Recent Programs and Summaries
Home Ground has been on the air since 1996. Several hundred episodes from the archives are easily accessible on the Montana Historical Society's website.
NICK ZARNOWSKI TWO
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor argued that a majority of our citizens, and a majority of legislators, do not understand the U.S. Constitution because we do no teach it in our public schools.
Montana is helping change that. Nick Zarnowski, award-winning teacher at Helena High, is part of that effort.
NICK ZARNOWSKI ONE
The COVID-19 pandemic forced our teachers and students to communicate via internet. Did that make a difference in the quality of the educational process? Award-winning teacher Nick Zarnowski offers his thoughts.
Across centuries, Cuba and its people have faced major challenges in nature conservation – from massive deforestation to the threat of oil spills, to maintaining sustainable fisheries. Now it’s climate change – with increased hurricanes and a rising sea. What are they doing about it?
ZULEYDA AND LAZARO
Zuleyda Perez owns and runs a famous B&B on the southern Cuban coast. Her son Lazaro is set to graduate from MSU Bozeman—the first Cuban to do so. With our Havana embassy shut down, she travels to Mexico City to apply for a visa—and is rejected by the US State Department. MSU’s President and Senators Tester and Daines give her support. She gets another hearing--and is denied again!
He has huge, sharp teeth, and weighs up to 50 pounds. Is America’s largest rodent a huge hassle or a terrific friend? Yes, it’s a beaver!
CHARLOTTE CALDWELL ENCORE
Through thick and thin, Montanans committed to providing a good education to our kids. Not so easy in a sparcely-populated low-income state. Yet by 1920, 2,600 one-room school houses stood on the landscape. Today’s Covid-19 and hi-tech poses challenges. But the success of our forebears shows we can get the job done.
KARLA GRAY ENCORE
During economic hardship and stress we need to look hard at our private and public institutions—are they up to the challenge? The foundation of the public side is our State and Federal constitutions. Yet we rarely examine what these documents say about what our government can and cannot do. Karla Gray, first woman Chief Justice of Montana’s Supreme Court, knew those rules and why they matter.
COOPER HIBBARD ENCORE
As Montanans we know the earth provides—our water our food, shelter and winter warmth. Yet the hard truth is we’ve make serious mistakes in how we’ve used the land—threatening its basic health. Young rancher Cooper Hibbard’s determination to do better shows we can. And his story about horses will amaze you.
GRANDSTREET THEATRE ENCORE
Movies can be stunning, but they can’t replicate primal human engagement. So live theater survives because being in the audience, seeing and feeling the living presence of the actors, is unique. Through its summer theater school, Helena’s Grandstreet Theatre is passing that tradition on to the next generation.
SHEILA DEVINS ENCORE
There’s more than one way to fight Covid-19 : meet Sheila Devins, Seeley Lake’s award-winning preschool teacher, as she takes us into her classroom and into the learning minds and growing hearts of her 3-5 years-old students. Their story will put a smile on your face.
You were born in France before WWII, came to NY at aged 6. Your Russian father decided to move the family to Moscow in 1952, where you learned Russian, graduated college and became a Soviet journalist. In 1991-94 you and Phil Donahue co-hosted an interview show on US TV. Today your weekly interview show on Russian television has an audience of 10 million. Meet Vladimir Pozner.
We Americans of non-Native heritage feel understandable pride in having ancestors who came here 4, 5, or 6 generations ago, seeking a new life for themselves and their families..
How would it feel if our forebears had lived on this land not 5, but 500 generations??
Dan Pocha, member of the Little Shell Tribe, knows.
For 40 years Valer Clark and her former husband raised cattle on both sides of the border with Mexico, and led the way in improving the land. Now landowners in both countries are joining in the work.
All we seem to hear about is conflict along our border with Mexico. The truth is that for decades a lot of collaboration has gone on there—including cross-border jobs that benefited both sides, and long-time ranchers teaming up with government to improve the land and their lives. Rancher Bill McDonald knows.
WARNER GLENN FAMILY PART TWO
Your family has ranched in Southern Arizona’s mountains since the 1890s. Then one day the feds show up and say they’re building a 30-foot borderlands wall across your land.
WARNER GLENN FAMILY PART ONE
The Glenn Family has ranched on the Mexican border for 120 years. Warner, Kelly and Mackenzie represent 3 of the 6 generations. Hear their thoughts on ranching, wildlife and the borderland wall.
