By Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press
Two environmental groups are positioned to receive previously undisclosed communications between Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Hecla, an Idaho-based company seeking to open two mines in northwestern Montana, nearly 18 months after requesting the documents.
Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Christopher Abbott on June 23 ordered Gianforte to produce the records sought by Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthworks, both nonprofits active in mining issues. Abbott cited rights enshrined in the Montana Constitution that support government transparency in his order, which directs the governor’s office to turn over the records to MEIC and Earthworks within six weeks.