Montana Public Radio

Aaron Bolton

Flathead Reporter

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter. He joined us in 2019 from Alaska where he reported on commercial fisheries and rural issues. 

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

The U.S. Interior Department announced changes Monday to how federal agencies will apply the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There is concern that the changes could affect Yellowstone grizzly bears' threatened status in the future.

The bears' status under the Endangered Species Act has been tied up in court for years.

During Sen. Steve Daines’ stops in Missoula and Kalispell Monday, he was asked whether he supports the Bureau of Land Management's acting Director, William Perry Pendley. Pendley’s past support for the sale of public lands concerns many, but Daines called that concern “overblown.” 

Aaron Bolton

Flathead Lake continues to defy national trends as a healthy blue body of water that’s free of invasive mussels. That’s according to the director of the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station, who gave his annual state of the lake address Friday. 

Glacier Loon Project Decision Notice April 2018
USDA

A multi-year court battle over the Glacier Loon timber sale in the Swan Valley will continue. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is now asking the lower court to decide whether the project needs to be reassessed under different regulations protecting grizzly bears. 

Tanya Gersh (R) and lawyer David Dinielli talk with reporters after a July 11, 2019 federal court hearing in Gersh's lawsuit against neo-Nazi website publisher Andrew Anglin.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

The publisher of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer must pay more than $14 million in damages to Whitefish real estate agent Tanya Gersh. A U.S. District Court judge Thursday officially adopted the recommendation from a federal magistrate judge.  

Mudman Burgers restaurants owned by Potter's Field Ministries closed down following allegations against the ministry and its leaders Mike and Pam Rozell.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The new board chair of Potter’s Field Ministries says a third-party financial audit is underway following the closure of the Whitefish-based nonprofit and its subsidiaries due to allegations of fraud, financial mismanagement and abuse. Two law firms investigating over 100 allegations against the ministry question the integrity of the audit.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Two weeks after the state health department removed 27 children from Ranch for Kids in Rexford due to allegations of physical and psychological abuse, the private therapeutic facility has officially appealed the suspension of its license. 

A safety diver starts a Go-Pro camera on the Nekton Gamma before it dives in Yellow Bay on the east side of Flathead Lake August 5, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Boaters on Flathead Lake might see a strange sight this week: small submarines surfacing at various locations. The subs are diving in an effort to help researchers at the Flathead Biological Station reach unexplored depths. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks plans to increase CWD sampling of white-tailed deer near Libby this fall after a positive test result was taken from the area this past May.
Stock photo (PD)

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking to understand how widespread chronic wasting disease in Montana by stepping up sampling efforts with white-tailed deer this hunting season.

The initial detection of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, west of the Continental Divide happened near Libby in late May. Since then, five deer have tested positive for the disease. So far the disease has only been confirmed in wild deer in Montana.

Bell 407 helicopter gathering water from the Big Hole River to drop on the Adson Fire near Wise River.
inciweb

Updated: 5:30 p.m., July 31, 2019 

New forest closures were announced due to the North Hills Fire north of Helena, which has burned more than 4,700 acres. 

The Forest Service closure includes the southern Gates of the Mountain wilderness boundary, extending south along the York/Nelson road to York. It also goes west along York Road to the forest boundary, then north following the boundary and Missouri River. 

Pages