MTPR

climate change

Half a year after a memorable fire season shrouded Montana in thick gray skies, burned more than a million acres and caused tens of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls, scientists at the University of Montana are saying Montanans should get used to it.

Few surviving trees remain in the changed landscape located in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho.
Camille Stevens-Rumann

In the forests of the Rocky Mountains, fewer trees are growing back after recent wildfires because of climate change. That’s what a team of researchers discovered after studying seedling regeneration at 1,500 sites in five different states.

University of Montana fire ecology Professor Philip Higuera is a co-author of the study. He joins us now.

Logo of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Josh Burnham

Tribes in northwest Montana have pledged to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump backing out last year. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes signed onto the We Are Still In campaign last week.

USGS

State budget cuts mean that ranchers, recreation businesses and conservationists who rely on accurate information about water in Montana are facing new challenges.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

We're getting perspective now on last week's news that the U.S. Interior Department said it had approved a major coal mine expansion in Montana. It caused the stock of the mining company involved to temporarily spike.

Six days later, Interior rescinded its statement, saying no expansion was approved, and the original approval statement was the result of “internal miscommunication.”

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