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.

Gov. Greg Gianforte releases his plans for the state’s response to COVID-19 at a press conference January 5, 2021. He said he will rescind the statewide mask mandate, but only after certain criteria are met.
James Bradley / UM Legislative News Service

On his second day in office, Gov. Greg Gianforte pledged to lift Montana’s statewide mask mandate enacted by his predecessor to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now local areas are preparing face-covering ordinances of their own.

At a press conference Tuesday, Gianforte said addressing COVID-19 was his top priority as governor, and that he would be issuing new guidance to help the state recover.

Before leaving office, Gov. Bullock finalized a document that will guide forestry and logging projects in Montana for the next decade. Montana Public Radio’s Nick Mott has more from just south of Livingston. 

Fish cooking over a campfire.
iStock

Wildlife managers across the region noted a drastic increase in the number of people recreating in bear country this year, but that spike didn’t lead to a bump in conflicts between humans and grizzlies. 

That's the takeaway from a year-end review of grizzly management in the Lower 48 states this week.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
(PD)

After two record-breaking years of grizzly bear deaths in Northwest Montana, bear mortalities have dropped back down.

Cow elk.
PD

A citizens group met for the first time Thursday to begin the process of revising the 15-year-old statewide elk management plan in Montana.

Elk numbers in Montana have rebounded from about 8,000 in the 1920s to more than 150,000 today. But agreeing on how many of those ungulates there should be — and where — is a complicated affair.

A citizen committee meeting Wednesday and Thursday put the finishing touches on a once-in-a-decade plan that will shape forest management in Montana.

Decades of aggressively putting out wildfires led to unhealthy, overgrown forests at particularly high risk for burns and disease outbreaks. At the same time, a patchwork of land ownership makes addressing management problems hard to do. That’s where the Montana Forest Action Plan comes in.

A woman stands in a stream fly fishing
PD

Critics say a U.S. Department of Interior order issued earlier this week guts a federal program that uses money from oil and gas drilling to buy land for recreation and conservation.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) received full funding of $900 million per year for the first time in its half-century history when the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law in early August.

Gray wolf.
iStock

A coalition of livestock producers, tribes, nonprofits, and landowner groups that sprawls from Montana to New Mexico was awarded a federal grant of nearly $1 million to reduce conflicts between people and predators — especially grizzly bears and wolves.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Daines addresses a crowd of more than 100 supporters in an open-air tent outside the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, Nov. 03, 2020.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Republican Steve Daines clinched a second term in the U.S. Senate yesterday, defeating Democratic Governor Steve Bullock.

An map excerpt of the Soldier-Butler Project area.
Lolo National Forest

Two conservation groups Friday sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a proposed logging project in the Lolo National Forest on land wildlife managers say is important for grizzly bear connectivity.

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