MTPR

Canada lynx

Canada lynx.
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The timber industry, land managers and environmentalists are at loggerheads in lynx country. Canada lynx have been listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act since 2000, they’re at the heart of legal battles over forest management; and in 2017, Montana politicians blamed a lawsuit over lynx protection for the 18,000-acre Park Creek Fire outside Lincoln, along with other blazes across the state.

Citizen scientists watch for migrating raptors at Swiftcurrent Pass.
Jami Belt / National Park Service


Glacier National Park is looking for people to help study and monitor plant and animal species throughout the park.

The Flathead Forest’s new forest plan was signed in December.
Flathead National Forest

Two conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit this week, challenging the 2018 Flathead Forest Plan.

WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project say the 10 to 15 year management plan for the 2.4 million acre forest decreases habitat protections for wildlife, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx and bull trout.
 

Skiers and snowshoers hike behind a closed gate in Glacier National Park, Dec. 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

An unprecedented move by the National Park Service could free up millions of dollars for staffing and cleaning-up trash and restrooms at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks during the partial federal government shutdown.

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Dec. 14, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead National Forest is now reviewing all the objections to the final draft of its new forest management plan.

The Flathead National Forest released that draft plan back in mid-December. It’s essentially the blueprint that will guide land use decisions on the forest for at least the next decade. Groups who were involved in writing the plan had two months to file objections. The Flathead’s Forest Plan Revision Team Leader, Joe Krueger, says that objection period closed Monday.

USFWS Says Canada Lynx Are Ready To Be Delisted

Jan 11, 2018
Canada lynx.
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Canada lynx may have recovered to the point where it could be delisted as a threatened species.

The elusive cat was listed as threatened nearly 20 years ago. But since then, Jennifer Strickland with the Fish and Wildlife Service says the federal government has done a good job of protecting and expanding lynx-friendly habitat.

Keith Williams (CC-BY-2.0)

On Monday, Republican Senator Steve Daines joined three other Republicans in releasing draft legislation they say would reverse the so-called Cottonwood decision. Both Daines and his Democratic counterpart, Jon Tester, see it as one way to prevent wildfires, but it’s much bigger than that.

The Cottonwood decision says the U.S. Forest Service needs to draw up a new management plan for 12 million acres of critical Canada Lynx habitat.
Keith Williams (CC-BY)

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the court ruling doesn't require the U.S. Forest Service to update their forest management plan, but to review it and then potentially create a new one. A previous version said "the U.S. Forest Service needs to draw up a new management plan for 12 million acres of critical Canada Lynx habitat." Yellowstone Public Radio regrets the error. 

Montana’s senators are trying to reverse a controversial federal court case out of Bozeman they say is partly to blame for the state’s devastating wildfires. But some environmentalists say it’s actually an assault on the Endangered Species Act.

A federal judge in Montana ruled today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider including critical habitat areas in a plan to protect the endangered Canada lynx.
Keith Williams (CC-BY-2.0)

A federal judge in Montana ruled today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider including critical habitat areas in a plan to protect the threatened Canada lynx.

The elusive forest-dwelling lynx was put under Endangered Species Act protection in 2000.

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