When deep science is challenged, it’s likely billions of dollars are at stake. For decades tobacco corporations denied their products caused cancer. Now it’s climate change, with carbon producers and friends disputing the findings of 19 nations” academies of science. Can anything cut through the smokescreen?? It just might be the experiences of real rural people—ranchers, farmers and timber folks.
We humans are inclined to the view that we rule the world. MSU Entymology Professor Michael Ivie differs a bit. He says beetles have far more impact!
When we think of domestic violence, it’s direct, physical, and often lethal. One in four women will experience it in their lifetime. But serious abuse and damage can occur without direct contact. Luckily, there’s help at hand.
So much is happening in today’s world that it’s hard to remember what came before. A good example is Montana’s 1972 Constitution -- and what it meant for democracy in our state. Evan Barrett doesn’t want us to forget.
For five months each year tens of millions of Americans watch, talk, argue and think about football. It’s a game of strict discipline, fierce team spirit, dangerous physical contact, and startling athleticism.
But very few know what it’s like to play the game—from high school to the pros. Bob McCullough does.
A NEW ANGLE
University business schools teach business—from basic market principles and strategic thinking to management and marketing. What they don’t normally teach are ethics—the kind of conduct with employees and clients that measures up to serious moral standards. University of Montana’s Professor Justin Angle does that, and more.
The first US trade unions formed in 1794, and by 1900 engaged millions of workers. By the 1950's, one-third of American workers were unionized--virtually all in the private sector.
Globalization has seen that figure plummet--to 6% of private workers. Public employees are 20% unionized and Eric Feaver is their leader in Montana.
BISHOP MICHAEL CURRY, BISHOP MARTHA STEBBINS
The Episcopal Church began on American soil in 1794. Its presiding Bishop was recently in Montana to ordain Martha Stebbins as Bishop for Montana. She is the first woman to hold that position. Meet them both.
INTERFAITH GOSPEL CHOIR
As our nation faces division and polarization, a Montana-born film-maker has made a documentary about the interfaith gospel choir. Its racially and religiously diverse members sing with a profound and unifying voice.
America's public lands are unique in size, diversity and use. Can we provide high quality stewardship -- balancing conservation and commercial and recreational use? Or are they better off in public hands? BLM Veteran Mike Penfold has some thoughts.
BELARUS: DEFINING HUMAN RIGHTS
Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights are words we often use without giving much thought to what we mean. In Eastern Europe today, people are working hard to define those words in real life.
A group from Belarus came to Montana to share their experience.
FORESTS AND PEOPLE AT RISK
Wildfires are as old as trees and lighting, but for more than a century we’ve snuffed them out. That’s left denser forests, which climate change has made bone dry, a spark away from conflagration which turns paradise into hell. What can we do??
The huge bull elk comes across the meadow straight toward where you are hidden in the timber. 50 yards, 25, 10. He stops, eyes glaring, and you can hear him breathe…
MISSING AND MURDERED
Modern media is strong on sensational headlines, but often falls short on follow-through. For example: the tragic fate of missing and murdered native american women. Now that headlines are gone, what’s happening on the ground?
During WW II Germany's Nazi leaders decided to exterminate all Jews. A Dutch farming couple risked their lives to hide 6-year-od Peter Metzalaar and his mother for 2 years, enabling them to survive. The rest of the Peter's family were murdered. But the holocaust happened almost 80 years ago. Should we still teach about it in our schools?
The first generation in her tribal family to go to college-- on a full ride scholarship from the Gates Foundation. She studied in Korea, served in the Peace Corps, did a state department internship in D.C., and more.
She's one of those young women who are ready to have an impact on our world. What's next for Sapphire Carter?
COUNTY COMMISSIONER SUSAN GEISE
George Washington didn’t like political parties, feeling they would fracture the unity essential for the new nation to survive. Yet during his presidency they emerged. Today people of our state and nation are asking: Should City and County elections be partisan or not? Veteran Republican activist and County Commissioner Susan Geise has some experience and thoughts.
You begin playing golf as a child and seem to have a knack for it... Then you start winning tournaments and by the time you're sixteen you're competing with the pros. WHAT Have you learned along the way?
The Connection Cure - Lisa Daron
Our nation's founders listed pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right. Turns out that finding happiness is not so easy in our high tech, smart phone world - as reflected in rising rates of mental illness and suicide. Lisa Daron's "The Connection Cure" aims to change that - by getting stranger to talk to each other.
