By Evelyn Pyburn

If it seems that there have been fewer wildland fires in southeastern Montana, over the past few years, that is indeed the case. And, the reason could be the results of a new approach to firefighting that is being explored by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).  It’s an idea devised by Derek Yeager, DNRC Southern Area Fire Program Manager and Montana Fire Warden.

Formerly a member of “hot shot crews” himself, after the devastating fire season of 2012, Yeager started thinking “Something has to change. We have to do it better.”

2012 was a particularly bad fire year.  The Southern Area experienced over 1,000 wildland fires exceeding the 5-year average of 704 a year. The year was dry, with lots of ignition sources, and resources were slim. . Large fires burned homes, property, natural resources like pasture land, destroyed fences, and forced people to evacuate, and others lost all they had.

Said Yeager, “ We were dealing with 1,000+ acre fires literally every other day, sometimes daily.  Volunteers were on fires daily, sometimes for multiple days straight. The costs of fighting those fires was particularly troublesome to me. Being the local guy, I knew of fire departments who were engaging fires. I saw their efforts. I went out and lived it with them and gained an appreciation and respect and understanding of what they were experiencing. I also recognized the value in applying as much common sense to this situation as could be.

“The idea to redirect our focus and commit funding and time and energy into increasing the capacity of local fire departments to respond fast and heavy, to hit fires small, to keep them small was the product of simple common sense, and in recognition that the wildland fire system abroad, while purposeful and powerful in many ways, has a finite capacity for the number of large fires it can staff.”

In analyzing the situation and, most of all, in talking to all the factions involved –Yeager came up with an idea, which, as Southern Area Fire Program Manager with oversight of seven counties, he has been able to try out in a pilot program, beginning small in the fall of 2015 in Yellowstone County.

Calling the new strategy a really big deal, Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund said that he is proud that Yellowstone County has been able to serve as its proving ground. The new approach in dealing with fires is going to have major impact across the country, believes Ostlund.

“It has been enormously successful,” said Ostlund, “It is saving millions of dollar in firefighting costs, and saving in lost property, injuries and lives.”

At the base of Yeager’s idea is to get resources onto a fire as soon as possible. Instead of hours or even days, his goal is to have resources on a fire within minutes.

The approach seems to be working. After a number of years in which major fires would routinely rage through the region in late summer and early fall, filling skies with smoke and ash, and costing hundreds of millions of dollars to battle, Yellowstone County and surrounding areas haven’t seen a major fire in over three years. And, the fires that have occurred have been under a hundred acres.

Yeager emphasized that simply communicating – having discussions with the various factions involved with firefighting, has been key to developing and implementing the program. “There are so many different levels of government agencies involved, and while all have the same interest, they couldn’t come together in a way that kept fires small,” he said.

As a state agency, the DNRC maintains an operating agreement with the BLM, USFS, NPS, USFWS, BIA, and numerous other states, which allow them to trade and utilize each other’s resources, with each paying the costs associated with using the resource.

Simply by talking with all the many individuals and agencies, Yeager created “buy-in,” to “give it a try.” Continuing that process of getting “buy in” will be vital in advancing the approach. The program is in its “infancy” characterized Yeager, “but it is starting to get attention.”

According to Commissioner Ostlund, explaining how the program works will be part of the agenda of the next statewide meeting of the Montana Association of Counties, where “for the first time” he expects to get “buy-in” from most of the county commissioners “who are excited about being able to better protect landowners.”

Almost all of the area fire districts are participating in the program, although some districts are too small or face other barriers to participation.

 Last year, had the largest participation, involving 400 volunteer fire fighters at 31 of 54 fire departments throughout the seven counties, including those in Yellowstone County, such as Worden, Shepherd, Lockwood, etc.

According to Yellowstone County’s Disaster and Emergency Coordinator and Fire Warden, KC Williams, Yellowstone County’s fire chiefs are excited about the program. He added, that although Yellowstone County’s fire chiefs and agencies always worked well together – and although he hasn’t been long on the job – as the plan has been implemented he has witnessed even greater coordination and better communication among the local  factions.

