)
  • State Auditor Monica Lindeen (D)

Law and order

In early 1864 in southwestern Montana some 2500 law-abiding citizens, responding to the increasing lawlessness plaguing the gold-mining towns in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, formed a vigilante society and hanged 21 villains after drumhead “trials”, while warning hundreds of others to leave Montana immediately (which they did).<ref> Frederick Allen, A Decent Orderly Lynching: The Montana Vigilantes (2004); Merrill G. Burlingame, “Montana's Righteous Hangmen: a Reconsideration” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1978 28(4): 36-49 </ref>

Gangs of cattle thieves and individual rustlers threatened law and order in the late 19th century. Ranchers starting in the 1870s organized Stockmen's associations to fight back. A minority of stockmen organized into vigilante groups to protect their stock, but most stockmen worked with the legislature to create a stock commission that could oversee their interests. After 11 years of lobbying stockmen finally succeeded in getting a protective law. By working within the legislative process, stockmen transformed themselves and their frontier from a place characterized by isolation and violence to one of organization and law.<ref>T. A. Clay, “A Call to Order: Law, Violence, and the Development of Montana's Early Stockmen's Organizations.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2008 58(3): 48-63, 95-96</ref>

Influenced by the nationwide Progressive Movement Montana cities 1890-1930 demanded police efficiency and professionalism; attempted to curb urban gambling, prostitution, and liquor use; and instilled the concept that police should serve the entire community rather than special interest groups.<ref> Robert A. Harvie, and Larry V. Bishop, “Police Reform in Montana, 1890-1918”. Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1983 33(2): 46-59 </ref>

George Bourquin (1863-1958), as the federal judge in Montana handed down more than 250 decisions between 1912 and 1937. Ideologically conservative, Bourquin also preserved civil liberties in his decisions. Bourquin's basic faith in democracy and the Constitution, his progressivism, and his Puritan suspicion of a fundamental 'sinful behavior' helped him chart a principled and reasoned course between extreme positions. Bourquin protected the rights of labor unions and 'radicals' during World War I and the postwar Red Scare despite hostility. He also had great concern for the civil rights of Indians and attempted to protect them from government excess in cases like 'Scheer' v. 'Moody et al.,' in which he criticized the federal government's Indian policy.<ref> Arnon Gutfeld, “Western Justice and the Rule of Law: Bourquin on Loyalty, the 'Red Scare,' and Indians.” Pacific Historical Review 1996 65(1): 85-106</ref>

1894 Pullman Strike

The Pullman Strike of 1894 came in the midst of a deep depression, the Panic of 1893. It was based in Chicago but affected the entire west, especially the Northern Pacific Railroad routes in Montana. The Great Northern and Union Pacific railroads experienced less disruption. The disruptions lasted several weeks in summer 1894. Violent union activists from the newly formed American Railway Union in Billings, Livingston, Butte, Helena, and Missoula tried to stop the movement of trains operated by workers who belonged to the older established railroad brotherhoods. President Grover Cleveland, a conservative Bourbon Democrat sent in troops from the 22d US Infantry to patrol Northern Pacific. Union activists threatened and actually attacked the troops in Livingston. Unionized miners from western Montana supported A.R.U. efforts. After the strike collapsed, N.P. and U.P. officials blacklisted many Montana railroad employees. Six A.R.U. leaders were also convicted of violating an anti-strike injunction. The Pullman Strike was a central event in the labor turbulence and political activism, which swept Montana during the 1890s, fostered by strong anti-railroad populism among some farmers and many miners in the state.<ref> W. Thomas White, “Boycott: the Pullman Strike in Montana.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1979 29(4): 2-13 </ref>

National Guard

The Montana National Guard was established in 1887. The 1st Montana Volunteer Regiment, as the Montana National Guard was known during the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection. Arriving in the Philippines shortly after the Spanish surrendered in August 1898, the regiment participated in guarding Spanish prisoners of war in Cavite, securing Manila from Filipinos angry with the transfer of their country from Spain to the United States, assaulting Caloocan, and taking the provisional capital of Malolos. The performance of this and other National Guard troops in America's first overseas operation convinced the military of its value to national defense.<ref> Richard K. Hines, “'First to Respond to Their Country's Call': the First Montana Infantry and the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection, 1898-1899.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2002 52(3): 44-57 </ref>

The Montana National Guard, officially designated the 163d Regiment of the 41st Infantry Division, fought in New Guinea from December 1942 to July 1944. They also participated in the Philippines campaign. Many of the guardsmen joined the Guard in the 1930s to earn money during the Great Depression, and most never imagined being involved in the horrors of jungle combat. Disease took nearly as great a toll on the men as the Japanese did.<ref> Carle F. O'Neil, “Pacific Memories: Montana National Guardsmen Recall the Fighting on New Guinea in World War II.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 2002 52(2): 48-57 </ref>

In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, over 80% of the Montana Guardsmen and women have been deployed overseas at one time or another.


Silver mining

Silver mining began in Montana and boomed in the 1880's because of a combination of factors: geographic concentration of silver in shallow vein systems, maintenance of a subsidized silver market by the federal government, infusion of outside capital, evolution of mining and smelting technology, and railroad construction. Between 1883 and 1891, silver production in Montana ranked first or second nationwide, with the mines at Butte, Alta, and Granite as primary producers. The boom collapsed in 1893 because of depletion of the state's resources and the collapse of silver prices. Silver mining did continue, but at a reduced level. The Montana silver mining era exemplifies the common tendency for booms to develop, become overblown, and in finally collapse into extended slumps and depressions.<ref> Robert A. Chadwick, “Montana's Silver Mining Era: Great Boom and Great Bust.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1982 32(2): 16-31 </ref>

Cattle ranching

Henry Sieben (1847-1937) came to Montana's gold fields in 1864, was a farm laborer, prospector, and freighter, then turned to livestock raising along the Smith River in 1870. In partnership with his brothers Leonard and Jacob, Henry Sieben raised cattle and became one of the territory's pioneer sheep ranchers in 1875. The partnership was dissolved in 1879 and Henry moved his stock to the Lewistown area. He established a reputation as an excellent businessman and as someone who took care of his stock and employees. After ranching in the Culbertson area, Henry Sieben purchased ranches near Cascade and along Little Prickly Pear Creek, forming the Sieben Livestock Company. By 1907, these two ranches had become the heart of his cattle and sheep raising business which he directed from his home in Helena. Sieben became well known for his business approach to ranching and for his public and private philanthropies. His family continues to operate the Sieben Ranch Company today.<ref> Dick Pace, “Henry Sieben: Pioneer Montana Stockman.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1979 29(1): 2-15 </ref>

Flu, 1918-1919

The worldwide flu pandemic of 1918-19 killed more than 20 million people worldwide, and 675,000 Americans. Montana was one of the four hardest-hit states in the nation, as 5,000 residents, or 1% of the population, died as a result of the flu infection. In response to the epidemic the State Board of Health urged closing public gathering places. Such regulation spawned public resentment, but the Board of Health stood firm. Butte was the hardest hit city of Montana and one of the hardest hit in the nation. The University of Montana in Missoula closed to protect the students. In remote areas of the state isolation and limited medical personnel left many families to face illness with help from neighbors.<ref> Pierce C. Mullen, and Michael L. Nelson, “Montanans and 'The Most Peculiar Disease': the Influenza Epidemic and Public Health, 1918-1919”. Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1987 37(2): 50-61; Volney Steele, “The Flu Epidemic of 1918 on the Montana Frontier.” Journal of the West 2003 42(4): 81-90 </ref>


Beginning in 1905 the Great Northern Railway in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture, the Montana Experiment Station, and the Dryland Farming Congress promoted dryland farming in Montana in order to increase its freight traffic. During 1910-13 the Great Northern launched its own program of demonstration farms, which stimulated settlement (during 1909-10 acreage in homesteads quadrupled in Montana) through their impressive production rates for winter wheat, barley, and other grains.<ref> Claire Strom, “The Great Northern Railway and Dryland Farming in Montana”. Railroad History 1997 (176): 80-102 </ref>

Wheat-raising started slowly in Montana, replacing oats as the major grain crop only in the 20th century, after development of new plant strains, techniques, and machinery. Wheat was stimulated by boom prices in World War I, but slumped in value and yield during the drought and depression of the next 20 years. The recent trend is toward increased acreage in wheat. Wheat became the major crop in eastern Montana, and the process of thrashing to remove the grain evolved over the century as machines became more specialized, faster, and more expensive. In a Montana homestead in the 1910s the work was done by humans and horses, who dealt with the separator, tumbling rod, feeder, carrier, and other parts of the equipment. By the 1930s wheat farms became increasingly dependent on larger and more sophisticated machinery and less dependent on human and animal labor. Thrashing also became an increasingly specialized activity, and farmers turned to itinerant thrashing crews to harvest their crops. <ref>Ralph E. Ward, “Wheat in Montana: Determined Adaptation.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1975 25(4): 16-37; T. Eugene Barrows, “Thrashing in Montana at the Turn of the Century.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1988 38(4): 62-66</ref>

Small business

Between the Civil War and World War II, small businessmen - ranchers, farmers, local merchants, mine owners, and bankers - represented the backbone of Montana's economy. Success rested upon their ability to diversify their interests into new economic activities and new products. Typical were the Isaac G. Baker Co. and the T. C. Power and Brother Co., which emphasized high-volume sales, product guarantees, and expanded merchandise lines to create statewide department stores. The Strain Brothers specialized in mail-order business and the F. A. Buttrey Co. introduced unique sales gimmicks. Likewise, John P. Barnes, Leander S. Woodbury, and A. C. Edwards demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills in mining, manufacturing and banking, respectively.<ref>Henry C. Klassen, “Diversification in Montana's Small Business.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 1993 84(3): 98-107 </ref>

Charles A. Broadwater (1840-92), a Montana pioneer, exemplified many of the characteristics embodied in the iconic “self-made man”. With no profession or special skills Broadwater migrated to the Deer Lodge Valley in 1862. He traded horses, homes, and cattle. As the gold boom spread, he entered the freighting business and soon became immersed in the commercial and political life of the territory. He married into a leading Helena family and, through connections with such eastern capitalists as James J. Hill, built a business empire. He did not seek elective office, but he was a power in the territorial Democratic Party.<ref> William E. Lang, “Charles A. Broadwater and the Main Chance in Montana.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1989 39(3): 30-36 </ref>

Thomas H. Carter (1854-1911) began his public career as Montana's last territorial delegate in 1888. He served as US senator, chairman of the Republican National Committee, chairman of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission, and chairman of the American sector of the International Joint Commission. He was the embodiment of the self-made man. Carter was a strong party man and firmly believed that the political process should foster economic development. He encouraged the rapid development of Western resources, and was an advocate of government irrigation. He was bypassed by the progressive Republicans at the turn of the century, who called him an old fogey.<ref> Richard B. Roeder, “Thomas H. Carter, Spokesman for Western Development.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1989 39(2): 23-29</ref>

The Conrad banking business flourished in north-central and northwestern Montana during 1880-1914. Local banks at Fort Benton, Great Falls, and Kalispell, owned and managed by the William and Charles Conrad families, helped to finance Montana's economic development through an intricate pattern of familial, friendship, and business ties. Correspondent linkages to large metropolitan banks sustained the relatively small country banks by assuring them access to capital. The Conrad banks were aggressive in penetrating new lending markets and making inroads into the local farming, ranching, merchant, and manufacturing sectors. The banks grew in reputation and stature as the region developed, but remained single-unit, family-based enterprises.<ref>Henry C. Klassen, The Early Growth of the Conrad Banking Enterprise in Montana, 1880-1914. Great Plains Quarterly 1997 17(1): 49-62</ref>


Boosters, led by editors and businessmen, promoted their towns by encouraging entrepreneurship and cooperation, especially through the Chamber of Commerce and clubs such as Rotary. Typical was the Helena Board of Trade, formed in 1877. It promoted Helena, transforming it from a crude mining camp to a stable, urban community – indeed, a political and economic center, with prosperity and culture. Several disastrous fires, the national financial depression of 1873, and a regional mining lull during the 1870s served as a season of trial for Helena. Such problems spurred local businessmen to take action. Among the leading proponents of unified effort was Helena Daily Herald editor Robert E. Fisk. Once formed, the Board of Trade led development of the city, including fire prevention, incorporation, and the promotion of overland and railroad transportation.<ref> Joan Bishop, “A Season of Trial: Helena's Entrepeneurs Nurture a City.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1978 28(3): 62-71</ref>

Long before the malls began in the 1970s, successful businessmen built their shops and stores along the main street. in 1890-1920 many featured attractive preformed, sheet iron storefronts. Manufactured by the Mesker Brothers of St. Louis, these neoclassical, stylized facades added sophistication to brick or woodframe buildings throughout the West. Marketed by catalog, the Meskers' products sold well because of lower costs and superior service.

