Montana Public Radio

Alliance for the Wild Rockies

Map of the Gold Butterfly Project vicinity.
Bitterroot National Forest

Environmental groups are suing the Bitterroot National Forest over a proposed project that calls for about 5,600 acres of commercial logging.  The Gold Butterfly project would take place on about 7,300 acres. It includes non-commercial thinning and about 4,800 acres of prescribed burns.

ATVs on a muddy road. Stock photo.
iStock.

The U.S. Forest Service Tuesday withdrew its appeal of a 2019 court ruling ordering it to examine ineffective closures of temporary logging roads in grizzly bear habitat. The federal agency will continue studying the issue.

A survey of elk hiding cover in the Telegraph Vegetation Project area.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire mitigation project was allowed to proceed in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest after two conservation groups raised concerns over the impact on big game habitat, federal appeals court officials said.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

A legal battle over whether temporary logging roads in grizzly bear habitat are effectively being closed may put a damper on logging projects in three national forests. The case may be headed for an appeal.

Bull trout
flickr/USFWS Headquarters

Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its recovery plan for bull trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The groups say the plan doesn’t provide any way to determine if and when the species is recovered.

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Hubbard hold a forest management roundtable at  the U.S. Forest Service’s Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center in Missoula, Nov. 7, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Jim Hubbard spearheaded a roundtable this week in Missoula focused on forest and wildland fire policy.

Gianforte called for greater collaboration among stakeholders. Some stakeholders, however, were noticeably absent from the event.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that it officially placed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem back on the endangered species list, complying with a 2018 court order.

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed Greater Yellowstone bears from the federal endangered species list in 2017, saying the population was distinct and that it no longer needed endangered species protections.

State Agency Looks To More Logging, Improved Forest Health

Mar 8, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's forestry agency is working with federal, local and private organizations to increase logging on national forests to improve forest health and decrease the risk of disease and catastrophic fires.

State lawmakers are supporting a $2.2 million request from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire people to help implement the Good Neighbor Authority program.

Longtime grizzly advocate Mike Bader presents at a letter-writing meetup for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' new grizzly rule.
Nick Mott / MTPR

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) says Monday’s federal ruling to put grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park back on the Endangered Species List will not affect the agency’s work on a new rule that will dictate how Montana will manage grizzlies in and around Glacier National Park if that population is removed from the Endangered Species List.

A stack of logs.
(PD)

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of an environmental group challenging a timber and forest thinning project in the Kootenai National Forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that that Forest Service, “acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” by failing to determine whether the East Reservoir Project will result in new roads that will exceed a cap on them meant to preserve grizzly bear habitat.

Pages