Under the new program, no more waiting after a fire starts to see if it becomes large enough to justify greater assistance, which has been the strategy of the past. Now, resources are put into place in advance. The results have been that rather than taking days to get resources to a fire, they now are there in a matter of minutes, while it is still a small fire.

The approach has made all the difference in the world.

Not only is it more effective, it is less expensive and it is a boon to local fire departments. It supports the volunteer fire fighters, bearing in mind, says Yeager, volunteer fire fighters are at the core of success in all firefighting efforts.

The new plan serves to support local fire departments through an agreement between them and DNRC, which places DNRC fire fighters on duty at local fire stations under the supervision of local fire chiefs. The fire fighters are local volunteers, who become employed by DNRC, throughout the core fire season.

In the past, after a fire became large enough to be deemed qualifying, fire fighters and equipment from elsewhere in the country would be brought into the area to help fight it. Transporting them to the fire site would take critical hours and perhaps days – with the fire burning and expanding all the while. Once they arrived, the fire fighters invariably were unfamiliar with the area, with its culture and priorities, and with the local people with whom they had to work. The cost of transporting, housing and feeding fire fighters contributed greatly to the cost of firefighting.

Under the new program not only are local departments reinforced with the addition of the state-paid fire fighters, the fire fighters are local people, emotionally attached to the area’s well-being, familiar with the area and with the people and agencies with which they have to work.

The arrangement also helps local fire departments with the common dilemma of having to send their own fire fighters to fight wildland fires, elsewhere, for what is often a matter of days or even weeks – leaving little back up to provide protection for the local community.

While the DNRC fire fighters are on-duty they perform duties related to being successful in performing “rapid and aggressive initial attacks,” including  training, maintaining equipment, and checking out lightning strikes.

The wages the volunteers receive improves their ability to be available. Most  volunteers are usually dependent on other jobs, which they can’t afford to leave for extended periods to help fight fire, but being paid by DNRC not only makes that a greater possibility, but becomes an incentive for others to serve as volunteers.

The idea of sharing resources with local fire departments is not new for the DNRC. For some time now they have loaned local departments fire trucks in order to have the equipment available in locations with potential fire risk. Across the state DNRC has 75 fire trucks on loan to local stations under cooperative agreements – eight of those are located at fire districts in Yellowstone County.

Yeager’s program also has in place, in advance, many other processes, permissions and contractual arrangements required in dealing with firefighting, which before were not dealt with until a fire had grown large. Previously, a fire chief would call for help and then physically have to go through a required check list before anyone would give assistance. Getting through that check list could take from 24 to 72 hours, said Yeager. “That meant that meaningful help would not happen.”

The data shows that the new approach has a 8-1 benefit ratio, says Yeager. That means it costs about 1/8 of that of fighting a raging wildland fire.

While the number of reported fires has not changed – about 800 fires per year – “We don’t have any large fires,” said Yeager.

Although July through September is the core fire season, fires happen year round. They are more prevalent when there is no snow cover. For example last weekend, before it snowed, there were over a dozen wildland fires reported within a 48 hour period. So, the DNRC plans for fire occurrence during all 12 months of the year.

The Flathead County commissioners have voted to purchase the CenturyLink building in Kalispell for extra county office space. The building is located at 290 N. Main St. Many of the Flathead County departments have requested additional space for several years. It is estimated this building would solve the County’s space needs for 15 years.

Hunter’s Lair LLC, of  Williston, North Dakota, is proposing to build a restaurant, bar and hotel on property that was once a helicopter tour company just outside of Glacier National Park on U.S. 2. The company is asking permission to build on 36 acres. Only a portion of the property would be developed.

Legend Soccer Company in Whitefish, has recently started a partnership with the Forest Green Rovers soccer club in England. The company produces a bamboo shin guard that is high performance and environmentally friendly. Estimates are that plastic shin guards have produced about 200 million pounds of plastic in the recent past. The company aims to offer high quality and environmentally friendly shin guards. With the new partnership, Legend now provides bamboo shin guards to the men’s and women’s professional teams, as well as the affiliated youth teams.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a chain based in Texas, will soon have locations in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula and Casper, Wyoming. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain will be serving  Baja-style Mexican food. The franchise is owned by John Johnson, of Johnson Restaurant Group Inc., in Casper. Fuzzy’s has close to 150 restaurants in 17 states.