Christian education

To civilize the western frontier and prevent theological 'liberalism,' the Presbyterian Church sent missionaries to establish congregations and found a system of Christian schools. Reverend Sheldon Jackson superintended Presbyterian efforts in Montana. Reverend Lyman B. Crittenden and his daughter Mary began the Bozeman Female Seminary in 1873, but experienced difficulties. As a result, Crittenden moved the school, renaming it the Gallatin Valley Female Seminary. In 1878 the school closed altogether. The Presbyterian Board of Aid for Colleges and Academies opened the Bozeman Academy in 1887, but closed it in 1892 when a state supported college opened in Bozeman. In another attempt to found a permanent college, the Presbytery of Montana purchased the five year old Montana Collegiate Institute in Deer Lodge during 1882. Renamed the College of Montana, the school struggled to remain solvent until 1900. It reopened in 1904 but closed finally in 1918. Reverend Duncan M. McMillan served as president for most of the period. While low enrollments and lack of financial support plagued Presbyterian educational efforts, their work did help build a 'good' Montana on traditional Christian principals.<ref> Norman J. Bender, “The Very Atmosphere Is Charged with Unbelief: Presbyterians and Higher Education in Montana, 1869-1900.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1978 28(2): 16-25 </ref>

Steamboats and Railroads


The late 19th century was the high point for steamboating on the upper Missouri River in Montana. Major growth came during and after the Civil War, as gold and silver were shipped out. Captain Grant Marsh opened the steamboat era on the Yellowstone River in June 1875. The military demands of the Sioux War increased traffic in 1876-77. As the Sioux were driven from the area, white settlers established towns, and Bozeman residents unsuccessfully promoted a port to rival Fort Benton. Business picked up from 1877 to 1883 as furs, buffalo hides, wool, and bullion led the way in exports. Numerous entrepreneurs and small firms were involved in the business. Traffic declined in the late 1880s as the Northern Pacific built west, and ironically, the last busy season for the steamers was 1881-82, when they carried supplies for the railroad contractors. Completion of the railroad to Billings ended commercial traffic on the Yellowstone in 1882, although there were futile efforts to maintain river traffic until 1909. While steamboats could easily compete with overland wagon freight, railroads presented a different situation. The coming of big business in the form of railroads sounded the economic death knell for steamboaters, even though one company converted to gasoline engines and lasted until the 1930s.<ref> William E. Lass, “Missouri River Steamboating.” North Dakota History 1989 56(3): 3-15; William E. Lass, “Steamboats on the Yellowstone.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1985 35(4): 26-41 </ref>


The Northern Pacific Railroad built a few new towns along its Yellowstone main line in Montana, as the revenue from town lots was small. The layout of the towns it did build reflected railroad influence. Billings and Livingston had a symmetrical plan centered on the railroad. In the 'T' plan at Terry, Sidney, and Townsend, the main street met the railroad at right angles. During 1900-20 the railroad built 'homestead towns,' elevator-centered communities surrounded by grain-raising homesteads. The impact of the railroad on main street plans persists.<ref> John C. Hudson, “Main Streets of the Yellowstone Valley.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1985 35(4): 56-67 </ref>

In the 1880s, Paris Gibson envisioned a town at the Great Falls of the Missouri River that would utilize power and coal available at the site to grow into an urban economic center rivaling Minneapolis. Great Northern Railroad President James J. Hill was a major investor in the project from its incorporation in 1887 until he tired of the endeavor and sold his stock in 1908. Great Falls, Montana, did become a leading city in the state, but did not realize the dreams Gibson and Hill had for it. <ref> W. Thomas White, “Paris Gibson, James J. Hill and the 'New Minneapolis': the Great Falls Water Power and Townsite Company, 1882-1908.” Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1983 33(3): 60-69 </ref>


Women played a crucial role in holding together Montana farms and ranches during the first half of the 20th century. Through oral interviews many of these women are now providing a clearer picture of farm life, demonstrating that women's economic role in farm life was central, not peripheral. As managers, financiers, and laborers they contributed essential daily support to farm operations.<ref> Laurie K Mercier, “Women's Role in Montana Agriculture: 'You Had to Make Every Minute Count'”. Montana: the Magazine of Western History 1988 38(4): 50-61 </ref>

The status of women in the 19th-century trans-Mississippi West has drawn the attention of numerous interpreters, whose analyses fall into three types: 1) the Frontier Thesis inspired by Frederick Jackson Turner, which argues that the West was, among other things, a liberating experience for women and men; 2) the reactionists, who view the West as a place of drudgery for women, who reacted unfavorably to the isolation and the work in the West; and 3) those writers who claim the West had no effect on women's lives, that it was a static, neutral frontier. The history of Montana shows that the Turner thesis best explains the improvement in women's status in Montana and the achievement of suffrage in 1914.<ref> Judith K. Cole, “A Wide Field for Usefulness: Women's Civil Status and the Evolution of Women's Suffrage on the Montana Frontier, 1864-1914”. American Journal of Legal History 1990 34(3): 262-294 </ref>

Margery Jacoby was a typical Great Plains teacher at the turn of the 20th century. She began teaching in Montana at 15 with a first-class certificate gained by examination. She lacked formal training but attended summer school to improve her skills. She taught because her family needed the money, and she wanted independence and an opportunity to advance her own learning. The need for teachers in the West and the belief that women were natural teachers for the young also contributed to her entry. Like other Plains schoolmarms, Jacoby was a Westerner by birth and changed teaching jobs frequently. Unlike most, she was elected county superintendent of schools, served two terms, married and quit the profession. However, she never lost interest in the classroom and her daughters later became teachers.<ref> Kathleen Underwood, “Schoolmarms on the Upper Missouri.” Great Plains Quarterly 1991 11(4): 225-233 </ref>

Women's clubs flourished 1890-1930, expressing the interests, needs, and beliefs of Montana women at the turn of the century. While accepting the domestic role established by the cult of true womanhood, their reformist activities reveal a persistent demand for self-expression outside the home. Homesteading was a significant experience for altering women's perceptions of their roles. They joined the men in the fields, expressed their aesthetic interests in gardens, and organized social activities. Though these clubs allowed women to fulfill their traditional roles they also encouraged women to pursue social, intellectual, and community interests.<ref> Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, “Montana Women's Clubs at the Turn of the Century.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1986 36(1): 26-35 </ref>

Efforts to write woman suffrage into Montana's 1889 constitution failed. Montana women, especially 'society women,' did not strongly support the suffragists. Help from national leaders and from Jeannette Rankin, who in 1916 became the nation's first congresswoman, led to success in 1914 when voters ratified a suffrage amendment passed by the legislature the previous year.<ref> T.A. Larson, “Montana Women and the Battle of the Ballot.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 1973 23(1): 24-41 </ref>


In Eastern Montana, the rural towns have evolved from a large number of widely dispersed villages in 1900, through a period of expansion over the first thirty years of 20th century, to a pattern of relatively concentrated population and businesses in an urban-based economy by 2000. Mechanization, especially the rapid replacement of horses by tractors after 1945, meant one family could operate a much larger farm, so some farmers bought out their neighbors, who then moved to town along with the surplus children.

Most rural communities declined steadily in population after 1920. A few, such as Miles City, Havre, and Lewistown, grew in population, expanded their economic base, and experienced an increase in their market areas for a limited range of goods and services. These communities also became centers of employment for their own and surrounding (farm and nonfarm) population. The rural economy diversified far beyond its exclusively agricultural base, with service employment in education and medicine important, as well as small-scale factories. Interstates and paved highways, along with cell phones and internet coverage encouraged a concentration in fewer, larger centers, which drew customers and clients from a wide radius. The discovery of oil and gas along the Dakota border gave a new lease to towns such as Glendive and Sidney in region previously known for extremely brutal winter weather.

In mountainous Western Montana, as the mining camps and lumber regions faded in importance, tourism grew rapidly and many areas attracted wealthy families looking for a second home where fishing, hunting, hiking and the wildlife could be enjoyed, together with good restaurants close by. Kalispell was especially attractive, as were the college towns of Missoula and Bozeman. Red Lodge, an old coal mining town, remade its self image and attracted tourists..


The Anaconda Copper Company, founded in 1880 and based in Butte, dominated the world copper market and poured wealth into the state for a century; it closed in the 1980s.

The 1888-1900 bitter feud between Montana copper kings Marcus Daly and William Andrews Clark played a considerable role in the economic and political life of territorial and early statehood years. It affected the mergers of large corporations, the location of the state capital, and the elections of congressional delegations. Daly's Irish Catholic (Green) heritage and Clark's Scotch-Irish Presbyterian (Orange) backgrounds were important factors in the feud.<ref>David Emmons, “The Orange and the Green in Montana: a Reconsideration of the Clark-Daly Feud.” Arizona & the West 1986 28(3): 225-245</ref>

The Anaconda company fortunes began to reverse when the Chilean government expropriated all of the Anaconda's highly profitable operations in Chile between 1969 and 1971. New management took over and executed tough belt-tightening measures that did little to stop the disintegration of the company. Help appeared to arrive in 1976 in the form of a merger with the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), but when the Anaconda's bottom line failed to respond to ARCO's inept management, ARCO shut down the company's operations in Montana. In 1985 the company's Montana assets were sold to a local businessman. What remains today are Superfund cleanup operations run by the EPA.<ref>Eugene C. Tidball, “What Ever Happened to the Anaconda Company?” Montana: the Magazine of Western History' 1997 47(2): 60-68 </ref>


The founding of the School of Journalism at the University of Montana showed the state was following national trends in the professionalization of journalism. However, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company began to dominate economic and political life in the state and, as a political strategy, purchased most of the state's daily newspapers. From the 1920s until 1959, journalists working at the newspapers could write nothing that undercut the company's business enterprises. Journalists were thus not allowed to develop and exercise their professional skills through their news judgment regarding certain business topics - lawyers and accountants made news judgments. This changed in 1959 with the purchase of the Anaconda newspapers by Lee Enterprises, a Midwestern newspaper group. Following its own traditions, Lee allowed the journalists to exercise their own editorial judgments. Don Anderson, a Montana native and Lee executive, led the way in this transformation of the state's journalists to professional status. Newspapers soon found themselves engaged in clashes with Anaconda over important issues and even taking more active roles in civic reform efforts. Lee has managed the newspapers over the years since with praise for their editorial independence but criticism of their financial frugality.

