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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Tribal water rights payments; FWP officer cited for hunting violation

A screen capture of a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks ad on Facebook captured on Oct. 26, 2023. In large bold letters the ad says "IT'S UP TO US. Respect access. Protect the hunt." Below the text are two images. One show's two hunters signing in at a trailhead. The other shows a hunter shaking hands with another person, as if asking a private property owner for permission to hunt on their land.
A screen capture of a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks ad on Facebook captured on Oct. 26, 2023.

Tribal water rights settlement money is on its way to the Blackfeet and Crow nations
Aaron Bolton | Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday that $327 million will flow to tribes with water rights settlements. The Crow Tribe and the Blackfeet Nation will be among the tribes receiving funds this year.

The Blackfeet will receive nearly $36 million toward its water rights settlement agreement. The Crow will receive nearly $13 million.

The funding comes from the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund. That fund received a $2.5 billion infusion from the infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021.

FWP official cited for hunting on private land without permission
John Hooks | Montana Public Radio

The Chief of Operations for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks pleaded not guilty last week to a charge that he failed to obtain permission from a landowner to cross their property while hunting.

According to a copy of the complaint, Mike Volesky was cited by the department’s chief of law enforcement on October 10th for the offense, which was his first. A department spokesperson said he has been on administrative leave since the citation.

Volesky pleaded not guilty to the charge in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court last week. His next hearing is on November 21st.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
John joined the Montana Public Radio team in August 2022. Born and raised in Helena, he graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts and created the Montana history podcast Land Grab. John can be contacted at
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