Montana Public Radio

The Blackfoot Challenge

Electric fencing can be an effective tool for protecting livestock such as chickens, goats and young cattle.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Grizzly bears are repopulating areas of Montana that haven’t seen them for decades, creating more conflict between livestock, people and bears. Some ranchers are learning they need to do something that doesn’t come naturally — change how they live on the land.

As bears were hibernating in their dens this winter, the Blackfeet Stockgrowers Association held a meeting in Choteau to provide a space for ranchers like Mark Hitchcock to talk about working alongside the growing number of grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front.

USGS

State budget cuts mean that ranchers, recreation businesses and conservationists who rely on accurate information about water in Montana are facing new challenges.

Congressman Greg Gianforte invited the media Friday to what he called a roundtable talk about the U.S. Forest Service Stonewall vegetation project near Lincoln.

He says that lawsuits blocking projects like Stonewall are standing in the way of healthy forests in the Montana.

Rep Gianforte Plans 'Forest Jobs Tour'

Sep 14, 2017
PD

Congressman Greg Gianforte is kicking off what he’s calling a “Forest Jobs Tour” tomorrow in Helena. A press release says, “Gianforte will hold a roundtable briefing on the status of the Stonewall Project with key stakeholders.”

The Stonewall project is a U.S. Forest Service vegetation management proposal that called for logging, thinning and controlled-burning about 5,000 acres north of Lincoln. Shortly after it was approved in 2016 a federal judge temporarily halted it in response to a lawsuit from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock announces the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative at Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake Montana August 16, 2016..
Corin Cates-Carney

In June, Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock was elected chairman of the Western Governors' Association. The WGA is made up of 14 Republicans, six Democrats and two independents.

Tuesday, Bullock announced that he’s launching a new WGA initiative. He’s calling it the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.

Trumpeter swans, Harriman State Park, ID.
Charles R. Peterson (CC-BY-NC-2)

What native Montana bird can weigh up to 30 pounds and have a wingspan of eight feet? Here's a hint: it's not the bald eagle. These characteristics, in fact, belong to the trumpeter swan.

This unique bird, the largest waterfowl in North America, faced extinction a century ago in the United States, and would have vanished if not for the efforts of wildlife groups and government agencies. The total number of trumpeter swans has increased steadily since then. However, in certain areas of the western United States, populations are declining again. The trumpeter swan is an impressive and fascinating native Montana bird which may once again need our help.