MTPR

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. 

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 the small, remote town of 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. 

The Flathead National Forest is now taking comments on how it should manage the three forks of the Flathead River.
U.S. Forest Service

The Flathead National Forest is now taking comments on how it should manage the three forks of the Flathead River. The plan, expected early next year, could implement user restrictions to protect fish, wildlife and the user experience.

The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday it is taking scoping comments that will help shape the new management plan.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that it officially placed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem back on the endangered species list, complying with a 2018 court order.

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed Greater Yellowstone bears from the federal endangered species list in 2017, saying the population was distinct and that it no longer needed endangered species protections.

The Cabinet Mountains as seen from Highway 56 near Noxon, MT.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The proposed Montanore copper and silver mine in the Cabinet Mountains has experienced another setback. A state district court judge found Friday that a state-issued water quality permit violated state and federal water quality regulations.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

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