In 2005 Lee overextended itself by borrowing $1.5 billion to buy other papers, especially the biggest St. Louis newspaper. With the Recession of 2008 came drastic cutbacks in advertising revenue, and Lee is struggling to pay off its loans and is cutting staff.<ref> John T. McNay, “Breaking the Copper Collar: Press Freedom, Professionalization and the History of Montana Journalism.” American Journalism 2008 25(1): 99-123</ref>

Notable people from Montana

  • Rev. Chuck Baldwin - 2008 Libertarian conservative Presidential candidate. Part of the American Redoubt movement.
  • Burton K. Wheeler, Democratic Senator; fought FDR on Court packing; isolationist
  • Mike Mansfield, leader of Democrats in Senate, 1961-77
  • Max Baucus, Democratic Senator is currently the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
  • Evel Knievel, a famous motorcycle daredevil, was from Butte.
  • Charley Pride, perhaps the most successful black country musician of all time, grew up in Helena and Great Falls.
  • Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Missoula, was the very first Congresswoman in the United States
  • The Freemen, a religious cult famous for an 81 day stand off with federal agents near Jordan.
  • Myrna Loy, an actress from the golden age of cinema. She was born in Radersville.

List of Major Companies Headquartered in Montana

  • Big Sky Airlines
  • Big Sky Brewing Company
  • Conlin's Furniture
  • Corporate Air
  • First Interstate BancSystem
  • Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
  • Merlin Airways
  • RightNow Technologies
  • Semitool
  • Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Company

Further reading

  • Bevis, William W. Ten Tough Trips: Montana Writers and the West. (1990). 250 pp.
  • Emmons, David M. The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town, 1875-1925. (1989). 443 pp.
  • Farr, William E. and Toole, K. Ross. Montana: Images of the Past. (1978). 279 pp. photographs
  • Hamilton, James McLellan, History of Montana: From Wilderness to Statehood (1970), older textbook; 627pp online edition
  • Hargreaves, Mary W. M. Dry Farming in the Northern Great Plains: Years of Readjustment, 1920-1990. (1993). 386 pp.
  • Howard, Joseph Kinsey. Montana: High, Wide and Handsome (1943), a classic narrative that challenges romanticized views of the West and calls for increased emulation of Indians who supposedly lived in harmony with the environment of the northern Great Plains. online edition
  • Howard, Stanley W. Green Fields of Montana: A Brief History oof Irrigation. (1992). 153 pp.
  • Karlin, Jules A. Joseph M. Dixon of Montana: Part 1, Senator and Bull Moose Manager, 1867-1917. (1974). 257 pp.
    • Joseph M. Dixon of Montana. Part 2, Governor versus the Anaconda, 1917-1934. (1974). 269 pp.
  • Malone, Michael P., Richard B. Roeder, and William L. Lang. Montana: A History of Two Centuries (3rd ed. 1991), standard scholarly history
  • Malone, Michael P. The Battle for Butte: Mining and Politics on the Northern Frontier, 1864-1906. (1985). 281 pp.
  • Newby, Rick and Hunger, Suzanne, eds. Writing Montana: Literature under the Big Sky. (Helena: Montana Center for the Book, 1996). 348 pp.
  • Petrik, Paula. No Step Backward: Women and Family on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, Helena, Montana, 1865-1900. (1987). 206 pp.
  • Robertson, Donald B. Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History. Vol. 2: The Mountain States: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. (Dallas: Taylor, 1991). 418 pp.
  • Rydell, Robert; Safford, Jeffrey; and Mullen, Pierce. In the People's Interest: A Centennial History of Montana State University. (1992). 324 pp.
  • Searl, Molly. Montana Disasters: Fires, Floods, and Other Catastrophes. (2001). 204 pp.
  • Small, Lawrence F., ed. Religion in Montana: Pathways to the Present. (1992). 380 pp.
  • Smith, Duane A. Rocky Mountain West: Colorado, Wyoming, and ontana, 1859-1915. (1992). 290 pp.
  • Spence, Clark C. Montana: A Bicentennial History. (1978). 211 pp. good popular history
  • Spence, Clark C. Territorial Politics and Government in Montana, 1864-89. (1976). 327 pp.
  • Spritzer, Donald E. Senator James E. Murray and the Limits of Post-War Liberalism. (1985). 304 pp. biography of liberal Democrat, 1940s-1970s
  • Toole, K. Ross. Twentieth-Century Montana: A State of Extremes. (1972). 307 pp. by a leading historian
  • VanWest, Carroll. Capitalism on the Frontier: Billings and the Yellowstone Valley in the Nineteenth Century. (1993). 281 pp. online edition
  • VanWest, Carroll. A Traveler's Companion to Montana istory. (1986). 256 pp. local history and lore
  • WPA. Montana: A State Guide Book (1939), very rich guide book; 444pp online edition

Primary sources

  • Kittredge, William and Smith, Annick, eds. The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology. (1988). 1161 pp.

See Also


Note that aricles from Montana: the Magazine of Western History are online at JSTOR <references/>

States of the United States American Redoubt Montana Conservative Purple states Western United States Intermountain West Strategic relocation

Snippet from Wikipedia: Montana

Montana ( (listen)) is a state in the Northwestern United States. It is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan to the north; Idaho to the west; North Dakota and South Dakota to the east; and Wyoming to the south. It is the fourth largest state by area, the eighth least populous state, and the third least densely populated state. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges, while the eastern half is characterized by western prairie terrain and badlands, with more (albeit smaller) mountain ranges found throughout the state. In all, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains.

Montana has no official nickname and several unofficial ones, most notably "Big Sky Country", "The Treasure State", "Land of the Shining Mountains", and "The Last Best Place". The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, gas, coal, mining, and lumber. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state's economy. Montana's fastest-growing sector is tourism; nearly 13 million annual tourists visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, and other attractions.

}} Montana

is a state in the Western United States. The state's name is derived from the Spanish word

(mountain). Montana has several nicknames, none official,

including “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”, and slogans that include “Land of the Shining Mountains” and more recently “The Last Best Place”.

Montana is ranked 4th in size, but 44th in population and 48th in population density of the 50 United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state, for a total of 77 named ranges that are part of the Rocky Mountains. The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic activities include oil, gas, coal and hard rock mining, lumber, and the fastest-growing sector, tourism.

The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state's economy.

Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and Yellowstone National Park.

Etymology and naming history

The name Montana comes from the Spanish word Montaña, meaning “mountain”, or more broadly, “mountainous country”.

Montaña del Norte was the name given by early Spanish explorers to the entire mountainous region of the west.

The name Montana was added to a bill by the United States House Committee on Territories, which was chaired at the time by Rep. James Ashley of Ohio, for the territory that would become Idaho Territory.

The name was successfully changed by Representatives Henry Wilson (Massachusetts) and Benjamin F. Harding (Oregon), who complained that Montana had “no meaning”.

When Ashley presented a bill to establish a temporary government in 1864 for a new territory to be carved out of Idaho, he again chose Montana Territory.

This time Rep. Samuel Cox, also of Ohio, objected to the name.

Cox complained that the name was a misnomer given that most of the territory was not mountainous and that a Native American name would be more appropriate than a Spanish one.

Other names such as Shoshone were suggested, but it was eventually decided that the Committee on Territories could name it whatever they wanted, so the original name of Montana was adopted.


With a total area of


Montana is slightly larger than Japan.

It is the fourth largest state in the United States after Alaska, Texas, and California;

the largest landlocked U.S. state; and the 56th largest national state/province subdivision in the world.

To the north, Montana shares a

border with three Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

The state borders North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, Wyoming to the south and Idaho to the west and southwest.


<!–my rewrite here reffed by the official Montana US Highway map, which I have on my computer, needs URL and probably additional citation to avoid OR claims –MTBW –> The topography of the state is roughly defined by the Continental Divide, which splits much of the state into distinct eastern and western regions.

Most of Montana's 100 or more named mountain ranges are concentrated in the western half of the state, most of which is geologically and geographically part of the Northern Rocky Mountains.

The Absaroka and Beartooth ranges in the south-central part of the state are technically part of the Central Rocky Mountains.

The Rocky Mountain Front is a significant feature in the north-central portion of the state,

and there are a number of isolated island ranges that interrupt the prairie landscape common in the central and eastern parts of the state.

About 60 percent of the state is prairie, part of the northern Great Plains.

The Bitterroot Mountains—one of the longest continuous ranges in the entire Rocky Mountain chain from Alaska to Mexico

—along with smaller ranges, including the Coeur d'Alene Mountains and the Cabinet Mountains, divide the state from Idaho, with the southern third of the Bitterroot range blending into the Continental Divide.

Other major mountain ranges west of the Divide include the Cabinet Mountains, the Anaconda Range, the Missions, the Garnet Range, Sapphire Mountains, and Flint Creek Range.

The northern section of the Divide, where the mountains give way rapidly to prairie, is part of the Rocky Mountain Front.

The front is most pronounced in the Lewis Range, located primarily in Glacier National Park.

Due to the configuration of mountain ranges in Glacier National Park, the Northern Divide (which begins in Alaska's Seward Peninsula)

crosses this region and turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak.

It causes the Waterton River, Belly, and Saint Mary rivers to flow north into Alberta, Canada.

There they join the Saskatchewan River, which ultimately empties into Hudson Bay.

East of the divide, several roughly parallel ranges cover the southern part of the state, including the Gravelly Range, the Madison Range, Gallatin Range, Absaroka Mountains and the Beartooth Mountains.

The Beartooth Plateau is the largest continuous land mass over

high in the continental United States.

It contains the highest point in the state, Granite Peak,


North of these ranges are the Big Belt Mountains, Bridger Mountains, Tobacco Roots, and several island ranges, including the Crazy Mountains and Little Belt Mountains.

in Glacier National Park]] Between many mountain ranges are rich river valleys. The Big Hole Valley,

Bitterroot Valley,

Gallatin Valley,

Flathead Valley,

and Paradise Valley

have extensive agricultural resources and multiple opportunities for tourism and recreation.

East and north of this transition zone are the expansive and sparsely populated Northern Plains, with tableland prairies, smaller island mountain ranges, and badlands.

The isolated island ranges east of the Divide include the Bear Paw Mountains,

Bull Mountains,

Castle Mountains,

Crazy Mountains,

Highwood Mountains,

Judith Mountains,

Little Belt Mountains,

Little Rocky Mountains,

the Pryor Mountains,

Snowy Mountains,

Sweet Grass Hills,

and—in the southeastern corner of the state near Ekalaka—the Long Pines.

Many of these isolated eastern ranges were created about 120 to 66 million years ago when magma welling up from the interior cracked and bowed the earth's surface here.

The area east of the divide in the north-central portion of the state is known for the Missouri Breaks and other significant rock formations.

Three buttes south of Great Falls are major landmarks: Cascade, Crown, Square, Shaw and Buttes.

Known as laccoliths, they formed when igneous rock protruded through cracks in the sedimentary rock.

The underlying surface consists of sandstone and shale.

Surface soils in the area are highly diverse, and greatly affected by the local geology, whether glaciated plain, intermountain basin, mountain foothills, or tableland.

Foothill regions are often covered in weathered stone or broken slate, or consiste of uncovered bare rock (usually igneous, quartzite, sandstone, or shale).

The soil of intermountain basins usually consists of clay, gravel, sand, silt, and volcanic ash, much of it laid down by lakes which covered the region during the Oligocene 33 to 23 million years ago.

Tablelands are often topped with argillite gravel and weathered quartzite, occasionally underlain by shale.

The glaciated plains are generally covered in clay, gravel, sand, and silt left by the proglacial Lake Great Falls or by moraines or gravel-covered former lake basins left by the Wisconsin glaciation 85,000 to 11,000 years ago.

Farther east, areas such as Makoshika State Park near Glendive and Medicine Rocks State Park near Ekalaka contain some of the most scenic badlands regions in the state.

The Hell Creek Formation in Northeast Montana is a major source of dinosaur fossils.

Paleontologist Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman brought this formation to the world's attention with several major finds.

Rivers, lakes and reservoirs

Montana contains thousands of named rivers and creeks,

of which are known for "blue-ribbon" trout fishing.

