PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

MT Plays Host for ‘America’s Great Outdoors Initiative’

June 1, 2010

MISSOULA, Mont. - Big Sky Country is the first stop today and Wednesday on a national listening tour for the White House's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative." Local residents get a chance to add their views as a new national conservation agenda is crafted, addressing issues ranging from climate change to loss of farmland.

Bozeman is to be the site of one of the meetings, and City Commissioner Cyndy Adams says she hopes any new national plan includes more programs like the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides grants to develop, maintain and preserve outdoor recreational areas.

"Bozeman has seen direct benefits from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in several of our local parks and other recreational areas that not only promote health and fitness, but also improve the economic well-being of our community."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to attend, as well as representatives from the Interior Department and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The first meeting is at the Rolling Stone Ranch near Ovando today.

Rolling Stone Ranch owner Jim Stone says he hopes to make clear the importance in Montana of connections among conservation, wildlife habitat, access to public lands, and working landscapes.

"It's very unique people, about bringing communities together, home-grown, neighboring up, and it's about embedding our agency partners in the community so we all work as one."

Kalispell sportsman Jim Cross has hunted birds and game with his family throughout the state for decades, and he wants the federal representatives to understand how programs that promote public lands access and preservation bring families and communities together.

"It's been a great experience in my lifetime, and it's made a great change in the relationship I have with my daughter and with my grandsons."

Today's meeting at Rolling Stone Ranch will include Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Wednesday meetings will be held 9-11 a.m. at Montana State University-Strand Union Building, Bozeman; Red Lion Colonial Hotel, Helena; and The University of Montana-University Center, Missoula.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT