Be forewarned. This is NSFW.* The following, hands down, is the most common phone call I receive. Ring…ring…ring. Me: Hello? My mother: Your goats are out. They are (eating my garden/eating my trees/eating the neighbors garden/eating the neighbors trees/in the slough/across the creek/up by the highway). Me: Shit. Here is a common variation of the above call. Ring…ring…ring. Me: Hello? My patient mother: You have a goat stuck in a fence. It is (below the house/near the slough/on the river/in the pen/in the top pasture). Me: Goddamnit. Or this…

On December 5, 2014 the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Arch Coal a deficiency notice on their air quality permit application for the proposed Otter Creek coal mine. Arch Coal submitted an air quality permit application to DEQ on November 6, 2014. I don’t spend much time with air quality permits so I checked with some folks that do and apparently it is quite common for mining companies to receive deficiency notices on their air quality permit applications and to go back and forth with the permitting…

In September of this year, the billionaire Wilks brothers, notorious for buying up hundreds of thousands of acres of ranch land in central and eastern Montana, purchased the 24,500 acre Diamond Ranch in Rosebud County in southeastern Montana. The Diamond Ranch is located west of the Tongue River and Rosebud Creek flows through it. It’s quite spectacular country, you can see some pictures of it here. The Billings Gazette reported in October of 2014 that the Wilks brothers own more than 341,845 acres in Montana.* From what I can tell, this is…

Here is a quick update for folks following the proposed Otter Creek mine. (#1 is background for #2 and #3, #4 is just common sense). 1. In 2012, Arch Coal submitted an application to acquire a permit from the state of Montana to mine coal in the Otter Creek Valley, a couple years after they leased the coal tracts. In bureaucratic speak, what they submitted is called a “permit application.” It was a shit permit application. Arch Coal left out entire sections, had poor baseline data and did not come…

All shots taken on December 2, 2014. I grabbed my camera, my dogs, took some back roads, and explored some state sections in Rosebud Co. Enjoy. This is Ole. Ole hates having his picture taken. I took this one and then….. called his name.