Montana News

Missoula City Council Ward 6 Race Ends in Tie, Appointment to be Made

In a surprising turn of events, the recount process for the Missoula City Council Ward 6 race revealed a tied vote between candidates Sandra Vasecka and Sean Patrick McCoy. The news release states that according to Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 13-16-507, when a tied vote occurs in a municipal election, the responsibility of appointing the candidate to fill the vacancy falls on the governing body, in this case, the Missoula City Council.

The recount, which took place on Wednesday, unveiled an equal vote tally of 1,476 for both candidates. Prior to the recount, McCoy had received 1,478 votes, while Vasecka had garnered 1,473 votes. The final determination rests with the recount board, who will assess factors such as how the ovals were marked on the paper ballots to ensure accuracy and consistency with the results in the system.

Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradly Seaman expressed the significance of the recount process, emphasizing its pivotal role in verifying the integrity of close races. He explained that tie votes have occurred across the state in previous elections. Consequently, the City Council will adhere to the state law outlined in the Montana Code Annotated and make an appointment from one of the candidates rather than opting for a second election.

While some may question why the decision lies with the City Council, Seaman clarified that this process was established by state law, stressing that it is not within the jurisdiction of local officials to make that determination.

This unexpected tie vote serves as a testament to the importance of every single vote cast and underscores the significance of electoral integrity. The City Council’s impending appointment will shape the future of Ward 6, and the tied result will undoubtedly be a catalyst for further discussions surrounding electoral procedures in Missoula.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen next in the Missoula City Council Ward 6 race?

According to Montana Code Annotated 13-16-507, the Missoula City Council will appoint one of the candidates to fill the vacancy resulting from the tied vote.

Why does the City Council have the authority to make the appointment?

The authority of the City Council to make the appointment is determined by state law. The Montana Code Annotated outlines the process for handling tied votes in municipal elections.

Could this tied vote have been avoided?

Tied votes can occur in any election, and it is difficult to predict such outcomes. The recount process serves as a crucial step to verify the accuracy of the results and ensure the fairness of the electoral process.

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Saving Money and the Environment: The Case for Supporting Renewable Energy in Bozeman and Missoula

The City of Bozeman, along with Missoula, is on the verge of finalizing an agreement with Northwestern Energy that would give residents the option to pay more for renewable solar and wind energy. While this may seem counterintuitive at first glance, considering that solar and wind power are significantly cheaper to generate than coal-fired plants, there are important factors to consider.

In recent years, the amount of solar and wind energy generated by Northwestern Energy has primarily come from facilities built by others. These facilities qualify for contracts and favorable rates under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), which requires energy corporations to purchase electricity from renewable sources at rates that match their “avoided costs” for non-renewable generation. As the technology for renewable energy has improved and prices have dropped, the cost of solar and wind energy has become not only cheaper but also cleaner and more efficient than traditional carbon-based electricity generation.

One promising example is the partnership between the Northern Cheyenne tribe and the Department of Energy on a solar project. Bozeman’s residents who support green energy would greatly benefit if Northwestern Energy purchased more electricity from projects like these, as well as the Gallatin Power’s solar battery project near Trident. By accepting these projects under the standard terms of avoided cost, with long-term contracts, Northwestern Energy and its ratepayers could enjoy the advantages of renewable energy while ensuring a sustainable future.

Additionally, Bozeman and Missoula can play an active role in further promoting renewable energy by encouraging the development of smaller solar farms nearby. These farms could obtain contracts at prices set by the Public Service Commission, which have often been lower than the current cost of electricity generation at Northwestern Energy’s coal-fired plants. By pursuing this approach, not only would the cities increase their supply of renewable energy, but ratepayers would also enjoy the financial benefits of lower electricity costs.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that Montana’s Public Service Commission recently granted Northwestern Energy a significant 28% rate increase, mainly due to the high costs associated with operating and maintaining its outdated, environmentally damaging coal-fired generators. The impending operationalization of Northwestern Energy’s new methane-fired facility in Laurel is expected to further drive up electricity rates.

In conclusion, by supporting renewable energy projects and advocating for the adoption of cheaper and cleaner energy sources, the Cities of Bozeman and Missoula can simultaneously save money for residents and contribute to the fight against climate change. Embracing renewable energy will not only result in a more sustainable future but also help preserve the natural beauty of Montana, ensuring snowy winters in the Bridger Mountains and abundant water in the Gallatin River. Let us come together to embrace the benefits of renewable energy and pave the way towards a greener tomorrow.