Gallatin Import Group has outgrown its location at the intersection of West Main Street and 19th Avenue in Bozeman. They have begun construction on a new dealership on the Frontage Road, east of Bozeman. The 30,000-square-foot building will be ready for occupation in June or July. It is located next to next to Gallatin Motor Company, a Subaru dealership.

Recently, the ACLU of Montana, Western Environmental Law Center, and the Bahr Law Offices challenged two Montana state agencies’ refusal to release public records relating to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Early Stage MT is a nonprofit program for Montana based tech companies to get mentorship and connections to financing. The program is planning to select 15 businesses from multiple showcases happening across Montana. These business will be presenting at a statewide showcase  and the first-place winner receives $50,000 in investment funding.

FireRoots Spirits of Florence is for sale. FireRoots distillery currently produces and distributes,  Vodka, Gin, and two different Brandies. The distillery was licensed in 2017 and began distribution in 2018. 5 recipes and labels are all approved by the TTB.

Montana State University has been recognized as a top global university by a well-known magazine. MSU tied for the 547th spot on U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best Global Universities rankings. In addition to its overall rank, MSU tied for No. 239 in environment/ecology, tied for No. 263 in physics and tied for No. 373 in plant and animal science. The University of Montana ranked 736th. UM was ranked No. 103 for environment/ecology, tied for No. 224 in geosciences and tied for No. 276 in plant and animal science.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved plans that outline a long-term cleanup process for a large coal ash impoundment outside the Colstrip Power Plant. DEQ has requested $107 million in bonding from Colstrip’s owners to cover the cost of remediation. The plans, submitted to DEQ by Colstrip owner/operator Talen Energy on August 30, propose strategies for how the company will remediate high levels of sulfates, boron, selenium, and heavy metals that have been polluting local groundwater for decades due to leaking coal ash ponds associated with Units 3 & 4 at the plant.

The recent string of state-level marijuana legalization continues to impact commercial property demand and residential housing decisions throughout the US, according to the National Association of Realtors. Their study found that in states where prescription and recreational marijuana use is legal, there has been an increase in requests for warehouses or properties used for storage. The demand for storefronts grew, while one-fifth said there was a greater demand for land.

Nielsen Commercial, Inc. (NCi), a general construction firm serving the Northwest United States, announced expansion into Montana and a new office location in Great Falls. The company looks to establish a local workforce delivering a diverse collection of construction projects throughout Montana. Jeffrey Nielsen, founder of Nielsen Commercial and former co-founder of BNBuilders, was born and raised in Montana.

The State of Montana plans to invest $80 million in community mental health services over the next five years. The Medicaid Severe and Disabling Mental Illness (SDMI) – Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver currently provides around $9 million dollars a year for services for people with severe and disabling mental illness. The state is working on expanding the budget to around $16 million a year, which will double the capacity of the program from the 357 current individuals to 750 by 2025.

The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is featuring an exhibit on reptiles that’s been in the works for three years. Turtles, snakes and lizards brought from Florida are making themselves comfortable as Bozeman’s newest residents. The reptiles are native to places like Madagascar and Australia. “Reptiles: the Beautiful and the Deadly” will be available for visitors to see until Sept. 13.

Samples of the Wuhan coronavirus have been sent to scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton to research to help combat the disease. Because of RML’s Virology Lab experience in researching other viruses, they are being called upon to help in searching for a vaccine to halt the spread of this virus. They will be researching how the virus binds to cells so they can develop therapies; determine how stable the virus is; establish an animal model to study; and, test the safety and effectiveness of treatments.

The Northern Ag Network reports some positive news for Montana ag: Beef demand is strong and with U.S. cattle numbers plateauing, prices are likely to be stronger in the year ahead as consumers at home and abroad support industry profitability. That was the message delivered as part of the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

A group of Williston, North Dakota, residents is raising money to build a $32 million hockey complex using an airplane hangar at the decommissioned Sloulin Field International Airport. Power Play Project Board Members say the current number of hockey players exceeds the capacity of Williston’s two indoor rinks.