When we heard the word "Health," we tend to think first of humans, with healthy soil being pretty far down the list. Rancher/Farmer Tim Dusenberry sees things differently.
You grew up in our hi-tech world, but were captivated by nature. Now you're a wilderness ranger, helping people from around the world to understand.
Almost 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and the United States see the other as aggressive. With serious problems across the globe, is there any chance of finding common ground? Matt Rojansky, Director, says maybe.
The Astonishing Mushroom
Let's be frank. Mushrooms are strange. How they look, their very different smells, their texture when you slice them and their dramatic range of flavors. Not to mention the fact that while some are delicious, others are deadly poison.
Grand Street Theatre
Movies can be stunning, but they can't replicate primal human engagement. So live theatre survives because being in the audience, seeing and feeling the living presence of the actors, is unique. Through this summer theater school, Helena's Grand Street Theatre is passing that tradition on to the next generation.
Sean Logan ENCORE
Every day across Montana and the nation, firemen put their lives on the line. Why would anyone choose to do that? Meet one of them.
Little Shell Tribe ENCORE
For decades the Little-Shell Nation fought for federal recognition. Nicholas Vrooman, who passed away June 26, helped the. On June 27th, the US Senate passed legislation recognizing the tribe.
Tom Brokaw ENCORE
THE VETERAN BROADCASTER SPEAKS HIS MIND—ON THE URBAN-RURAL DIVIDE, POLARIZED POLITICS, AND THE DANGER TO DEMOCRACY POSED BY FALSE NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Women in Ag ENCORE
When we think of ranchers and farmers, we tend to think of men. But we're only half right. The other half are women. And as in many areas of national life, they are stepping to the front.
Science is the disciplined study of aspects of the universe. But like all human endeavors, it is vulnerable to the biases of the folks doing the work. Archeologist Carl Davis's new book, 600 Generations, lays out that truth and more.
Sculpture In The Wild
Sculpture usually involves the modeling of animals or people, or large statues honoring historical figures. But not in Lincoln, Montana’s unique exhibition, “Sculpture in the Wild”, where potent symbols of the past are helping economic revitalization for the future.
LITTLE RANGERS LEARNING CENTER
The human brain develops most between birth and 3 years, making early childhood education vital. Yet Montana has struggled to make it available to our kids. Surprisingly, the small town of West Yellowstone is showing we can do it, and with excellence.
BLACKFOOT-CLEARWATER STEWARDSHIP ACT
Twelve years ago a group of Montanans including timber companies, environmentalists, ranching and recreationists hammered out a plan for new management of 400,000 acres of public lands. Twice Jon Tester took the pioneering bill to the senate, without success. He’s just done it again.. Why?
A COMBINATION OF NEW TRACKING TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMIC PROGRESS AND BETTER LAW ENFORCEMENT IS DRIVING AN INCREASE IN THREATENED TIGER POPULATION. ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP EXPERTS, ULLAS KARANTH, TELLS US ABOUT IT.
YOU'RE A HIGHLY TALENTED DRUMMER AND WANT TO REACH KIDS WITH A MESSAGE ABOUT THEIR HEALTH. WHAT DO YOU DO? YOU INVENT CORN MAN! MEET CHARLES WILEY
Western Land Owners Alliance
THE ECONOMICS OF CATTLE RANCHING ARE TOUGH-THE PRICE PAID FOR FEEDER CALVES HAS NOT KEPT PACE WITH THE RISING COST OF LAND, AND THE PUBLIC WANTS TO KNOW WHERE THEIR BEEF COMES FROM AND HOW WELL THE LAND'S MANAGED. THE WESTERN LANDOWNERS ALLIANCE IS PAYING ATTENTION.
WHAT CONNECTS THE U.S. MERCHANT MARINE, WESTERN SWING, AND A CHURCH-TURNED-MUSIC HALL IN A SMALL TOWN? MEET MUSICIAN TOMMY THOMSEN.
American Prairie Reserve 2
THE AMERICAN PRAIRIE RESERVE PLANS TO DEVELOP 3.5 MILLION ACRES INTO A NATURE RESERVE IN EASTERN MONTANA. SOME RANCHERS IN THE AREA OPPOSE THE IDEA, FEELING IT IS THREAT TO THEIR WAY OF LIFE.