Montana's water resources provide for recreation, hydropower, crop and forage irrigation, mining, and water for human consumption. Montana is one of few geographic areas in the world whose rivers form parts of three major watersheds (i.e. where two continental divides intersect). Its rivers feed the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. The watersheds divide at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park.

Pacific Ocean drainage basin

region in central Montana]] West of the divide, the Clark Fork of the Columbia (not to be confused with the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River) rises near Butte

and flows northwest to Missoula, where it is joined by the Blackfoot River and Bitterroot River.

Further downstream it is joined by the Flathead River before entering Idaho near Lake Pend Oreille.

The Pend Oreille River forms the outflow of Lake Pend Oreille. The Pend Oreille River joined the Columbia River, which flows to the Pacific Ocean—making the

long Clark Fork/Pend Oreille (considered a single river system) the longest river in the Rocky Mountains.

The Clark Fork discharges the greatest volume of water of any river exiting the state.

The Kootenai River in northwest Montana is another major tributary of the Columbia.

Gulf of Mexico drainage basin

East of the divide, the Missouri River—formed by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers near Three Forks

—flows due north through the west-central part of the state to Great Falls,

then flows generally east through fairly flat agricultural land and the Missouri Breaks to Fort Peck reservoir.

The stretch of river between Fort Benton and the Fred Robinson Bridge at the western boundary of Fort Peck Reservoir was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976.

The Missouri enters North Dakota near Fort Union,

having drained more than half the land area of Montana (


Nearly one-third of the Missouri River in Montana lies behind 10 dams: Toston, Canyon Ferry, Hauser, Holter, Black Eagle, Rainbow, Cochrane, Ryan, Morony, and Fort Peck.

The Yellowstone River rises on the continental divide near Younts Peak in Wyoming's Teton Wilderness.

It flows north through Yellowstone National Park, enters Montana near Gardiner, and passes through the Paradise Valley to Livingston.

It then flows northeasterly

across the state through Billings, Miles City, Glendive, and Sidney.

The Yellowstone joins the Missouri in North Dakota just east of Fort Union.

It is the longest undammed, free-flowing river in the contiguous United States,

and drains about a quarter of Montana (


Other major Montana tributaries of the Missouri include the Smith,




and Musselshell Rivers.

Montana also claims the disputed title of possessing the world's shortest river, the Roe River, just outside Great Falls.

Through the Missouri, these rivers ultimately join the Mississippi River and flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

Major tributaries of the Yellowstone include the Boulder,


Clarks Fork,



and Powder Rivers.

Hudson Bay drainage basin

The Northern Divide turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak. It causes the Waterton River, Belly, and Saint Mary rivers to flow north into Alberta. There they join the Saskatchewan River, which ultimately empties into Hudson Bay.

Lakes and reservoirs

There are at least 3,223 named lakes and reservoirs in Montana, including Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Other major lakes include Whitefish Lake in the Flathead Valley and Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park. The largest reservoir in the state is Fort Peck Reservoir on the Missouri river, which is contained by the second largest earthen dam and largest hydraulically filled dam in the world.

Other major reservoirs include Hungry Horse on the Flathead River, Lake Koocanusa on the Kootenai River, Lake Elwell on the Marias River, Clark Canyon on the Beaverhead River, Yellowtail on the Bighorn River, Canyon Ferry, Hauser, Holter, Rainbow, and Black Eagle on the Missouri River.

Flora and fauna


Vegetation of the state includes lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine; douglas fir, larch, spruce; aspen, birch, red cedar, hemlock, ash, alder; rocky mountain maple and cottonwood trees. Forests cover approximately 25 percent of the state. Flowers native to Montana include asters, bitterroots, daisies, lupins, poppies, primroses, columbine, lilies, orchids, and dryads. Several species of sagebrush and cactus and many species of grasses are common. Many species of mushrooms and lichens

are also found in the state.

Montana is home to a diverse array of fauna that includes 14 amphibian,

90 fish,

117 mammal,

20 reptile

and 427 bird

species. Additionally, there are over 10,000 invertebrate species, including 180 mollusks and 30 crustaceans. Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.

Montana hosts five federally endangered speciesBlack-footed ferret, Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Pallid sturgeon and White sturgeon and seven threatened species including the Grizzly bear, Canadian lynx and Bull trout.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages fishing and hunting seasons for at least 17 species of game fish including seven species of trout, Walleye and Smallmouth bass

and at least 29 species of game birds and animals including Ring-neck pheasant, Grey partridge, Elk, Pronghorn antelope, Mule deer, Gray wolf and Bighorn sheep.

Protected lands

Montana contains Glacier National Park, “The Crown of the Continent”; and portions of Yellowstone National Park, including three of the park's five entrances. Other federally recognized sites include the Little Bighorn National Monument, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Big Hole National Battlefield, and the National Bison Range. Approximately

, or 35 percent of Montana's land is administered by federal or state agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service administers

of forest land in ten National Forests. There are approximately

of wilderness in 12 separate wilderness areas that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System established by the Wilderness Act of 1964. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management controls

of federal land. The U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service administers

of 1.1 million acres of National Wildlife Refuges and waterfowl production areas in Montana. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation administers approximately

of land and water surface in the state. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks operates approximately

of state parks and access points on the state's rivers and lakes. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation manages

of School Trust Land ceded by the federal government under the Land Ordinance of 1785 to the state in 1889 when Montana was granted statehood. These lands are managed by the state for the benefit of public schools and institutions in the state.

<!–The Federal government administers


are administered as state parks and forests.


was created by a landslide during the 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake]]

Areas managed by the National Park Service include:


]] Montana is a large state with considerable variation in geography, and the climate is, therefore, equally varied. The state spans from 'below' the 45th parallel (the line equidistant between the equator and North Pole) to the 49th parallel, and elevations range from under

to nearly

above sea level. The western half is mountainous, interrupted by numerous large valleys. Eastern Montana comprises plains and badlands, broken by hills and isolated mountain ranges, and has a semi-arid, continental climate (Köppen climate classification 'BSk'). The Continental Divide has a considerable effect on the climate, as it restricts the flow of warmer air from the Pacific from moving east, and cooler, drier continental air from moving west. The area west of the divide experiences a modified northern Pacific coast climate, with milder winters, cooler summers, less wind and a longer growing season.

Low clouds and fog often form in the valleys west of the divide in winter, but this is rarely seen in the east.

Average daytime temperatures vary from

in January to

in July.

The variation in geography leads to great variation in temperature. The highest observed summer temperature was

at Glendive on July 20, 1893, and Medicine Lake on July 5, 1937. Throughout the state, summer nights are generally cool and pleasant. Extremely hot weather is less common above


Snowfall has been recorded in all months of the year in the more mountainous areas of central and western Montana, though it is rare in July and August.

covering the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park as photographed on March 23, 2006.]]

The coldest temperature on record for Montana is also the coldest temperature for the entire contiguous U.S. On January 20, 1954,

was recorded at a gold mining camp near Rogers Pass. Temperatures vary greatly on such cold nights, and Helena,

to the southeast had a low of only

on the same date<!–I presume, it gets colder than -36 there–>.

Winter cold spells are usually the result of cold continental air coming south from Canada. The front is often well defined, causing a large temperature drop in a 24-hour period. Conversely, air flow from the southwest results in “Chinooks”. These steady 25–50&nbsp;mph (or more) winds can suddenly warm parts of Montana, especially areas just to the east of the mountains, where temperatures sometimes rise up to 50 °F (10 °C)&nbsp;– 60 °F (15 °C) for periods of ten days or longer.

Loma is the location of the most extreme recorded temperature change in a 24-hour period in the United States. On January 15, 1972, a chinook wind blew in and the temperature rose from




of precipitation per year.]]

Average annual precipitation is

, but great variations are seen. The mountain ranges block the moist Pacific air, holding moisture in the western valleys, and creating rain shadows to the east. Heron, in the west, receives the most precipitation,

. On the eastern (leeward) side of a mountain range, the valleys are much drier; Lonepine averages

, and Deer Lodge

of precipitation. The mountains themselves can receive over

,<!–sounds like snow, not rain,need to check–> for example the Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park gets


An area southwest of Belfry averaged only

over a sixteen-year period. Most of the larger cities get

of snow each year. Mountain ranges themselves can accumulate

of snow during a winter. Heavy snowstorms may occur any time from September through May, though most snow falls from November to March.

The climate has become warmer in Montana<!–probably, but over what time period?–> and continues to do so.

The glaciers in Glacier National Park have receded and are predicted to melt away completely in a few decades<!–need more specifics–>.

Many Montana cities set heat records during July 2007, the hottest month ever recorded in Montana.<!–may need to update to 2012 stats–>

Winters are warmer, too, and have fewer cold spells. Previously these cold spells had killed off bark beetles which are now attacking the forests of western Montana.

The combination of warmer weather, attack by beetles, and mismanagement during past years has led to a substantial increase in the severity of forest fires in Montana.

According to a study done for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, portions of Montana will experience a 200 percent increase in area burned by wildfires, and an 80 percent increase in related air pollution.


Montana is one of only two continental US states (along with Colorado) which is antipodal to land. The Kerguelen Islands are antipodal to the Montana–Saskatchewan–Alberta border. No towns are precisely antipodal to Kerguelen, though Chester and Rudyard are close.


family, Montana, 1890–91]] <!–not even going to start this, suggest scrapping the whole thing and restructure in accordance with Montana:Stories of the Land, online and a major new textbook blessed by the Montana Historical Society–> Various indigenous peoples lived in the territory of the present-day state of Montana for thousands of years. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans and settlers from the United States included the Crow in the south-central area; the Cheyenne in the southeast; the Blackfeet, Assiniboine and Gros Ventres in the central and north-central area; and the Kootenai and Salish in the west. The smaller Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel tribes lived near Flathead Lake and the western mountains, respectively.

The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to the Lewis and Clark Expedition American, British and French fur traders operated in both east and western portions of Montana. Until the Oregon Treaty (1846), land west of the continental divide was disputed between the British and U.S. and was known as the Oregon Country. The first permanent settlement in what today is Montana was St. Mary's (1841) near present day Stevensville.

In 1847, Fort Benton was established as the uppermost fur-trading post on the Missouri River.

In the 1850s, settlers began moving into the Beaverhead and Big Hole valleys from the Oregon Trail and into the Clark's Fork valley.

The first gold discovered in Montana was at Gold Creek near present day Garrison in 1852. A series of major mining discoveries in the western third of the state starting in 1862 found gold, silver, copper lead, coal (and later oil) that attracted tens of thousands of miners to the area. The richest of all gold placer diggings was discovered at Alder Gulch, where the town of Virginia City was established. Other rich placer deposits were found at Last Chance Gulch, where the city of Helena now stands, Confederate Gulch, Silver Bow, Emigrant Gulch, and Cooke City. Gold output from 1862 through 1876 reached $144 million; silver then became even more important. The largest mining operations were in the city of Butte, which had important silver deposits and gigantic copper deposits.

Montana territory

Prior to the creation of Montana Territory (1864–1889), various parts of what is now Montana were parts of Oregon Territory (1848–1859), Washington Territory (1853–1863), Idaho Territory (1863–1864), and Dakota Territory (1861–1864). Montana became a United States territory (Montana Territory) on May 26, 1864. The first territorial capital was at Bannack. The first territorial governor was Sidney Edgerton. The capital moved to Virginia City in 1865 and to Helena in 1875. In 1870, the non-Indian population of Montana Territory was 20,595.

The Montana Historical Society, founded on February 2, 1865, in Virginia City is the oldest such institution west of the Mississippi (excluding Louisiana).

In 1869 and 1870 respectively, the Cook–Folsom–Peterson and the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expeditions were launched from Helena into the Upper Yellowstone region and directly led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.


As white settlers began populating Montana from the 1850s through the 1870s, disputes with Native Americans ensued, primarily over land ownership and control. In 1855, Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens negotiated the Hellgate treaty between the United States Government and the Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and the Kootenai people of western Montana, which established boundaries for the tribal nations. The treaty was ratified in 1859.