The price on entry –level homes in Missoula have increased 33 percent – since 2012 – faster than the increase in higher-end homes at 26 percent, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The difference is due to supply and demand. There is only currently 3.2 months’ worth of inventory for entry-level homes and 8.6 months’ worth of stock of higher-end homes. Missoula’s median home sales price soared to a  high of $315,000 in 2019, a jump of 8.62% over 2018.

A public hearing is slated for March 6 in Williston on a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline slated to connect several processing plants in Williams County. Oneok wants to build the 75-mile line to carry natural gas liquids from the Hess Tioga, XTO Nesson and Flatiron Springbrook plants to another pipeline and, ultimately, to markets farther south in the middle of the country and on the Gulf Coast.

In Sidney, the Family Dollar had a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Jan. 16 in celebration of their opening on Jan. 23.

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports finished calendar year 2019 with a statewide total of 1,191,569 passenger boardings.  This is a growth of 108,452 passengers or an 10% increase from 2018 numbers.  This also results in the second busiest year on record for North Dakota next to 2014, which occurred during the height of the state’s oil boom.  In 2019, the airports also saw 1,187,533 passenger deplanements for a grand total of 2,379,102 passengers that traveled through the commercial service terminal buildings in North Dakota over the past year.  

Island Kitchens has opened in Sidney. It is located at 430 N. Central Ave., in the Shops at Fox Run. Brian Knight and Cal Gordon are co-owners.

In North Dakota, Outrigger Energy II plans to construct, own and operate a new 250 million cubic feet per day cryogenic gas processing plant west of Williston to gather and process production from XTO, as well as from other operators in the area. The exact location has not been determined and there is a possibility that the size of the facility will be increased to 450 million cubic feet per day. Its operation will help reduce flaring in the Bakken. The liquids removed by the proposed plant, planned to open by next December, would travel on an existing Oneok pipeline system.

North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner reported that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2019 are up 4% compared to 2018.

Of the 50 states reviewed by the American Legislative Exchange Council-Laffer Economic Outlook, North Dakota ranked number three. The report indicates North Dakota’s recent tax changes contributed to its high ranking, as well as not taxing estate or inheritance, low average workers’ compensation costs, low minimum wage, debt service as a share of tax revenue and it being a right-to-work state. North Dakota has consistently ranked in the top five for the past seven years. Utah was No. 1, for many reasons, including a flat-rate income tax of five percent and its lack o an estate tax. Idaho was in second place, due to a low minimum wage, no estate and inheritance tax, and being a right-to-work state. Nevada ranked fourth, and Indiana, fifth.

A new hemp plant has opened up in Sidney, called American Hemp. They will produce the whole hemp plant, which is noted as being different than marijuana, although closely related. Hemp does not have any concentration of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. The Sidney plant is an extension of ITC grain, a specialty crop business in Glendive handling pulse crops since 2016. With the price for chickpeas and lentils having dropped, ITC decided in 2018 it would expand into hemp, and founded American Harvest.

U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded from a five-month slump in January, heading off concerns about a protracted downturn, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s January survey of manufacturing executives.

The ISM’s report, released February 4, finds last month’s gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity bounced back into expansion territory, hitting a level of 50.9%. This represents an increase of 3.1% from December’s reading of 47.8%.

Michael Hass Allstate Insurance  is celebrating 20 years of service in the Billings.

The Michael Hass Allstate Insurance first opened its doors and wrote its very first insurance policy in 2000. Times were different 20 years ago, Shiloh Road had no roundabouts, our population was only 91,926, and cell phones weren’t around! Now, the full-service Allstate agency, located at 1611 Alderson Avenue, employs four licensed professionals with three additional support staff and serves more than 1900 families and businesses, helping them protect  their family, their home, their automobiles and their lives. 

 “Time flies! It feels like just yesterday when we cut the blue ribbon and opened our doors,” said Hass. “The years I’ve been with Allstate and all the years I’ve worked in this community have been an important part of my life. I have enjoyed working with so many families in our community and thank each and every one of them for allowing me to service their household insurance and financial needs.”