THE DEBATE ABOUT POTENTIAL POLLUTION FROM FUTURE HARD-ROCK MINING CAN OBSCURE WHAT’S STILL OUT THERE AND WHO’S PAYING FOR THE CLEAN UP. WATER ENGINEER MARK BROOKE KNOWS.
THINGS CHANGE: 50 YEARS AGO, NO INTERNET OR CELL PHONES. 100, YEARS, NO ANTIBIOTICS OR NUCLEAR WEAPONS. 200, NOTHING MOVED FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF A HORSE. HOW ABOUT 9/11,000 YEARS AGO??? ARCHEOLOGIST LARRY LAHREN TELLS US.
Marc C Johnson
FOR 40 YEARS, BURTON K. WHEELER WIELDED GREAT POWER IN MONTANA AND WASHINGTON D.C. A MAN OF COURAGE AND CONTRADICTIONS, HE STOOD UP TO COPPER KINGS BUT WAS FOOLED BY HITLER. MARC JOHNSON’S POTENT NEW BIOGRAPHY TELLS THE STORY.
MT Climate Assessment
CLIMATE CHANGE IS SO VAST IN SCALE IT’S HARD TO GET OUR HEADS AROUND. WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF WE HAD, SAY, A DETAILED ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IT’S DONE IN MONTANA SO FAR, AND WHAT’S LIKELY HEADED OUR WAY? WELL, WE DO! MEET MSU PROFESSOR CATHY WHITLOCK, LEAD AUTHOR OF THE MONTANA
AT AGE 19, HE LED A COMBAT PLATOON IN VIETNAM. AFTER COLLEGE AND LAW SCHOOL, HE SERVED IN THE MONTANA SENATE AND SINCE 2002 HE’S WORKED AS DIRECTOR FOR A LEADING CHARITABLE FOUNDATION. WHAT HAS HE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY? MEET MIKE HALLIGAN.
MONTANA BORN AND RAISED, RAYMOND HUNTHAUSEN SURPRISED SOME WHEN HE CHOSE THE PRIESTHOOD. AS SEATTLE ARCHBISHOP, HE SURPRISED MANY MORE WITH HIS VOCAL OPPOSITION TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS. FRANK FROMHERZ HAS WRITTEN A POWERFUL NEW BIOGRAPHY ABOUT THIS EXTRAORDINARY MAN.
CAN THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A SINGLE BEAR HELP US LEARN ABOUT HUMAN USE OF THE LAND, HABITAT FRAGMENTATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE? READ “DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN” TO FIND OUT.
WE WHO HAVE HOMES RARELY SPEAK WITH THOSE WHO DON’T. WHAT ARE THEIR LIVES LIKE, THEIR STORIES? MEET LORENZO, LONG-TIME CITIZEN OF BILLINGS.
CAN YOU NAME A 19TH CENTURY TECHNOLOGY WHICH A) CHANGED THE COURSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY B) REMAINS THE MOST EFFICIENT FOR ITS PURPOSE AND C) CANNOT BE OPERATED AS WELL BY A COMPUTER AS BY A HUMAN BEING??
YOU GOT IT--TRAINS!
FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS, YOU’VE HELPED TO START OR BUILD CAPACITY OF MORE THAN 20 MONTANA NON-PROFITS, YOUR MAIN FOCUS BEING THE INTER-CONNECTION OF ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, AND THE DIVIDE BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL AMERICANS. WHY?? BILL BRYAN TELLS US.
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHERE THEIR FOOD COMES FROM AND THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS RAISED OR GROWN. IN RESPONSE, FARMERS AND RANCHERS ARE TELLING THEM. BUT HOW DO WE KNOW THE CLAIMS ARE TRUE?
Women in Ag
WHEN WE THINK OF RANCHERS AND FARMERS, WE TEND TO THINK OF MEN. BUT WE’RE ONLY HALF RIGHT. THE OTHER HALF ARE WOMEN. AND AS IN MANY AREAS OF NATIONAL LIFE, THEY ARE STEPPING TO THE FRONT.