While the treaty established what later became the Flathead Indian Reservation, trouble with interpreters and confusion over the terms of the treaty led whites to believe that the Bitterroot Valley was opened to settlement, but the tribal nations disputed those provisions.

The Salish remained in the Bitterroot Valley until 1891.

The first U.S. Army post established in Montana was Camp Cooke on the Missouri River in 1866 to protect steamboat traffic going to Fort Benton, Montana. More than a dozen additional military outposts were established in the state. Pressure over land ownership and control increased due to discoveries of gold in various parts of Montana and surrounding states. Major battles occurred in Montana during Red Cloud's War, the Great Sioux War of 1876, the Nez Perce War and in conflicts with Piegan Blackfeet.<!–these may need further breakout later–> The most notable of these were the Marias Massacre (1870), Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), Battle of the Big Hole (1877) and Battle of Bear Paw (1877). The last recorded conflict in Montana between the U.S. Army and Native Americans occurred in 1887 during the Battle of Crow Agency in the Big Horn country. Indian survivors who had signed treaties were generally required to move onto reservations.

Simultaneously with these conflicts, bison, a keystone species and the primary protein source that Native people had survived on for centuries were being destroyed. Some estimates say there were over 13 million bison in Montana in 1870.

In 1875, General Philip Sheridan pleaded to a joint session of Congress to authorize the slaughtering of herds in order to deprive the Indians of their source of food.

By 1884, commercial hunting had brought bison to the verge of extinction; only about 325 bison remained in the entire United States.

Cattle ranching

Cattle ranching has been central to Montana's history and economy since Johnny Grant began wintering cattle in the Deer Lodge Valley in the 1850s and traded cattle fattened in fertile Montana valleys with emigrants on the Oregon Trail.

Nelson Story brought the first Texas Longhorn Cattle into the territory in 1866.

Granville Stuart, Samuel Hauser and Andrew J. Davis started a major open range cattle operation in Fergus County in 1879.

The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge is maintained today as a link to the ranching style of the late 19th century. Operated by the National Park Service, it is a

working ranch.


Tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPR) reached Montana from the west in 1881 and from the east in 1882. However, the railroad played a major role in sparking tensions with Native American tribes in the 1870s. Jay Cooke, the NPR president launched major surveys into the Yellowstone valley in 1871, 1872 and 1873 which were challenged forcefully by the Sioux under chief Sitting Bull. These clashes, in part, contributed to the Panic of 1873 which delayed construction of the railroad into Montana.

Surveys in 1874, 1875 and 1876 helped spark the Great Sioux War of 1876. The transcontinental NPR was completed on September 8, 1883, at Gold Creek.

Tracks of the Great Northern Railroad (GNR) reached eastern Montana in 1887 and when they reached the northern Rocky Mountains in 1890, the GNR became a significant promoter of tourism to Glacier National Park region. The transcontinental GNR was completed on January 6, 1893, at Scenic, Washington.

In 1881, the Utah and Northern Railway a branch line of the Union Pacific completed a narrow gauge line from northern Utah to Butte.

A number of smaller spur lines operated in Montana from 1881 into the 20th century including the Oregon Short Line, Montana Railroad and Milwaukee Road.


s, Ft. Keogh, Montana, 1890. The nickname was given to the “Black Cavalry” by the Native American tribes they fought.]] Under Territorial Governor Thomas Meagher, Montanans held a constitutional convention in 1866 in a failed bid for statehood. A second constitutional convention was held in Helena in 1884 that produced a constitution ratified 3:1 by Montana citizens in November 1884. For political reasons, Congress did not approve Montana statehood until 1889. Congress approved Montana statehood in February 1889 and President Grover Cleveland signed an omnibus bill granting statehood to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington once the appropriate state constitutions were crafted. In July 1889, Montanans convened their third constitutional convention and produced a constitution acceptable by the people and the federal government. On November 8, 1889 President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed Montana the forty-first state in the union. The first state governor was Joseph K. Toole.

In the 1880s, Helena (the current state capital) had more millionaires per capita than any other United States city.


The Homestead Act of 1862 provided free land to settlers who could claim and “prove-up”

of federal land in the midwest and western United States. Montana did not see a large influx of immigrants from this act because 160 acres was usually insufficient to support a family in the arid territory.

The first homestead claim under the act in Montana was made by David Carpenter near Helena in 1868. The first claim by a woman was made near Warm Springs Creek by Miss Gwenllian Evans, the daughter of Deer Lodge Montana Pioneer, Morgan Evans.

By 1880, there were farms in the more verdant valleys of central and western Montana, but few on the eastern plains.

The Desert Land Act of 1877 was passed to allow settlement of arid lands in the west and allotted

to settlers for a fee of $.25 per acre and a promise to irrigate the land. After three years, a fee of one dollar per acre would be paid and the land would be owned by the settler. This act brought mostly cattle and sheep ranchers into Montana, many of which grazed their herds on the Montana prairie for three years, did little to irrigate the land and then abandoned it without paying the final fees.

Some farmers came with the arrival of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads throughout the 1880s and 1890s, though in relatively small numbers.

family in Montana, c. 1937]]

In the early 1900s, James J. Hill of the Great Northern and began promoting settlement in the Montana prairie to fill his trains with settlers and goods. Other railroads followed suit.

In 1902, the Reclamation Act was passed, allowing irrigation projects to be built in Montana's eastern river valleys. In 1909, Congress passed the Enlarged Homestead Act that expanded the amount of free land from


per family and in 1912 reduced the time to “prove up” on a claim to three years.

In 1916, the Stock-Raising Homestead Act allowed homesteads of 640 acres in areas unsuitable for irrigation.

This combination of advertising and changes in the Homestead Act drew tens of thousands of homesteaders, lured by free land, with World War I bringing particularly high wheat prices. In addition, Montana was going through a temporary period of higher-than-average precipitation.

Homesteaders arriving in this period were known as “Honyockers”, or “scissorbills.”

Though the word “honyocker”, possibly derived from the ethnic slur “hunyak,”

was applied in a derisive manner at homesteaders as being “greenhorns”, “new at his business” or “unprepared”,

The reality was that a majority of these new settlers had previous farming experience, though there were also many who did not.

However, farmers faced a number of problems. Massive debt was one.

Also, most settlers were from wetter regions, unprepared for the dry climate, lack of trees, and scarce water resources.

In addition, small homesteads of fewer than

were unsuited to the environment. Weather and agricultural conditions are much harsher and drier west of the 100th<!–some sources say 96th?–> meridian.

Then, the droughts of 1917–1921 proved devastating. Many people left, and half the banks in the state went bankrupt as a result of providing mortgages that could not be repaid.

As a result, farm sizes increased while the number of farms decreased

By 1910, homesteaders filed claims on over five million acres, and by 1923, over 93 million acres were farmed.

In 1910, the Great Falls land office alone saw over 1,000 homestead filings per month,

and the peak of 1917–&nbsp;1918 saw 14,000 new homesteads each year.

But significant drop followed drought in 1919.



Montana and World War I

As World War I broke out, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman in America to be a member of Congress, was a pacifist and voted against the United States' declaration of war. However, her actions were widely criticized in Montana, public support for the war was strong, and wartime sentiment reached levels of hyper-patriotism among many Montanans.

In 1917–18, due to a miscalculation of Montana's population, approximately 40,000 Montanans, ten percent of the state's population,

either volunteered or were drafted into the armed forces. This represented a manpower contribution to the war that was 25 percent higher than any other state on a per capita basis. Approximately 1500 Montanans died as a result of the war<!– this number includes KIA and later deaths in and out of the war zone, verified here: –> and 2437 were wounded, also higher than any other state on a per capita basis.

Montana's Remount station in Miles City provided 10,000 cavalry horses for the war, more than any other Army post in the US. The war created a boom for Montana mining, lumber and farming interests as demand for war materials and food increased.

In June 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917 which was later extended by the Sedition Act of 1918, enacted in May 1918.

In February 1918, the Montana legislature had passed the Montana Sedition Act, which was a model for the federal version.

In combination, these laws criminalized criticism of the U.S. government, military, or symbols through speech or other means. The Montana Act led to the arrest of over 200 individuals and the conviction of 78, mostly of German or Austrian descent. Over 40 spent time in prison.<!–sources vary: 42 to 47–> In May 2006, then-Governor Brian Schweitzer posthumously issued full pardons for all those convicted of violating the Montana Sedition Act.

The Montanans who opposed U.S. entry into the war included certain immigrant groups of German and Irish heritage as well as pacifist Anabaptist people such as the Hutterites and Mennonites, many of whom were also of Germanic heritage. In turn, pro-War groups formed, such as the Montana Council of Defense, created by Governor Samuel V. Stewart as well as local “loyalty committees.”

War sentiment was complicated by labor issues. The Anaconda Copper Company, which was at its historic peak of copper production,

was an extremely powerful force in Montana, but also faced noticeable opposition from socialist newspapers and increasing radicalization of unions.

In Butte, a multi-ethnic community with significant European immigrant population, labor unions, particularly the newly formed Metal Mine Workers’ Union, opposed the war on grounds that it mostly profited large lumber and mining interests.

In the wake of ramped-up mine production and the Speculator Mine disaster in June 1917,

Industrial Workers of the World organizer Frank Little arrived in Butte to organize miners. He gave some speeches with inflammatory anti-war rhetoric. On August 1, 1917, he was dragged from his boarding house by masked vigilantes, and hanged from a railroad trestle, considered a lynching.

Little's murder and the strikes that followed resulted in the National Guard being sent to Butte to restore order.

Overall, anti-German and anti-labor sentiment increased and created a movement that led to the passage of the Montana Sedition Act the following February.

<!–“The immediate effect of the lynching of Frank Little was the spread of the miners' strike. The union claimed it had proof that the Anaconda Copper Company had perpetrated the crime, and the workers' anger enabled the MMWU to close most mines, and because of the lack of ore, major smelters closed all over the state. But on August 10, Federal troops were ordered to Butte to patrol the streets leading to the mines. And as the strike spread, Senator Myers of Montana introduced into the U.S. Senate an anti-sedition bill that could have been used to guarantee the strike's defeat. When this failed to pass, a special session of the Montana legislature passed what have been called “incredible laws curbing the freedom of speech.” One such law was the Montana Sedition Act which provided that…” Text of source –><!– keep, useful–> In addition, the Council of Defense was made a state agency with the power to prosecute and punish individuals deemed in violation of the Act. The Council also passed rules limiting public gatherings and prohibiting the speaking of German in public.

In the wake of the legislative action in 1918, emotions rose. U.S. Attorney Burton K. Wheeler and several District Court Judges who hesitated to prosecute or convict people brought up on charges were strongly criticized. Wheeler was brought before the Council of Defense, though he avoided formal proceedings, and a District Court judge from Forsyth was impeached. There were burnings of German-language books and several near-hangings. The prohibition on speaking German remained in effect into the early 1920s. Complicating the wartime struggles, the 1918 Influenza epidemic claimed the lives of over 5,000 Montanans.

The period has been dubbed “Montana's Agony” by some historians due to the suppression of civil liberties that occurred.

Depression era

An economic depression began in Montana after WWI and lasted through the Great Depression until the beginning of World War II. This caused great hardship for farmers, ranchers, and miners. The wheat farms in eastern Montana make the state a major producer; the wheat has a relatively high protein content and thus commands premium prices.

Montana and World War II

<!– Will extract from

–> <!–Fort Missoula, Enemy Alien Internment Camp–> <!–Sugar Beet labor crisis–>

When the U.S. entered World War II on December 8, 1941, many Montanans already had enlisted in the military to escape the poor national economy of the previous decade. Another 40,000-plus Montanans entered the armed forces in the first year following the declaration of war, and over 57,000 joined up before the war ended. These numbers constituted about 10 percent of the state’s total population, and Montana again contributed one of the highest numbers of soldiers per capita of any state. Many Native Americans were among those who served, including soldiers from the Crow Nation who became Code Talkers. At least 1500 Montanans died in the war.

