MTPR

Bob Marshall Wilderness

Structure protecton on the Bear Creek Fire.
Inciweb

Thompson Divide Complex
The Flathead County Sheriff's Department has issued a mandatory evacuation for the town of Essex, MT, threatened by the approaching Sheep Fire. Highway 2 is now closed from mile markers 176.8-185. The BNSF and Amtrack railroads in the area are also closed.

Residents of Essex and surrounding communities are advised to prepare for possible evacuation as the Sheep Fire burns a couple miles south of town.
Jonathan Moor/Inciweb

Some residents near Noxon have been ordered to evacuate due to wildfire, and an evacuation warning is in effect for Essex.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015
The Bear Creek Fire burning along Spotted Bear River Road, August 14, 2015.
Inciweb

A roundup of the biggest fires burning in western Montana August 18, 2015.

Josh Burnham

Greater restrictions on burning will go into effect later this week as fire danger increases in Northwest Montana. The Stage 2 fire restrictions will go into effect all across northwest Montana at 1:00 a.m. Thursday.

Arial photo of the Salmond Ranch area
Flickr User Sam Bebee (CC-BY-2)

Hunters, a wildlife group and the Bullock administration are hailing the settlement of a decades-old road dispute west of Choteau, MT that restores public access to about 50,000 acres of public land along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Courtesy Photo

People who worked to pass the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act celebrated on a ranch outside of Choteau today.

The Heritage Act was first introduced in Congress in 2011. Speaking to people celebrating on Dusty Crary’s ranch Thursday, Senator Jon Tester praised the hard work over many years before and since then that it took to put it together. It passed as part of a package of bills that were attached to a Defense spending bill.

A trail sign in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The U.S. Senate has approved an expansive bill that adds new wilderness lands in Montana and blocks mining and drilling near Glacier National Park.

The measures were in a defense bill that passed 89 to 11 today.

The bill adds 67,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It also allows for a complex coal swap involving the Northern Cheyenne Indians. The tribe will get back 5,000 acres of coal deposits it was wrongly stripped of more than a century ago.

Senator John Walsh used his last speech on the Senate floor this morning to talk about money in politics, protecting Montana public lands and veteran suicides.

In August, Walsh dropped out of his Senate reelection bid amid a plagiarism scandal.

Walsh said 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

"If this country were losing 22 service members a day on the battlefield, Americans would be in the streets protesting."

On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed a bill to reduce vet suicides, it’s now before the Senate.

50 Years Of Wilderness

Aug 1, 2014
The Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

First, a clarification: the 1964 Wilderness Act provides for areas where “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.” Executive Director of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation Carol Treadwell said it’s commonly confused as untrampled.

“Untrammeled means uncontrolled. So, in a natural state, letting natural things take place and not being tweaked by human influences. It’s there for the wildlife, and so that we can have wild experiences,” Treadwell said.

Katrin Frye

A large scale conservation project to restore genetically pure west slope cutthroat trout in northwest Montana nears the finish line. Three of 21 lakes remain for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to treat as part of the South Fork West Slope Cutthroat Trout Project.

Fisheries Biologist Matt Boyer said this September they’ll be working on Koessler Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This lake they’ll be treating with a poison called Rotenone and re-stocking with genetically pure West Slope Cutthroat Trout.

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