1. How does renewable energy help save money?

Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have become significantly cheaper to generate over the years. By embracing these alternatives, energy companies can reduce their reliance on expensive and outdated coal-fired plants, resulting in cost savings that can be passed on to consumers.

2. What are the benefits of supporting solar and wind projects built by others?

By supporting projects like the Northern Cheyenne solar array and the Gallatin Power’s solar battery project, Northwestern Energy and its ratepayers can benefit from the advantages of renewable energy without the need for significant investments in infrastructure. These projects offer cleaner, more efficient, and cost-effective energy solutions.

3. How can small solar farms contribute to lowering electricity costs?

Encouraging the development of small-scale solar farms near Bozeman and Missoula allows for competitive pricing through contracts set by the Public Service Commission. These prices often beat the current costs of electricity generation from coal-fired plants, resulting in direct savings for ratepayers.

4. What are the potential drawbacks of relying on coal-fired plants?

Coal-fired plants are known for their harmful environmental impact, releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air. Additionally, the cost of operating and maintaining these outdated facilities is often high, leading to increased electricity rates for consumers.

5. How will supporting renewable energy projects benefit the environment?

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are cleaner alternatives to carbon-based electricity generation. By transitioning to these sources, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to combating climate change.

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What are the famous ghost towns or historic ruins in Montana?

What are the famous ghost towns or historic ruins in Montana?

Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” is home to a rich history filled with tales of gold rushes, mining towns, and frontier settlements. Today, many of these once-thriving communities have been reduced to ghost towns or historic ruins, offering a glimpse into the past. Here are some of the famous ghost towns and historic ruins in Montana.

Virginia City and Nevada City: Located in southwestern Montana, Virginia City and Nevada City are two well-preserved ghost towns that transport visitors back to the days of the Montana gold rush. These towns were once bustling with miners seeking their fortunes, but now stand frozen in time, with preserved buildings, artifacts, and even live reenactments.

Bannack State Park: Bannack, Montana’s first territorial capital, is now a state park that preserves the remnants of this once-thriving gold mining town. Visitors can explore the well-preserved buildings, including the old courthouse, schoolhouse, and the infamous Bannack Hotel, which is said to be haunted.

Garnet Ghost Town: Tucked away in the Garnet Mountain Range, Garnet Ghost Town is one of Montana’s best-preserved ghost towns. Once a bustling mining town, it now stands as a testament to the hardships and triumphs of the pioneers who settled there. Visitors can explore the numerous buildings, including a general store, saloon, and even a jail.


Q: What is a ghost town?
A: A ghost town is an abandoned or deserted town or village, usually one that was once populated due to economic activity but has since been largely or completely abandoned.

Q: Why do ghost towns exist?
A: Ghost towns typically exist due to economic decline, depletion of natural resources, or changes in transportation routes, causing the population to move away and leaving the town abandoned.

Q: Are ghost towns dangerous to visit?
A: While some ghost towns may have safety hazards, most well-preserved ghost towns that are open to visitors have been made safe for exploration. However, it is always important to follow any posted guidelines and exercise caution when exploring these areas.

Q: Can you stay overnight in a ghost town?
A: Some ghost towns have been converted into tourist attractions or even offer accommodations for overnight stays. However, it is advisable to check with local authorities or park management for availability and any restrictions.

Montana’s ghost towns and historic ruins offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the remnants of the state’s vibrant past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the stories these towns hold, a visit to these sites is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

Montana News

What are the local traditions in basket weaving and fiber arts in Montana?

What are the local traditions in basket weaving and fiber arts in Montana?

Montana, known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is also home to a vibrant tradition of basket weaving and fiber arts. These local traditions have been passed down through generations, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of the people of Montana. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of basket weaving and fiber arts in this picturesque state.

Basket Weaving:
Basket weaving is an ancient craft that involves creating containers or decorative pieces using natural materials such as grasses, reeds, and twigs. In Montana, Native American tribes have a long-standing tradition of basket weaving, with each tribe having its distinct style and techniques. The Blackfeet tribe, for example, is renowned for their intricate geometric patterns, while the Salish and Kootenai tribes often incorporate vibrant colors and intricate designs inspired by nature.

Fiber Arts:
Fiber arts encompass a wide range of artistic practices that involve working with textiles and natural fibers. In Montana, fiber artists utilize materials like wool, cotton, and silk to create stunning tapestries, quilts, and clothing. The state’s strong ranching heritage has also influenced the use of wool in traditional fiber arts, with many artists incorporating wool from local sheep into their creations.