Montana also was the training ground for the First Special Service Force or “Devil's Brigade,” a joint U.S-Canadian commando-style force that trained at Fort William Henry Harrison for experience in mountainous and winter conditions prior to deployment.

Air bases were built in Great Falls, Lewistown, Cut Bank and Glasgow, some of which were used as staging areas to prepare planes to be sent to allied forces in the Soviet Union. During the war, about 30 Japanese balloon bombs were documented to have landed in Montana, though no casualties nor major forest fires were attributed to them.

In 1940, Jeannette Rankin had once again been elected to Congress, and in 1941, as she did in 1917, she voted against the United States' declaration of war. This time she was the only vote against the war, and in the wake of public outcry over her vote, she required police protection for a time. Other pacifists tended to be those from “peace churches” who generally opposed war. Many individuals from throughout the U.S. who claimed conscientious objector status were sent to Montana during the war as smokejumpers and for other forest fire-fighting duties.

Other military

The planned battleship USS ''Montana'' was named in honor of the state. However, the battleship was never completed, making Montana the only one of the 48 states during World War II not to have a battleship named after it. Additionally, Alaska and Hawaii have both had nuclear submarines named after them. As such Montana is the only state in the union without a modern naval ship named in its honor. However, in August 2007 Senator Jon Tester made a request to the Navy that a submarine be christened USS Montana.

Cold war Montana

In the post-World War II Cold War era, Montana became host to U.S. Air Force Military Air Transport Service (1947) for airlift training in C-54 Skymasters and eventually Strategic Air Command (1953) strategic air and missile forces based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. The base also hosted the 29th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Air Defense Command from 1953 to 1968. In December 1959, Malmstrom AFB was selected as the home of the new Minuteman I ballistic missile. The first operational missiles were in-place and ready in early 1962. In late 1962 missiles assigned to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing would play a major role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. When the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba, President John F. Kennedy said the Soviets backed down because they knew he had an “Ace in the Hole,” referring directly to the Minuteman missiles in Montana. Montana eventually became home to the largest ICBM field in the U.S. covering




The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Montana was 1,015,165 on July 1, 2013, a 2.6% increase since the 2010 United States Census.<ref name=“PopEstUS”>

</ref> The 2010 census put Montana's population at 989,415 which is an increase of 87,220 people, or 9.7 percent, since the year 2000.

Growth is mainly concentrated in Montana's seven largest counties, with the heaviest percentile growth in Gallatin County, which saw a 32 percent increase in its population since 2000.

The city seeing the largest percentile growth was Kalispell with 40.1 percent, and the city with the largest actual growth was Billings with an increase in population of 14,323 since 2000.

Much of the growth in both cities is explained by annexation and boundary changes, however.

On January 3, 2012, the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) at the Montana Department of Commerce estimated Montana had hit the one million mark sometime between November and December 2011.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Montana was 1,005,141 on July 1, 2012, a 1.6 percent increase since the 2010 United States Census.

According to the 2010 Census, 89.4 percent of the population was White (87.8 percent Non-Hispanic White),<!–possibly break out Hispanic properly, a significant population in the Billings area–> 6.3 percent American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.9 percent Hispanics and Latinos of any race, 0.6 percent Asian, 0.4 percent Black or African American, 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.6 percent from Some Other Race, and 2.5 percent from two or more races.

The largest European ancestry groups in Montana as of 2010 are: German (27.0 percent), Irish (14.8 percent), English (12.6 percent), and Norwegian (10.9 percent).

Montana Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1990<ref>Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States</ref> 2000<ref>Population of Montana: Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts</ref> 2010<ref>2010 Census Data</ref>
White 92.7% 90.6% 89.4%
Native 6.0% 6.2% 6.3%
Asian 0.5% 0.5% 0.6%
Black 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Native Hawaiian and <br>other Pacific Islander - 0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
Two or more races - 1.7% 2.5%

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 94.8 percent of the population aged 5 and older speak English at home.

Spanish is the language most commonly spoken at home other than English. There were about 13,040 Spanish-language speakers in the state (1.4 percent of the population) in 2011.

There were also 15,438 (1.7 percent of the state population) speakers of Indo-European languages other than English or Spanish, 10,154 (1.1 percent) speakers of a Native American language, and 4,052 (0.4 percent) speakers of an Asian or Pacific Islander language.

Other languages spoken in Montana (as of 2013) include Assiniboine (about 150 speakers in the Montana and Canada), Blackfoot (about 100 speakers), Cheyenne (about 1,700 speakers), Plains Cree (about 100 speakers), Crow (about 3,000 speakers), Dakota (about 18,800 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), German Hutterite (about 5,600 speakers), Gros Ventre (about 10 speakers), Kalispel-Pend d’Oreille (about 64 speakers), Kutenai (about 6 speakers), and Lakota (about 6,000 speakers in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota).

The United States Department of Education estimated in 2009 that 5,274 students in Montana spoke a language at home other than English. These included a Native American language (64 percent), German (4 percent), Spanish (3 percent), Russian (1 percent), and Chinese (less than 0.5 percent).

Intra-state demographics

<!–took a big whack at this section, still needs help, also much redundant with above sections–> Montana has a larger Native American population numerically and percentage-wise than most U.S. states. Although the state ranked 45th in population (according to the 2010 U.S. Census), it ranked 19th in total native people population.

Native people constituted 6.5 percent of the state's total population, the sixth highest percentage of all 50 states.

Montana has three counties in which Native Americans are a majority: Big Horn, Glacier, and Roosevelt.

Other counties with large Native Ameican populations include Blaine, Cascade, Hill, Missoula, and Yellowstone counties.

The state's Native American population grew by 27.9 percent between 1908 and 1990 (at a time when Montana's entire population rose just 1.6 percent),

and by 18.5 percent between 2000 and 2010.

As of 2009, almost two-thirds of Native Americans in the state live in urban areas.

Of Montana's 20 largest cities, Polson (15.7 percent), Havre (13.0 percent), Great Falls (5.0 percent), Billings (4.4 percent), and Anaconda (3.1 percent) had the greatest percentage of Native American residents in 2010.

Billings (4,619), Great Falls (2,942), Missoula (1,838), Havre (1,210), and Polson (706) have the most Native Americans living there.

The state's seven reservations include more than twelve distinct Native American ethnolinguistic groups.

While the largest European-American population in Montana overall is German, pockets of significant Scandinavian ancestry are prevalent in some of the farming-dominated northern and eastern prairie regions, parallel to nearby regions of North Dakota and Minnesota. Farmers of Irish, Scots, and English roots also settled in Montana. The historically mining-oriented communities of western Montana such as Butte have a wider range of European-American ethnicity; Finns, Eastern Europeans and especially Irish settlers left an indelible mark on the area, as well as people originally from British mining regions such as Cornwall, Devon and Wales. The nearby city of Helena, also founded as a mining camp, had a similar mix in addition to a small Chinatown.

Many of Montana's historic logging communities originally attracted people of Scottish, Scandinavian, Slavic, English and Scots-Irish descent.

The Hutterites, an Anabaptist sect originally from Switzerland, settled here, and today Montana is second only to South Dakota in U.S. Hutterite population with several colonies spread across the state. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the state also saw an influx of Amish, who relocated to Montana from the increasingly urbanized areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Montana's Hispanic population is concentrated around the Billings area in south-central Montana, where many of Montana's Mexican-Americans have been in the state for generations. Great Falls has the highest percentage of African-Americans in its population, although Billings has more African American residents than Great Falls.

The Chinese in Montana, while a low percentage today, have historically been an important presence. About 2000–3000 Chinese miners were in the mining areas of Montana by 1870, and 2500 in 1890. However, public opinion grew increasingly negative toward them in the 1890s and nearly half of the state's Asian population left the state by 1900.

Today, there is a significant Hmong population centered in the vicinity of Missoula.

Montanans who claim Filipino ancestry amount to almost 3,000, making them currently the largest Asian American group in the state.


<!–this needs reorganization and elimination of inconsistent or redundant material, plus better sources–> The religious affiliations of the people of Montana are as follows: Protestant 47%, Catholic 23%, LDS (Mormon) 5%, Jewish 0.5%, Jehovah's Witness 2%, Muslim 0.5%, Buddhist 1%, Hindu 0.5% and Non-Religious at 20%.<ref></ref>

, the RCMS reported that the three largest denominational groups in Montana are Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Mainline Protestant.

Large denominations (measured by numbers of adherents) include the Roman Catholic Church with 169,250

; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 50,287


and (

) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 47,854. <!—, need better refs —>

Native American population

File:Montana Indian Reservations.svg

Approximately 66,000 people of Native American heritage live in Montana. Stemming from multiple treaties and federal legislation, including the Indian Appropriations Act (1851), the Dawes Act (1887), and the Indian Reorganization Act (1934), seven Indian reservations, encompassing eleven tribal nations, were created in Montana. A twelfth nation, the Little Shell Chippewa is a “landless” people headquartered in Great Falls, recognized by the state of Montana but not by the U.S. Government. The Blackfeet nation is headquartered on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation (1851) in Browning, Crow on the Crow Indian Reservation (1851) in Crow Agency, Confederated Salish and Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille on the Flathead Indian Reservation (1855) in Ronan, Northern Cheyenne on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation (1884) at Lame Deer, Assiniboine and Gros Ventre on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (1888) in Fort Belknap Agency, Assiniboine and Sioux on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (1888) at Poplar, and Chippewa-Cree on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (1916) near Box Elder. Approximately 63% of all Native people live off the reservations, concentrated in the larger Montana cities with the largest concentration of urban Indians in Great Falls. The state also has a small Métis population, and 1990 census data indicated that people from as many as 275 different tribes lived in Montana.

Montana's Constitution specifically reads that “the state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.”<ref name=ArticleX>

</ref> It is the only state in the U.S. with such a constitutional mandate. As a result, the Indian Education for All Act“ mandates schools teach American Indian history, culture, and heritage to from preschool through college.<ref name = “nativeamericancenter”>

</ref> For kindergarten through 12th grade students, an “Indian Education for All” curriculum from the Montana Office of Public Instruction is available free to all schools.<ref>

</ref> Montana is also the only state that has a fully accredited tribal college for each Indian reservation. The University of Montana “was the first to establish dual admission agreements with all of the tribal colleges and as such it was the first institution in the nation to actively facilitate student transfer from the tribal colleges.”<ref name = “nativeamericancenter”/>


File:Craft Breweries Per Capita (US).svg

per capita.]]

, the tallest building in Montana]] The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Montana's total state product in 2010 was $50.7 billion. Per capita personal income in 2010 was $32,149, 46th in the nation.

<!– Agriculture information goes here –>

Montana is a relative hub of beer microbrewing, ranking third in the nation in number of craft breweries per capita in 2011.

There are significant industries for lumber and mineral extraction; the state's resources include gold, coal, silver, talc, and vermiculite. Ecotaxes on resource extraction are numerous. A 1974 state severance tax on coal (which varied from 20 to 30 percent) was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana, 453 U.S. 609 (1981).<ref>


Tourism is also important to the economy with millions of visitors a year to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, the Missouri River headwaters, the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Montana's personal income tax contains 7 brackets, with rates ranging from 1 percent to 6.9 percent. Montana has no sales tax. In Montana, household goods are exempt from property taxes. However, property taxes are assessed on livestock, farm machinery, heavy equipment, automobiles, trucks, and business equipment. The amount of property tax owed is not determined solely by the property's value. The property's value is multiplied by a tax rate, set by the Montana Legislature, to determine its taxable value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the mill levy established by various taxing jurisdictions—city and county government, school districts and others.

