Denise Juneau is doing exactly what I thought she would in her campaign for Montana’s lone seat in Congress; she is spending time, and a lot of it, in Montana’s tribal communities. This isn’t a new thing for her but I believe it is what will help her beat Ryan Zinke for U.S. Congress in November. I was tempted to go into a litany of voter statistics but I’m not going to. It is a well-known fact that Montana’s Native American voters are a powerful constituency despite many challenges they face even being able…

It’s official. The proposed Tongue River Railroad is done. Today the Surface Transportation Board issued a decision officially ending the Tongue River Railroad. On November 25, 2015, the Tongue River Railroad Company had asked the STB to hold the application in abeyance, which means they wanted the STB to suspend work on the permit application but keep the docket open until the proposed Otter Creek mine received a permit from the state of Montana. On Earth Day, April 22, 2016, the Surface Transportation Board met and decided to deny…

Today, as I was doing research for an article I’m writing about bottled water and Nestlé, I came across a photo of a dead young Albatross with a stomach filled with plastic. To be exact, it was twelve ounces of plastic and it died because, obviously, its intestinal system couldn’t process it. That basically sent me into spiral of nihilism that almost compelled me to head to the local bar at noon. This is relevant because I am sitting in a wonderful little town in west Texas, thousands…

By now the demise of the Otter Creek mine is old news. I thought I should write something about it but I didn’t. Talking to a good friend a couple weeks later, I told him that it felt weird to write, photograph, organize and spend a significant amount of my life and emotional energy on something and then let the end of it pass without a note or retrospective. He told me that I’ve already written everything I needed to. He was right. I was content to sit…