Q: Are there any specific events or festivals celebrating basket weaving and fiber arts in Montana?
A: Yes, Montana hosts several events and festivals throughout the year that celebrate basket weaving and fiber arts. The Montana Folk Festival in Butte and the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival in Hamilton are two notable events that showcase the talent and creativity of local artisans.

Q: Can visitors learn basket weaving or fiber arts in Montana?
A: Absolutely! Many artisans and cultural centers in Montana offer workshops and classes where visitors can learn the art of basket weaving and fiber arts. These hands-on experiences provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local traditions and create their own masterpiece.

Q: Where can one find basket weaving and fiber art pieces in Montana?
A: Basket weaving and fiber art pieces can be found in various galleries, museums, and artisan shops across Montana. The Montana Historical Society in Helena and the Missoula Art Museum are excellent places to explore and appreciate these traditional crafts.

In conclusion, basket weaving and fiber arts in Montana are deeply rooted in the state’s cultural heritage. The intricate designs, vibrant colors, and skilled craftsmanship showcased in these traditional arts reflect the beauty of Montana’s natural surroundings and the creativity of its people. Whether you are a visitor or a local, exploring these local traditions is a wonderful way to connect with the rich cultural tapestry of Montana.

Missouri Montana News

What are the famous natural reserves in Montana?

What are the famous natural reserves in Montana?

Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” is home to a wealth of natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. From towering mountains to vast prairies, this northwestern state boasts several famous natural reserves that attract visitors from around the world. Let’s explore some of these remarkable destinations.

Gem of the Rockies: Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park, located in the northern part of Montana, is a true gem of the Rockies. Spanning over one million acres, this park is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and ancient glaciers. Visitors can hike through its numerous trails, go camping, or embark on a scenic drive along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Wildlife enthusiasts will also be delighted by the park’s diverse fauna, which includes grizzly bears, mountain goats, and elusive wolves.

The Crown of the Continent: Bob Marshall Wilderness
Situated adjacent to Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness is often referred to as the “Crown of the Continent.” This vast wilderness area covers over one million acres and is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its untouched forests, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear rivers, it offers unparalleled opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching. The Bob Marshall Wilderness is also home to the iconic Chinese Wall, a towering limestone cliff that stretches for over 12 miles.

The Serengeti of North America: Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
Spanning over a million acres in northeastern Montana, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is often compared to the Serengeti for its abundant wildlife and vast grasslands. This refuge provides a sanctuary for numerous species, including bison, elk, pronghorn, and over 240 species of birds. Visitors can explore the refuge through hiking, birdwatching, or even embarking on a guided float trip along the Missouri River.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a natural reserve?
A: A natural reserve, also known as a nature reserve or wildlife refuge, is an area of land set aside for the conservation and protection of its natural resources, including plants, animals, and ecosystems.

Q: Are these natural reserves open to the public?
A: Yes, all the mentioned natural reserves in Montana are open to the public. Visitors can explore the designated areas, engage in recreational activities, and enjoy the natural beauty while adhering to the rules and regulations set by the respective authorities.

Q: Can I camp in these natural reserves?
A: Yes, camping is allowed in most of these natural reserves. However, it is essential to check the specific regulations and obtain any necessary permits before camping.

Montana’s famous natural reserves offer a glimpse into the state’s awe-inspiring landscapes and rich biodiversity. Whether you’re an avid hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or simply seeking solace in nature, these reserves provide an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags and embark on an adventure to explore the wonders of Montana’s natural treasures.

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What are the major rivers and lakes in North Dakota?

What are the major rivers and lakes in North Dakota?

North Dakota, known for its vast plains and prairies, is also home to several major rivers and lakes that contribute to the state’s natural beauty and provide important resources for its residents. From the mighty Missouri River to the picturesque Devils Lake, here are some of the notable water bodies in North Dakota.

The Missouri River: The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, stretching over 2,300 miles from its headwaters in Montana to its confluence with the Mississippi River in Missouri. In North Dakota, the Missouri River flows through the western part of the state, offering stunning views and recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and kayaking.

The Red River: The Red River forms the eastern border of North Dakota, separating it from Minnesota. This river is known for its unique reddish-brown color, caused by the clay and silt it carries. The Red River Valley, formed by the river, is a fertile agricultural region and home to several vibrant communities.

Devils Lake: Located in northeastern North Dakota, Devils Lake is the largest natural lake in the state. It covers an area of approximately 200 square miles and is known for its fluctuating water levels. The lake offers excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for walleye and northern pike, attracting anglers from far and wide.