As of February 2013, the state's unemployment rate is 5.6 percent.


Many well-known artists, photographers and authors have documented the land, culture and people of Montana in the last 100 years. Painter and sculptor Charles Marion Russell, known as “the cowboy artist” created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada.

The C. M. Russell Museum Complex located in Great Falls, Montana houses more than 2,000 Russell artworks, personal objects, and artifacts.<!–note the Montana Historical Society also has a CM Russell Gallery and assorted works–>

Evelyn Cameron, a naturalist and photographer from Terry documented early 20th century life on the Montana prairie, taking startlingly clear pictures of everything around her: cowboys, sheepherders, weddings, river crossings, freight wagons, people working, badlands, eagles, coyotes and wolves.

<!–add Schlechten bros, F Jay Haynes to photogs–>

Many notable Montana authors have documented or been inspired by life in Montana in both fiction and non-fiction works. Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Earle Stegner from Great Falls was often called “The Dean of Western Writers”.

James Willard Schultz (“Apikuni”) from Browning is most noted for his prolific stories about Blackfeet<!–Blackfeet in Montana, Blackfoot in Canada, go figure…–> life and his contributions to the naming of prominent features in Glacier National Park.

<!–add James Welsh, Richard Hugo, William Kittridge–>

<!–also add JK Ralston–>

Major cultural events

Montana hosts numerous arts and cultural festivals and events every year. Major events include:

  • Bozeman was once known as the “Sweet Pea capital of the nation” referencing the prolific edible pea crop. To promote the area and celebrate its prosperity, local business owners began a “Sweet Pea Carnival” that included a parade and queen contest. The annual event lasted from 1906 to 1916. Promoters used the inedible but fragrant and colorful sweet pea flower as an emblem of the celebration. In 1977 the “Sweet Pea” concept was revived as an arts festival rather than a harvest celebration, growing into a three-day event that is one of the largest festivals in Montana.
  • Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been performing free, live theatrical productions of Shakespeare and other classics throughout Montana since 1973.

    The Montana Shakespeare Company is based in Helena.

  • Since 1909, the Crow Fair and Rodeo, near Hardin, has been an annual event every August in Crow Agency and is currently the largest Northern Native American gathering, attracting nearly 45,000 spectators and participants.

    Since 1952, North American Indian Days has been held every July in Browning.

<!–“State Fairs” in Billings and Great Falls–> <!–Bozeman still have the opera company??–> <!–general statement about arts at MSU/UM being a big deal–> <!–Symphony orchestras in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula…? others?–> <!–Missoula Children's Theater–> <!–major community theaters, i.e. Bigfork, Grandstreet in Helena –> <!–Western Rendezvous of Art, Helena; CM Russell museum auction, Great Falls–> <!–don't think there is a professional ballet company in -statem is there??–> <!–Major state art museums – Holter Museum in Helena, others?–>


<!–need intro and overall discussion of education in the state, mention OPI and the MUS–>

Colleges and universities

The Montana University System consists of:

Tribal colleges in Montana include:

There are three private, non-profit colleges in Montana:


==Sports== <!–needs refs, not tagging–>

===Professional sports=== There are no major league sports franchises in Montana due to the state's relatively small and dispersed population, but a number of minor league teams play in the state. Baseball is the minor-league sport with the longest heritage in the state, and Montana is currently home to four Minor League baseball teams, all members of the Pioneer Baseball League:

===Collegiate and High School sports=== All of Montana's four-year colleges and universities field a variety of intercollegiate sports teams. The two largest schools, the University of Montana and Montana State University, are members of the Big Sky Conference and have enjoyed a strong athletic rivalry since the early twentieth century. Six of the Montana's smaller four-year schools are members of the Frontier Conference.

One is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

A variety of sports are offered at Montana high schools.

Montana allows the smallest—”Class C“—high schools to utilize six-man football teams,

dramatized in the independent 2002 film, The Slaughter Rule.

===Amateur sports=== There are six junior hockey teams in Montana, five of which are affiliated with the American West Hockey League (the Glacier Nationals are in Northern Pacific Hockey League):

Numerous other sports are played at the club and amateur level. In 2011, Big Sky Little League won the Northwest Region, advancing to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA for the first time in state history.

===Major sporting milestones=== <!–add more major stuff of significance here–> <!–this is immensely cool, but not sure if properly structured–>

<!–may want to add other truly unique and interesting sports stuff here–>

==Recreation== Montana provides year round recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Hiking, fishing, hunting, watercraft recreation, camping, golf, cycling, horseback riding, and skiing are popular activities.

===Fishing and hunting=== Montana has been a destination for its world-class trout fisheries since the 1930s.

Fly fishing for several species of native and introduced trout in rivers and lakes is popular for both residents and tourists throughout the state. Montana is the home of the Federation of Fly Fishers and hosts many of the organizations annual conclaves. The state has robust recreational Lake Trout and Kokanee Salmon fisheries in the west, Walleye can be found in many parts of the state, while Northern Pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass fisheries as well as catfish and paddlefish can found in the waters of eastern Montana.

Robert Redford's 1992 film of Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It was filmed in Montana and brought national attention to fly fishing and the state.

<!– will have most of what is needed–>

Montana is home to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and has a historic big game hunting tradition. <!–may want to look for the stat that we may have the most hunters per capita in the country–> There are fall bow and general hunting seasons for elk, moose, pronghorn antelope, whitetail deer and mule deer. A random draw grants a limited number of permits for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. There is a spring hunting season for black bear and in most years, limited hunting of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park is allowed. Current law allows both hunting and trapping of a specific number of wolves and mountain lions. Trapping of assorted fur bearing animals is allowed in certain seasons and many opportunities exist for migratory waterfowl and upland bird hunting.

===Winter recreation===



Both downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are popular in Montana, which has 15 developed downhill ski areas open to the public,


Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Red Lodge, and Whitefish Mountain are destination resorts, while the remaining areas do not have overnight lodging at the ski area, though several host restaurants and other amenities.

These day-use resorts partner with local lodging businesses to offer ski and lodging packages.

<!– here, it would be better to insert narrative on which get the most people or have the most acreage or have the most miles of runs or trails–>

Montana also has millions of acres open to cross-country skiing on nine of its national forests plus in Glacier National Park. In addition to cross-country trails at most of the downhill ski areas, there are also 13 private cross-country skiing resorts.

Yellowstone National Park also allows cross-country skiing.

Snowmobiling is popular in Montana which boasts over 4000 miles of trails and frozen lakes available in winter.

There are 24 areas where snowmobile trails are maintained, most also offering ungroomed trails.

West Yellowstone offers a large selection of trails and is the primary starting point for snowmobile trips into Yellowstone National Park,

where “oversnow” vehicle use is strictly limited, usually to guided tours, and regulations are in considerable flux.

Snow coach tours are offered at Big Sky, Whitefish, West Yellowstone and into Yellowstone National Park.

Equestrian skijoring has a niche in Montana, which hosts the World Skijoring Championships in Whitefish as part of the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival.

==Health== Montana does not have a Trauma I hospital, but does have Trauma II hospitals in Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls.

In 2013 AARP The Magazine named the Billings Clinic one of the safest hospitals in the United States.

<!–add stuff on healthcare sector of economy, perhaps critical rural hospitals, the WAMI program to train Montana doctors, problem with primary care and care in rural areas, etc.–>


As of 2010, Missoula is the 166th largest media market in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research, while Billings is 170th, Great Falls is 190th, the Butte-Bozeman area 191st, and Helena is 206th.

There are 25 television stations in Montana, representing each major U.S. network.

As of August 2013, there are 527 FCC-licensed FM radio stations broadcast in Virginia, with 114 such AM stations.

During the age of the Copper Kings, each Montana copper company had its own newspaper. This changed in 1959 when Lee Enterprises bought several Montana newspapers.

Montana's largest circulating daily city newspapers are the Billings Gazette (circulation 39,405), Great Falls Tribune (26,733), and Missoulian (25,439).


, West Yellowstone, Montana]]

Railroads have been an important method of transportation in Montana since the 1880s. Historically, the state was traversed by the main lines of three east-west transcontinental routes: the Milwaukee Road, the Great Northern, and the Northern Pacific. Today, the BNSF Railway is the state's largest railroad, its main transcontinental route incorporating the former Great Northern main line across the state. Montana RailLink, a privately held Class II railroad, operates former Northern Pacific trackage in western Montana.<!–MRL coverage area needs to be specified more precisely, maybe mention significance of Washington Corporation–>

In addition, Amtrak's Empire Builder train runs through the north of the state, stopping in Libby, Whitefish, West Glacier, Essex, East Glacier Park, Browning, Cut Bank, Shelby, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, and Wolf Point.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is the busiest airport in the state of Montana, surpassing Billings Logan International Airport in the spring of 2013.

Montana's other major Airports include Billings Logan International Airport, Missoula International Airport, Great Falls International Airport, Glacier Park International Airport, Helena Regional Airport, Bert Mooney Airport and Yellowstone Airport.<!–rank in order of how busy/big they are–> Eight smaller communities have airports designated for commercial service under the Essential Air Service program.

Historically, U.S. Route 10 was the primary east-west highway route across Montana, connecting the major cities in the southern half of the state. Still the state's most important east-west travel corridor, the route is today served by Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 which roughly follow the same route as the Northern Pacific. U.S. Routes 2 and 12 and Montana Highway 200 also traverse the entire state from east to west.

Montana's only north-south Interstate Highway is Interstate 15. Other major north-south highways include U.S. Routes 87, 89, 93 and 191. Interstate 25 terminates into I-90 just south of the Montana border in Wyoming.

Montana and South Dakota are the only states to share a land border which is not traversed by a paved road. Highway 212, the primary paved route between the two, passes through <!–about 20-30 miles–> the northeast corner of Wyoming between Montana and South Dakota.

==Law and government==

The current Governor is Steve Bullock, a Democrat elected in 2012 and sworn in on January 7, 2013. His predecessor in office was two-term governor, Brian Schweitzer. Montana's two U.S. senators are Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats. The state's congressional representative is currently Republican Steve Daines, elected in 2012 and sworn in on January 3, 2013.

In 1914 Montana granted women the vote and in 1916 became the first state to elect a woman, Progressive Republican Jeannette Rankin, to Congress.

Montana is an Alcoholic beverage control state.

<!–may wish to expand and discuss microbrewries?→

It is an equtable distribution and no-fault divorce state. It is one of five states to have no sales tax.{[cn}}<!–add other relevant odds and ends to this paragraph–>


Politics in the state has been competitive, with the Democrats usually holding an edge, thanks to the support among unionized miners and railroad workers. Large-scale battles revolved around the giant Anaconda Copper company, based in Butte and controlled by Rockefeller interests, until it closed in the 1970s. Until 1959, the company owned five of the state's six largest newspapers.

<!–need to merge and consolidate with material below–>

Historically, Montana is a swing state of cross-ticket voters who tend to fill elected offices with individuals from both parties. Through the mid-20th century, the state had a tradition of “sending the liberals to Washington and the conservatives to Helena.” Between 1988 and 2006, the pattern flipped, with voters more likely to elect conservatives to federal offices. There have also been long-term shifts of party control. <!–needs historical patterns discussed–>From 1968 through 1988, the state was dominated by the Democratic Party, with Democratic governors for a 20-year period, and a Democratic majority of both the national congressional delegation and during many sessions of the state legislature. This pattern shifted, beginning with the 1988 election, when Montana elected a Republican governor for the first time since 1964 and sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1948. This shift continued with the reapportionment of the state's legislative districts that took effect in 1994, when the Republican Party took control of both chambers of the state legislature, consolidating a Republican party dominance that lasted until the 2004 reapportionment produced more swing districts and a brief period of Democratic legislative majorities in the mid-2000s.

