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Lots of summer activity going on


The summer is on and going quickly. Having all four kids home for our oldest grandson’s graduation was great. J.R., the graduate, had served as page at the Legislature this year. We shared some stories about that and had an opportunity to all float the Marias River. The float included 10 of the 11 grandkids, the four kids, some of the spouses, and lots of family friends.

I have been going to some informational meetings, including MACo — Montana Association of Counties. Montana Gas, Oil, Coal Counties had their annual meeting. Legislators were invited to hear some of the issues counties deal with, such as permitting, traffic and housing. Roads and elections are always in the discussion at the meetings. Being of the Republican favor, I also attended the Republican annual convention, where we identified key political positions in the party, which you have no doubt read about in the papers. Additionally, I went to a meeting of folks trying to understand the 501(d) religious groups system. Lastly, we had our first Education Committee interim organization meeting. Bullying in schools and mental health for students are the current issues being worked on.

This past week, Judy and I participated along with a group of agricultural motorcyclists on a farm and business tour. This is an annual event at this time of the summer. This year, we did a tour of a ranch just south of Lewistown. Water development and stock rotation as a system of sustainable agriculture was the big topic. As we toured, a brown bear walked up the hill not half a mile from where the cows were watering. The producer, while talking about the water system, explained how the bears swam in the tanks and messed with the valves, a problem that I would have never thought of and was new to me. The following day, we toured the Black Butte Copper mine just north of White Sulphur Springs. They have put together a very educational and informational program. Whether you are in support of mining or not, you should do this tour. It begins on main street White Sulphur and continues on to the worksite. I found it insightful and very worthwhile.

I hope you had a great Fourth of July and celebrated the true meaning by saluting those in uniform who continue to work for our freedoms every single day.


Montana Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester, can be reached at [email protected]


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