Montana Public Radio

Nick Mott

Nick Mott is a reporter who also works as producer at Threshold, a podcast and radio show. He holds an MA in journalism with a focus in environmental reporting from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Cow elk.
PD

A debate over the role of money in deer and elk hunting in Montana has fizzled out in the Legislature.

A snare trap
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed two bills into law designed to reduce the wolf population in Montana. The new laws extend the wolf trapping season by four weeks and allow wolf trappers to use neck snares.

Fireline Episode 06 - Part 1: Moral Hazard

Apr 13, 2021

The Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI, is where forest and homes meet. It’s the fastest growing land use type in the nation, and also where one in three homes across the country are situated. What’s it mean to live in the WUI, where the stakes of wildfire are higher than anywhere else? And why is this area so vulnerable to fire?

Learn more now on Fireline Episode 6 - part 1

Fireline Episode 05: Burnout

Apr 6, 2021
Fireline Episode 05: Burnout
Jessy Stevenson

There are more than 30,000 people who fight wildfires in the U.S., and about 400 firefighters have died on the job over the last two decades. As fire seasons get longer and fires become more devastating, the physical and mental toll on firefighters themselves is also growing. Learn more now on Fireline Episode 05: Burnout.

Grizzly bear historic and current range.
Lisa Landenburger, USGS - Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Public domain. Sources: IUCN, M. Proctor, Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

At their peak, grizzly bears numbered more than 50,000 in the Lower 48. They roamed from the West Coast to the Great Plains, from northern Alaska to central Mexico. Facing threats from habitat loss, hunting and conflicts with people and livestock, their numbers dwindled to fewer than 1,000 in the lower 48 by the time the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was implemented in 1975. Today, managers say the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide populations have recovered and are ready for delisting. Here's a timeline of the management actions, court cases and notable events that have shaped grizzly bear recovery since their ESA listing through today.

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wednesday recommended continued federal protections for grizzlies in the continental U.S. Federal officials say the bears still face threats from human population growth and habitat loss. But the report doesn't rule out removing protections for bears in specific regions in the future.

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Friday that the state awarded $4.5 million to 14 forest projects meant to bolster the timber industry, restore forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

The projects funded fall under the Montana Forest Action Plan, a new document that will guide forestry in the state for the next decade.

Fireline Episode 03: Ring Of Fire

Mar 23, 2021

The connection between humans and fire goes back millions of years. What started with campfires and cooking grew into a burning addiction that catalyzed the Industrial Revolution and now shapes nearly every aspect of our society. Now, our ongoing reliance on fire in its many forms is changing the climate with explosive consequences for wildfires — and much more.

Fireline Episode 02: The Big Burn

Mar 16, 2021

In 1910, a wildfire the size of Connecticut engulfed parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington. Ed Pulaski and his crew were among the many people trapped by the enormous blaze. The Big Burn, as it came to be known, helped propel a culture of fire suppression that still persists in many forms. What does that massive fire mean for the way our society deals with the wildfires of today?

PD

Federal agencies are figuring out how to treat masks on public land in the wake of Gov. Greg Gianforte’s repeal of Montana’s statewide mask mandate.

President Biden issued a national mandate for masks on federal lands and in federal buildings on January 20. Just over three weeks later, Gov. Gianforte lifted Montana’s mask mandate — although masks are still required in some counties and cities, and in state-owned buildings. 

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