In presidential elections, Montana was long classified as a swing state, though the state has voted for the republican candidate in all but two elections from 1952 to the present.

The state last supported a Democrat for president in 1992, when Bill Clinton won a plurality victory. Overall, since 1889 the state has voted for Democratic governors 60 percent of the time and Democratic presidents 40 percent of the time, with these numbers being 40/60 for Republican candidates. In the 2008 presidential election, Montana was considered a swing state and was ultimately won by Republican John McCain, albeit by a narrow margin of two percent.

However, at the state level, the pattern of split ticket voting and divided government holds. Democrats currently hold both U.S. Senate seats, as well as four of the five statewide offices (Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State and State Auditor). The Legislative branch had split party control between the house and senate most years between 2004 and 2010, when the mid-term elections returned both branches to Republican control. The state Senate is, as of 2013, controlled by the Republicans 29 to 21, and the State House of Representatives at 61 to 39.

Montana currently has only one representative in the U.S. House, having lost its second district in the 1990 census reapportionment, which makes it the poorest-represented U.S. state in the House (see List of U.S. states by population). Montana's population grew at about the national average during the 2000s, and it failed to regain its second seat in 2010. Like other states, Montana has two senators.

===Current trends=== <!–tossing this here as a catchall section, possibly not needed, but for now, just a place to park stuff–> A November 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 37 percent of Montana voters supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 51 percent opposed it and 12 percent were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 62 percent of respondents supported legal recognition for same-sex couples, with 32 percent supporting same-sex marriage, 30 percent supporting civil unions, 35 percent opposing all legal recognition and 3 percent not sure.

==Cities and towns==

Montana has 56 counties with the United States Census Bureau stating Montana's contains 364 "places", broken down into 129 incorporated places and 235 census-designated places. Incorporated places consist of 52 cities, 75 towns, and two consolidated city-counties.

Montana has one city, Billings, with a population over 100,000; and two cities with populations over 50,000, Missoula and Great Falls. These three communities are considered the centers of Montana's three Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The state also has five Micropolitan Statistical Areas centered on Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Kalispell and Havre.

These communities, excluding Havre, are colloquially known as the “big 7” Montana cities, as they are consistently the seven largest communities in Montana, with a significant population difference when these communities are compared to those that are 8th and lower on the list.

According to 2010 U.S. Census the population of Montana's seven most populous cities, in rank order, are Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte, Helena and Kalispell.

Based on 2000 census numbers, they collectively contain 34 percent of Montana's population.

and the counties containing these communities hold more than 60 percent of the state's population.

The geographic center of population of Montana, however, is located in sparsely populated Meagher County, in the town of White Sulphur Springs.

==State symbols==

Montana's motto, Oro y Plata, Spanish for “gold and silver,” recognizing the significant role of mining, was first adopted in 1865, when Montana was still a territory.

A state seal with a miner's pick and shovel above the motto, surrounded by the mountains and the Great Falls of the Missouri River, was adopted during the first meeting of the territorial legislature in 1864–65. The design was only slightly modified after Montana became a state and adopted it as the Great Seal of the State of Montana, enacted by the legislature in 1893.

The state flower, the Bitterroot, was adopted in 1895 with the support of a group called the Floral Emblem Association, which formed after Montana's Women's Christian Temperance Union adopted the bitterroot as the organization's state flower.

All other symbols were adopted throughout the 20th century, save for Montana's newest symbol, the state butterfly, the Mourning Cloak, adopted in 2001,

and the State Lullaby, “Montana Lullaby,” adopted in 2007.

The state song was not composed until 21 years after statehood, when a musical troupe led by Joseph E. Howard stopped in Butte in September 1910. A former member of the troupe who lived in Butte buttonholed Howard at an after-show party, asking him to compose a song about Montana and got another partygoer, the city editor for the Butte Miner newspaper, Charles C. Cohan, to help. The two men worked up a basic melody and lyrics in about a half-hour for the entertainment of party guests, then finished the song later that evening, with an arrangement worked up the following day. Upon arriving in Helena, Howard's troupe performed 12 encores of the new song to an enthusiastic audience and the governor proclaimed it the state song on the spot, though formal legislative recognition did not occur until 1945.

Montana is one of only three states to have a “state ballad,”

“Montana Melody,” chosen by the legislature in 1983.

<!– – not a RS, but this was the scuttlebutt–> Montana was the first state to also adopt a State Lullaby.

Montana schoolchildren played a significant role in selecting several state symbols. The state tree, the ponderosa pine, was selected by Montana schoolchildren as the preferred state tree by an overwhelming majority in a referundum held in 1908. However, the legislature did not designate a state tree until 1949, when the Montana Federation of Garden Clubs, with the support of the state forester, lobbied for formal recognition.

Schoolchildren also chose the Western meadowlark as the state bird, in a 1930 vote, and the legislature acted to endorse this decision in 1931.

Similarly, the secretary of state sponsored a children's vote in 1981 to choose a state animal, and after 74 animals were nominated, the Grizzly bear won over the elk by a 2–1 margin.

The students of Livingston started a statewide school petition drive plus lobbied the governor and the state legislature to name the Maiasaura as the state fossil in 1985.

Various community civic groups also played a role in selecting the state grass and the state gemstones.

When broadcaster Norma Ashby discovered there was no state fish, she initiated a drive via her television show, Today in Montana, and an informal citizen's election to select a state fish resulted in a win for the blackspotted cutthroat trout

after hot competition from the Arctic grayling. The legislature in turn adopted this recommendation by a wide margin.

Symbols of Montana
Designation Name Enacted Image
State seal




State flag


File:Flag of Montana.svg

State animal Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos horribilis


State bird Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta


State butterfly Mourning cloak Nymphalis antiopa


State fish Blackspotted Cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii

<!–Note in this reference that both subspecies of the Cutthroat are the state symbol:–><!–but the statute trumps–>


State flower Bitterroot Lewisia rediviva


State fossil Duck-billed Dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum


State gemstones Sapphire & Agate


State grass Bluebunch wheatgrass Pseudoroegneria spicata


State motto “Oro y Plata” (Spanish for “Gold and Silver”)


State music

| State Ballad: “Montana Melody”

|State Lullaby: “Montana Lullaby”


State tree Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa


==See also==



==Further reading==

==External links==

| North = {{flag|Canada}} | North = {{flag|Canada}}
{{flag|Alberta}} | Northeast =
{{flag|Saskatchewan}} | West = {{flag|Idaho}} | Centre = '' Montana'': [[Outline of Montana|Outline]] • [[Index of Montana-related articles|Index]] | East = {{flag|North Dakota}} | Southwest = | South = {{flag|Wyoming}} | Southeast = {{flag|South Dakota}}


Montana States and territories established in 1889 States of the United States Western United States

see also: Flathead County, Montana, Code of the New American West

Population: 903,000.

Population Density: 6.1 per square mile (Rank 18 of JWR’s top 19 states).

Area: 147,000 square miles (rank 4 of 50).

Average car insurance cost: $671/yr. (rank 38 of 50).

Average home insurance cost: $451/yr. (rank 26 of 50).

Crime Safety Ranking: 10 of 50.

Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 92%.

Per capita income: $22,518 (rank 46 of 50).

ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 8 of 50.

Montana Agriculture reference:

Montana Crops: Potatoes, sugar beats, sorghum, alfalfa, grass hay, and grains.

Plusses: Very low crime rate! Very low population density. Minimal gun laws. Good schools. A very non-intrusive government. (For example, in the 1990s there were a few years with no daylight speed limit on most of Montana’s highways outside of city limits.) Low car insurance rates.

Minuses: Very cold winters, especially east of the Great Divide, and a short growing season. (The number of frost free days range from 139 days in Glendive to just 39 days in Ovando!) Insufficient crop diversity. Low wages. Montana's missile fields are still in the Russian target structure. Lower elevation areas west of the Great Divide (and upwind of the missile fields) are recommended.

Note: I probably should have given Montana a lower ranking, due to its cold climate and short growing season. However, because of Montana’s favorable gun laws, low crime rate, and light population density, I bumped it up the list.

JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 2 of 19.

A Recent Relocatee to Montana Adds The Following:

Jim: I am not a religious nut when I tell you the Holy Spirit impressed my entire family we were all to leave where we lived and head to Montana. So I started visiting the real estate web sites searching for homes that might fit our particular requirements. We arrived with a list of 46 homes in a binder sorted by area/city etc. After spending seven days working out of the Flathead Lake / Kalispell area and looking at 28 homes we were discouraged. We looked at properties up to $450,000. Price was not the issue. The issue was being at peace with our purchase. After seven days my son in law called to say we should go up to Eureka and look at the houses we had printed out for that area. So I called a realtor's agent and gave her a list of eighteen properties with the liberty to weed out those that she thought would not fit. We looked at eight properties and one twice. All of the properties appeared to belong to Christians of one flavor or another. Some we met just outright stated they were believers. After leaving the realtor we discussed the merits of one property some more. It had all the things we require: five bedrooms, two for offices, 2 plus acres, multiple bug out routes, two tillable acres, about two feet of snow per year, plenty of wood nearby, a lake filled with ducks and geese. Plus we have plenty deer, elk, bears, game birds, chickens in the spring, and more available land in the general area. The growing season is 158 days. The land is sub irrigated and we have a deep thirty gallon per minute well. Water is just seven feet down. After several hours of contemplation, some prayer the Holy Spirit simply said you will be safe here. After purchasing we learned the seller failed to disclose the presence of a questionable unrecorded easement and spring. These undisclosed issues will work themselves out in time. We are about 20 miles from the Canadian Border. I am an American, so I will stay here regardless of what happens. This is a very nice home, but it may just prove to be our base camp while establishing something more remote. In the coming times of confusion, I believe that boldness, good planning, stealth and mobility will be key to retaking our nation. The wind currents are favorable to protect us from most fallout. We are situated on the edge of a valley between two mountains. I can close the roads with chain saws and some old vehicles stored nearby without trouble. The hillside provides three good LP/OP positions with places for many spider holes. Bug out into the National Forest is behind the home or down the road. The plus side of living here is that most of the people profess to be Believers without ever asking them. There are the drug pushers and users in the high school and we will gather their names for future reference. Everybody works hard at whatever they do. The down side of moving to a non-affluent area is that the people do not have the wherewithal to prepare for what is coming. Some are on welfare. So if they do not leave they will eventually become part of the problem. The only thing I will be able to help them with is seed and prayer. Unless we get a windfall my family of twelve is all I can prepare for. I am 64 years old and splitting six cords of wood. We have sufficient food to carry us for a good while plus seed, game, and fish. We will be putting in a garden and canning vegetables and storing, smoked meats (am building a smoke house in the spring). We are putting up enough fuel to last us for at least two years. My priorities are water, food and seeds, fuel, fire heat, natural medicine, clothing, shoes, trade goods, tools, trade coins etc. We have sufficient weapons and supplies. Our choice of weapons are .45 ACP, .22, .223, .308, plus other hunting calibers. We would like to see things remain stable for two more years so I can pay this place off, but can get by if things crash ten minutes from now. All of us need to remember if we have a real financial crash as the result of any disaster, all of us will be in the same boat. This includes the bankers as well. The crash will be worldwide. We who survive the crash, food riots, anarchy, civil war and the attack on America that follows can purchase property for reasonable prices with real money. My home insurance is about $1,000 per year but my rural auto insurance just went down. License plates for vehicles twelve years and older are a onetime $76. Food costs are not too bad yet. We make a weekly trip to the larger stores in Kalispell to buy in bulk. We are filling our fuel tanks quietly. I recently learned that before 911 there were sixteen Border Patrol in the area. Now there are about seventy. They appear to have police powers twenty five miles south of the Canadian border and they act like we Americas were the enemy. Something to remember when you move close to the Canadian border. Lord bless you and your family with happiness and joy. - M. in Montana.

montana.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:36 (external edit)