Holly Luck Encore
OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE ALWAYS IN THE NEWS AND WANT TO KNOW THEY’RE GETTING THINGS DONE. BUT NO-ONE MENTIONS THAT THE FOLKS WHO USUALLY MAKE THINGS HAPPEN ARE THE HIGHLY SKILLED MEMBERS OF THEIR STAFF. FOR 32 YEARS HOLLY LUCK WAS ONE OF THE VERY BEST.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS A GLOBAL ISSUE WITH HUGE ECONOMIC INTERESTS IN PLAY, WHICH TRANSLATES INTO HEAVY PRESSURE ON ELECTED OFFICIALS TO DO THEIR BIDDING. SO WHAT CHANCE DO REGULAR CITIZENS HAVE TO IMPACT OUR NATION'S CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY? MORE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.
YOU’RE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND HEAR ABOUT SOMETHING DIFFERENT: YOU AND CLASSMATES WILL BE COACHED BY REAL LAWYERS TO PRETEND YOU ARE TRYING A CASE BEFORE A REAL JUDGE. YOU TRY IT AND--GUESS WHAT—IT’S REALLY FUN!
SEAN LOGAN SPENT 20 YEARS AS A CITY FIREFIGHTER AND CHIEF OF HELENA'S FIRE DEPARTMENT. YOU'LL BE SURPRISED BY WHAT HE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY.
PERHAPS THE BIGGEST DECISION FACING THE LEGISLATURE IS WHETHER TO CONTINUE MEDICAID EXPANSION—WHICH 100,000 MONTANANS HAVE ENROLLED IN DURING THE PAST 4 YEARS. GET THE FACTS—ON HOME GROUND.
M.S.U. HAS SERIOUS PROBLEMS. CAN ITS NEW CHANCELLOR, THE 5TH IN 6 YEARS, FIX THEM?
RURAL POVERTY IS OFTEN OUT OF SIGHT. BUT IT'S FULLY REAL. HOPA MOUNTAIN EMPOWERS THOSE AFFLICTED TO HELP THEM SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.
MONTANA AND GARY, INDIANA HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON: HIGH LEVELS OF POVERTY AND ELECTED LEADERS TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
MSU BOZEMAN ACTIVELY HELPS STUDENTS WHO WANT TO ATTEND BUT ARE SUB-PAR IN ENGLISH AND MATH SKILLS. WHY?
Funders for Montana Children
RESEARCH MAKES CLEAR THAT A CHILD’S FIRST THREE YEARS ARE PIVOTAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTELLIGENCE AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH. SO SIX CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS HAVE TEAMED UP TO HELP COMMUNITIES DO RIGHT BY OUR KIDS.
Own Research Institute
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN CAPTIVATED BY OWLS. 30 YEARS AGO, DENVER HOLT LAUNCHED THE INSTITUTE. LAST YEAR, 11.5 MILLION VIEWERS WORLDWIDE VISITED THEIR WEBSITE.
Bamboo Fly Rods
FLY FISHING BAMBOO FLY RODS ARE OLD-FASHIONED, OBSOLETE. SO WHY DO FOLKS PAY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO BUY ONE, AND REFUSE TO FISH WITH ANYTHING ELSE?
Ambassador Hynek Kmonicek
THINK ABOUT WHAT QUALITIES IT TAKES TO BE AN EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMAT. FOR THE CZECH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES, A SENSE OF HUMOR IS HIGH ON THE LIST.
THE BOW AND ARROW ARE ANCIENT—ROUGHLY 18,000 YEARS OLD. SO WHY WOULD A YOUNG WOMAN, WITH LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF OTHER RECREATIONAL OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, DECIDE TO LEARN TO SHOOT ONE?
CORPORATE FOOD PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION DOMINATES THE MARKET. BUT THE GROWING AND MARKETING OF FOOD BY LOCAL FARMERS AND RANCHERS CONTINUES TO INCREASE.
American Prairie Reserve
THE AMERICAN PRAIRIE RESERVE REPRESENTS A HOPE TO SOME AND A THREAT TO OTHERS. CAN THE GAP BE BRIDGED?
BALLOT MEASURE I-185 WOULD INCREASE THE TAX ON TOBACCO USE TO HELP PAY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR 100,000 LOW-INCOME MONTANAS. GOOD IDEA OR BAD?
Law and Justice
YOU OFTEN NEED A LAWYER TO GET JUSTICE. BUT ONLY 20% OF AMERICANS HAVE ONE. THE MONTANA AND AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATIONS ARE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.
Fork and Spoon
PAY WHAT YOU WANT FOR DINNER, OR PAY NOTHING AT ALL! YOU'RE AT BOZEMAN'S FORK AND SPOON RESTAURANT!