Montana Public Radio

Al Nash

 

A handful of Montana wildland firefighters are helping fight the historic bushfires in Australia, which have burned over 12 million acres, destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people. 


A federal order that lumps electric bicycles in with traditional bikes has sparked concern among environmental advocacy groups who say that e-bikes could hurt trail traffic and ecology in the Pryor Mountains.

A recent report from a pair of environmental advocacy groups says a third of the public lands leased for oil and gas development came with a price tag of $2 per acre or less.


A conservation group says the Bureau of Land Management is abandoning an option that would preserve 200,000 acres in Central Montana with wilderness characteristics.

The BLM says that’s not true, and that its new draft management plan for its lands in the area will strike a balance between development and other uses.

Ryan Zinke.
(PD)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today said his agency should be a partner with oil and gas companies that seek to drill on public land. He said that long regulatory reviews with an uncertain outcome are "un-American."

Speaking to a major energy-industry conference today, Zinke described the Trump administration's efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators.

The largest wildfire in the U.S. this year burned in Montana, decimating 423 miles of fertile rangeland, and with it, the livelihoods of many Garfield and Petroleum County ranchers.

Republican State Representative Bill Harris of Winnet was one of them. Harris documented much of the disaster that destroyed his ranchland on his personal Facebook. He’s pointing the finger at a nearby Wilderness Study Area (WSA) managed by the Bureau of Land Management as contributing to overall fire devastation.

Voices For, Against Coal Royalty Reform Heard In Billings

Aug 12, 2015
Commenters line up to speak during a Billings meeting on coal royalty reforms, Tuesday, August 11.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

An overflow crowd packed the Montana/Dakota’s BLM state office in Billings to speak on the federal coal program Tuesday. The agency is seeking comment on possible changes to make sure it’s obtaining the full economic value for the mining of federal coal. Comments ranged from whether the government is getting enough revenue, to climate change, to the "war on coal."

Coal Royalties Listening Tour Stops In Billings Tuesday

Aug 10, 2015
A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

The federal government’s controversial coal program is the subject of a public listening session in Billings Tuesday. It’s the first of four planned throughout the heart of American coal country. The Department of Interior is encouraging the public to enter the fray.

Jackie Yamanaka

Another nearly 4-dozen Yellowstone National Park bison are scheduled to be loaded up today at the Stephens Creek Capture facility and delivered for slaughter in Big Timber and Columbus.

It’s part of the population control measures spelled out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan.

Yellowstone officials held a tour of the Stephens Creek facility yesterday.

Rick Wallen is the lead wildlife biologist for Yellowstone’s bison program.

Grizzly bear mother and cub, stock photo.
(PD)

Relatively mild winter weather is bringing out the bears in Yellowstone National Park.

Park spokesman Al Nash says the first report of grizzly bear activity was confirmed late Monday afternoon.

The bears usually emerge from hibernation in early March.

They're hungry when leaving their dens and looking for an easy meal; namely, the carcasses of winter-killed animals.

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