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agriculture

A subadult male grizzly bear was euthanized after it repeatedly broke into a chicken coop and killed several chickens off Farm to Market Road between Kalispell and Whitefish, August 21, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

State and Federal wildlife managers are offering a first-of-its-kind summit on grizzly bear education in Helena this week.

Some Montana lawmakers are applauding the U.S.-China trade agreement signed Jan. 15, saying it’s a big win for the state’s agricultural producers. Critics say a trade war with the world’s second largest economy should not have happened in the first place.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this week released a document nearly eight years in the making that outlines how bison could be restored in the state as publicly managed wildlife. 

 

As more extreme droughts and floods and other climate effects threaten food production and the survival of rural communities, there’s a debate about whether sustainable agriculture can be achieved through new federal policies or shifting markets. 

Hay bales in a field.
iStock

The U.S. Agriculture Department predicts American net farm income this year will be about 10% higher than in 2018.

Great news, right? Not so fast, say some Montana farmers.

Trucks wait at a Canadian border crossing.
iStock

Beltway Democrats and Republicans are both claiming victory over this week’s announced overhaul of the 25-year-old NAFTA trade agreement. Back home in Montana, farmers and ranchers are still sifting through the pact’s details with a fine-toothed comb. 

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

A privately funded, nonprofit organization is creating a 3.2 million-acre wildlife sanctuary — American Prairie Reserve — in northeastern Montana, an area long known as cattle country.

The Trump administration reauthorized a controversial device used to kill livestock predators Thursday, despite strong opposition. 

Grizzly Bear Advisory Council Struggles With ‘Herculean’ Challenge In Missoula

Dec 6, 2019
Grizzly Bear Citizen Advisory Council members Caroline Byrd, left, and Trina Jo Bradley, right, listen as council member Chad Bauer addresses Gov. Steve Bullock at an advisory council meeting in Missoula Dec. 5.
Alex Sakariassen / Montana Free Press

MISSOULA — Chad Bauer, a member of Gov. Steve Bullock’s Grizzly Bear Citizen Advisory Council, expressed a sense of urgency and unease on the second morning of the council’s Dec. 4-5 meeting in Missoula. Bauer and Bullock sat across from each other in a crowded conference room on the University of Montana campus. Bullock had recently announced the end of his presidential campaign, and Bauer, who works as a municipal market manager for Missoula waste hauler Republic Services, was three months into his role on the council. Bullock has given the council the task of delivering recommendations on the future of state grizzly bear management by the end of next summer.

Grizzly bear with cubs.
(PD)

A record number of grizzly bears were killed this year in and around Glacier National Park. It’s the second year in a row of record deaths for the threatened species in the area, which is home to more grizzlies than anywhere in the lower 48 states.

But there’s disagreement over whether two years of record bear deaths should raise alarm bells.

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