Hass provides auto, home, life and commercial insurance, as well as a variety of financial products, including college savings plans, mutual funds and more.

Hass also serves his community as a volunteer coach for the Billings Youth Hockey league, and offering programs such as teen driver safety and fire safety to students and residents. Through the years, Hass has won numerous awards, including Billings Gazette Readers Choice Awards for best insurance agent and coach of the year.  He has also won several awards from Allstate – Inner Circle, Circle of Champions, National Conference, Honor Ring and Spirit of the Good Hands.

After several decades of stagnation, real earnings for full-time U.S. workers are on the upswing. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that between 2015 and 2018, inflation-adjusted earnings for full-time wage and salary workers increased by more than 3.0 percent. Similarly, newly released data from the Census Bureau shows that inflation-adjusted earnings across all full-time workers increased by 2.2 percent over the same time period.

Not all workers are seeing larger paychecks. According to data from the BLS, flight attendants had a nearly 18 percent increase in earnings from 2015 to 2018, outranking all other occupations with at least 100,000 workers. Farm workers and laborers, food preparation workers, and dishwashers also experienced large increases in real earnings, ranging from nearly 11 to over 16 percent. At the opposite end of the spectrum, postal service workers and financial services sales agents experienced the largest declines in real earnings among the nation’s most popular occupations, at 11 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Big Sky Economic Development Authority will receive up to $24,300 to support Meadowlark Brewery, LLC in completing a feasibility study. The grant was gained through the Montana Department of Commerce, which recently announced $275,000 in grants under the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) Planning Grant Program for economic planning, growth and development, including feasibility studies.

To streamline the recruitment of new businesses to Colstrip, the City will soon have a cutting-edge site selection tool.  The web-based system will give businesses direct access to a database of available industrial and commercial properties in Colstrip that describes the infrastructure available at each site, and business demographic information.  Colstrip has the infrastructure and resources to support many types of businesses and this project will make it much easier for entrepreneurs to find sites for their companies.

The project is being spearheaded by Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) in partnership with private industry.  The need for a site selection tool was first identified in the Colstrip Diversification Strategy and has since been funded by USDA Rural Development at no cost to the City or County. 

“Building the Business Recruitment tool is a step toward positively marketing what Colstrip has to offer.  No other town in Montana in similar size has the amenities and assets that Colstrip does – we just need to do a better job of telling people about it!”

By Evelyn Pyburn

A few months ago, I encountered a news story about a recent court decision that was at once heartening and disheartening.

A federal judge ruled that children do not have a fundamental right to learn to read and write. A surprising ruling, given the state of our judicial system, but a wonderful ruling for freedom.

The ruling essentially addresses a claim that is also in the Montana Constitution – that everyone has a right to an education.

It’s an absurdity that this should be found in a document that ostensibly supports freedom, because government cannot promise something to one without obligating another – obligating them against their will – the antithesis of individual freedom.

Whether it is education, health care, food, housing, or a cell phone, to declare some “thing” as a “right” for some people is to immediately enslave others. Who is to be enslaved to provide the promised goods, by virtue of nothing more than the fact that they were born? Is there some group within our society that is undeserving of freedom, while another group, superior to them, is deserving of the unearned?

It is a lack of understanding about this issue that leads so many people down the road to socialism. With better understanding of what they are really asking for, they would know that freedom is not about free stuff, but about freedom of action, something that socialism sets out at the very beginning to quash.

A “right” is not a gift card. Rights, as set up in the Bill of Rights, are about being free to act. You don’t have a right to education, you have the right to try to obtain education. You don’t have a right to a job, you have a right to try to get a job, to earn a living, to earn the food and housing you need.

Rights are about being able to live as you choose. They are not without obligations. Your primary obligation is to negotiate and navigate through society in such a way as to gain what you need WITHOUT using FORCE against another person, as becomes necessary if one group is enslaved to provide for another.

(The only justifiable use of force is in self-defense, and that includes the purpose of the government of a free nation. And, this is a moral issue that is not suspended because government is conducting the theft on your behalf. For the government to force one group to provide free education to another, is just as immoral as a student mugging a businessman in a back alley.)