Lake Sakakawea: Lake Sakakawea is a reservoir formed by the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. It stretches across central North Dakota, covering approximately 368,000 acres. The lake provides ample opportunities for boating, water sports, and fishing, with a variety of fish species including salmon, trout, and walleye.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: Are these rivers and lakes safe for swimming?
A: Yes, many of these water bodies offer designated swimming areas that are safe for recreational swimming. However, it is always advisable to check for any advisories or warnings before swimming.

Q: Can I go fishing in these rivers and lakes?
A: Absolutely! North Dakota is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. You can obtain a fishing license and enjoy catching a variety of fish species in these rivers and lakes.

Q: Are there any camping facilities near these water bodies?
A: Yes, there are numerous campgrounds and recreational areas near these rivers and lakes where you can set up camp and enjoy the natural surroundings.

North Dakota’s major rivers and lakes not only enhance the state’s scenic beauty but also provide recreational activities and resources for its residents and visitors. Whether you’re an angler, a boating enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates nature’s wonders, these water bodies offer something for everyone to enjoy.

Montana News Water

What is the significance of the state flag of Montana?

What is the significance of the state flag of Montana?

Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” boasts a rich history and a unique identity that is proudly represented by its state flag. The flag of Montana is a symbol of the state’s natural beauty, its rich Native American heritage, and its commitment to freedom and independence.

The flag features a blue field with the state seal in the center. The seal depicts a stunning landscape with towering mountains, a river, and a golden sun rising over the mountains. Above the scene, the state motto “Oro y Plata” (Spanish for “Gold and Silver”) is inscribed, representing the state’s rich mineral resources.

The state flag of Montana holds great significance for its residents. It serves as a reminder of the state’s breathtaking landscapes, including the majestic Rocky Mountains and the iconic Yellowstone National Park. The flag also pays homage to Montana’s Native American tribes, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years and continue to contribute to the state’s cultural fabric.


Q: When was the Montana state flag adopted?
A: The flag was officially adopted on July 1, 1905.

Q: Who designed the Montana state flag?
A: The flag was designed by a Montana artist named Mrs. Josephine Trigg.

Q: What do the symbols on the flag represent?
A: The mountains symbolize Montana’s natural beauty, the river represents its abundant water resources, and the sun rising over the mountains signifies a new day and a bright future.

Q: What is the significance of the state motto?
A: The state motto “Oro y Plata” reflects Montana’s history of mining and its wealth of gold and silver deposits.

In conclusion, the state flag of Montana is a powerful symbol that encapsulates the state’s natural beauty, Native American heritage, and rich resources. It serves as a source of pride for Montanans and a reminder of the state’s unique identity.

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How does Montana celebrate its maritime history?

How does Montana celebrate its maritime history?

Montana, a landlocked state known for its stunning landscapes and rugged mountains, may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about maritime history. However, this unique state has a fascinating connection to the sea that is celebrated in various ways. From museums to festivals, Montanans take pride in their maritime heritage and honor it in creative and engaging ways.

One of the most prominent ways Montana celebrates its maritime history is through the Montana Maritime Museum. Located in the city of Helena, this museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the state’s maritime artifacts, stories, and traditions. Visitors can explore exhibits that highlight Montana’s connection to rivers, lakes, and even oceanic trade routes. From antique boats to navigational instruments, the museum offers a comprehensive look into the state’s maritime past.

In addition to the museum, Montana hosts an annual maritime festival called “Sail Montana.” This festival brings together boat enthusiasts, historians, and the local community to celebrate the state’s maritime heritage. Attendees can enjoy boat races, live music, educational workshops, and delicious seafood. The festival provides a unique opportunity for Montanans to connect with their maritime roots and learn more about the importance of waterways in the state’s history.


Q: How did Montana develop a maritime history?
A: Montana’s maritime history is primarily linked to its extensive river systems, including the Missouri River. These waterways were crucial for transportation and trade during the early settlement of the state.

Q: Are there any famous maritime figures associated with Montana?
A: While Montana may not have produced famous sailors or explorers, the state has its share of notable figures who played a role in its maritime history. Captain Grant Marsh, for example, piloted the steamboat “Far West” during the historic 1876 expedition to rescue General Custer’s surviving troops after the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Q: Are there any other maritime-themed events in Montana?
A: Apart from the Montana Maritime Museum and Sail Montana festival, the state occasionally hosts riverboat cruises, fishing tournaments, and educational programs that focus on Montana’s waterways and their historical significance.

