MTPR

agriculture

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

Most grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National Park are bedding down for winter, but the debate over the Trump administration removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the threatened species list earlier this year is not. De-listing is being challenged in court, and for now, the grizzlies are being managed by the states. 

Wyoming is considering a potential grizzly bear hunt, and its wildlife management agency is holding a series of meetings to get public input on that. As Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi found out at a meeting in Jackson, the public is divided.

In a deal that coincides with President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week, China’s largest online retailer says it will buy $200 million dollars worth of Montana beef over the next three years. 

The Trump administration has cancelled funding for the Blackfeet Nation’s range rider program. These are tribal members who inspect cattle and make sure the land isn’t overgrazed. Now they could potentially lose their jobs and the Blackfeet tribal council isn’t pleased.

Wolf Moss: Wallpaper Of The World's Forests

Oct 30, 2017
Wolf Moss
Claire Burgeson

Although small and unobtrusive, an estimated 13,000 to 17,000 species of lichen spread across the Earth, from the Arctic to the equatorial tropics. One of those species, more noticeable than most, is Letharia vulpina, a brilliant fluorescent yellow-green, moss-like lichen that clings to the bark and wood of living and dead trees throughout the world, from sea level to timberline.

Meat processing plant file photo.
(PD)

Preliminary plans for the state’s largest slaughterhouse and meat processing plant are being laid in Cascade county.

Friesen Foods, an Alberta, Canada-based company, has purchased 3,018 acres of undeveloped farmland east of Great Falls to build the Madison Food Park complex, which Friesen says will employ 3,000 people and export thousands of tons of meat to consumer markets throughout North America.

Last Friday, Republican Senator Steve Daines hosted China’s ambassador Cui Tiankai at a ranch near Belgrade. The two were there to talk beef. In June, China lifted a fourteen-year-old ban on U.S. beef imports. But opening that door was only the first step.

Chinese Ambassador Chui Tian Kai (left) and Republican Senator Steve Daines spoke to the press after a meeting at a ranch near Belgrade, Montana in Sept., 2017
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Republican Senator Steve Daines hosted Chinese ambassador Chui Tiankai at a ranch near Belgrade today.  The two were there to talk … cattle. In June, China lifted their 14 year-old ban on importing U.S. beef.

Parts of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are experiencing severe or extreme drought.
NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land in the Dakotas and Montana in response to drought.

Perdue says that without alternative forage options, ranchers could be devastated economically. The emergency grazing is authorized to begin immediately, and extends through Sept. 30 unless conditions improve.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

USDA photo by Keith Weller

Montana cattle producers say they’re now a big step closer to getting their beef back into the potentially lucrative Chinese market. American beef has been locked out of China ever since a 2003 Mad Cow Disease scare in Washington State.

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