For individuals to function as they choose in a moral society, while most often means to act to earn the things you need, and to be free to barter and to make voluntary exchanges  . . . it also means being able to voluntarily help one another. To voluntarily donate to a cause that helps others, to form organizations that voluntarily provide support to those who need it, which would include supporting free education because they believe it to be vital to a strong economy and enjoyable society. They could also voluntarily fund research and exploration, and civic activities that improve society and advance civilization.

The disheartening thing about the report on this court decision is that it was immediately followed (in a not so objective way) by quotes from teachers denouncing it as outrageous.

“The message that it sends is that education is not important,” said the President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

This person – involved with the education of our children – does not see that the decision is underscoring the importance of freedom. What this teacher fails to understand is that without an environment that assures freedom, no true education is remotely possible. You end up with exactly what we see happening in our colleges today – where students are without the intellect to ponder differing points of view. . . where the only way they can dispute ideas with which they disagree is to silence those who present them, and to insulate themselves from the adversity of new ideas or people who are different.

It is disheartening that we have teachers, who are teaching our children — not about the profound underpinnings of the Bill of Rights — but to demand the unearned and to advance an enslaved society.

The court case was, of course, not quite as clear cut as this. Fundamentally, this case was about the fact that government is collecting people’s taxes with the commitment to provide their children an education. The case was brought on behalf of students who failed to get an education. Parents claimed that government was obligated to provide it – a claim that in a sense cannot be denied given government’s excuse for the process of seizing taxes.

Government makes commitments all the time that it fails to keep, but it seldom causes anyone to rethink their expectations. These parents were not arguing that they wanted to change that. They were not demanding the freedom to pursue their own educational choices.

And, while this judge declared that the children do not have a right to expect government to provide an education, he said nothing about the fraud perpetrated upon the parents and students by a government that failed to live up to the commitment it made. At least in the private sector, purchasing the education they wanted, the parents would have had a case.


Montana Rail Link/Kirby Construction, 505 N 24th St, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $21,000

Stone, Randolph D/Justin Jawort Construction, 1018 2nd Ave N, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $3,000

Montana Rescue Mission/Bradford Roof Management Inc, 2902 Minnesota Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $46,600    

Dan Palmer/Wood Framed Building, 1832 King Ave W, Com New Office/Bank, $0

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $982,026

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $360,076

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $420,089

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $324,069

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $360,076

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $252,053

TGC LP/Hulteng, Inc., 1127 S 31st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $420,089

 School District No 2/Star Service, Inc., 1315 Lewis Ave, Com Remodel, $95,000

Carol Brosovich/Yellowstone Basin Construction, 1231 N 27th St, Com Remodel, $92,625

Stockman Bank Of Montana/Hardy Construction Co., 402 N 28th St, Com Remodel, $40,000

Plaza Office Building LLC/Artisan Builders, 1629 Avenue D, Com Remodel, $200,000 

Billings Heights VFW Post 677/Blackfoot Communications Inc, 618 Winemiller Ln, Com Remodel,    $14,500

Dan Palmer/Neumann Construction, 1832 King Ave W, Com Remodel – Change In Use, $1,700,000 Johnson, Bob/Infinity Roofing & Siding Inc, 1650 Inverness Dr, Com


Tyrel Martin/Martin Built Home Llc, 2722 Hanover Cir, Res New Single Family, $266,397

Wells Built Homes Inc./Wells Built Inc., 6051 Canyonwoods Dr, Res New Single Family, $418,697

Langford, Leroy & Lee/Aaron Higginbotham, 1010 Yellowstone Ave, Res New Two Family, $518,904

NA/McCall Development, 6026 Elysian Rd, Res New Two Family, $259,243

Wells Built Homes, Inc/Wells Built Inc., 4210 Arrowwood Dr, Res Plan Revision, $5,450

Sponsor the Building Permits on our website and print editions? Call 406-259-2309 and ask for Dennis

Data on personal income for Montana counties show that Yellowstone County remains the largest county economy at $8.381 billion (2018). Gallatin County ($6.123 billion) is now the second largest county in the state by this measure, ahead of Missoula ($5.879 billion).