Montana’s celebration of its maritime history showcases the state’s diverse heritage and the importance of waterways in its development. Through museums, festivals, and other events, Montanans keep their maritime traditions alive and ensure that future generations appreciate the unique connection between this landlocked state and the sea.

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What are the best places for an adventure park in Montana?

What are the best places for an adventure park in Montana?

Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures amidst breathtaking landscapes. With its vast wilderness, towering mountains, and pristine lakes, it comes as no surprise that Montana offers some of the best adventure parks in the United States. Whether you’re a daredevil seeking an adrenaline rush or a nature lover looking to explore the great outdoors, Montana has something for everyone. Here are a few of the best places for an adventure park in the state.

1. Big Sky Resort: Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Big Sky Resort is a paradise for adventure seekers. With activities like ziplining, high ropes courses, and scenic chairlift rides, visitors can experience the thrill of soaring through the sky while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

2. Whitefish Mountain Resort: Located near the charming town of Whitefish, this resort offers an array of adventure park activities. From an alpine slide that winds through the forest to a treetop walkway and a thrilling aerial adventure park, Whitefish Mountain Resort is a must-visit for those seeking an action-packed day.

3. Glacier National Park: While not an adventure park in the traditional sense, Glacier National Park provides endless opportunities for outdoor exploration. With over 700 miles of hiking trails, visitors can embark on thrilling hikes, witness stunning waterfalls, and even spot wildlife such as bears and mountain goats.


Q: What is an adventure park?
An adventure park is a recreational facility that offers a variety of thrilling activities and attractions, often set in a natural environment. These parks typically include activities such as ziplining, rope courses, climbing walls, and other adrenaline-pumping experiences.

Q: Are adventure parks suitable for all ages?
Most adventure parks offer activities suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. However, certain activities may have age or height restrictions for safety reasons. It is advisable to check with the specific park beforehand to ensure that there are suitable options for everyone in your group.

Q: Are adventure parks safe?
Adventure parks prioritize safety and adhere to strict guidelines and regulations. Trained staff members provide instructions and ensure that participants are equipped with appropriate safety gear. However, it is essential to follow all instructions and guidelines provided by the park to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, Montana offers a plethora of adventure parks that cater to all types of thrill-seekers. Whether you prefer the adrenaline rush of ziplining, the excitement of aerial courses, or the tranquility of hiking through pristine wilderness, Montana’s adventure parks are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So, pack your sense of adventure and head to Montana for an experience like no other.

Montana News

What are the best places for a visit to a historic bridge in Montana?

What are the best places for a visit to a historic bridge in Montana?

Montana, known as the “Treasure State,” is not only famous for its stunning landscapes and national parks but also for its rich history. One aspect of this history that often goes unnoticed is the state’s collection of historic bridges. These architectural marvels not only provide a glimpse into the past but also offer a unique experience for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit historic bridges in Montana.

1. Madison Buffalo Jump State Park: Located near Three Forks, this state park is home to the Madison Buffalo Jump Bridge. Built in 1914, this historic bridge served as a vital transportation link for the local community. Today, visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails and learn about the area’s Native American history while admiring the bridge’s intricate design.

2. Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge: Situated near Libby, this iconic bridge spans the Kootenai River and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. Originally built in 1934, the bridge was reconstructed in 1988 to preserve its historical significance. Visitors can walk across the bridge and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

3. Bannack State Park: As Montana’s first territorial capital, Bannack is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. The park features the Bannack Bridge, constructed in 1875, which played a crucial role in connecting the mining town with the rest of the region. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ghost town and learn about Montana’s gold rush era.


Q: What is a historic bridge?
A: A historic bridge refers to a bridge that holds significant historical, architectural, or cultural value. These bridges often showcase unique design elements and provide insights into the past.

Q: Can I cross these historic bridges?
A: Yes, most of these bridges are open to the public and allow visitors to walk or drive across them. However, it is essential to follow any safety guidelines or restrictions put in place by the respective authorities.

Q: Are there any guided tours available?
A: Some locations may offer guided tours or have informational plaques that provide historical context. It is recommended to check with the park or site management for any available guided tour options.

Q: Are these bridges safe to visit?
A: The historic bridges in Montana are generally well-maintained and safe for visitors. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and follow any posted guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Visiting historic bridges in Montana not only allows you to appreciate their architectural beauty but also offers a chance to connect with the state’s fascinating history. So, whether you are a history buff or simply seeking a unique adventure, make sure to include these iconic bridges in your Montana itinerary.