Montana Public Radio

Clark Fork Coalition

This section of Silver Bow Creek that runs through Slag Canyon in Butte will be rerouted in EPA's "proposed plan" for changes to the 2006 Record of Decision.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A copper mining company and Butte-Silver Bow county agreed this week to a plan to pump more cold, clean water into local creeks. While the company and county call the deal a win-win, some are concerned about the downstream impacts.

Resource conservation student Jared Smith (left) builds a beaver dam analog on Fish Creek in western Montana, along with another undergraduate and Ph.D. ecology student Andrew Lahr (right), Oct. 19, 2019.
Kevin Trevellyan / Montana Public Radio

University of Montana ecologists are researching human-made beaver dams as a potential habitat restoration tool. Early case studies show the dams could dull the impacts of climate change seen in rivers and streams. The U.S. Forest Service is looking to use the simple structures on new sites in the state, but first, officials want to better understand the science behind simulated rodent engineering.

Nora Saks

Scientists have long used fish and aquatic insects as ecological indicators to measure the success of the Superfund cleanup from Butte to Missoula. But as cleanup on the main stem of the Clark Fork River gets more complicated, the birders are getting involved.

Remediation work at the Milltown Reservoir Superfund Site in 2008, Bonner Montana.
M. Kustudia (CC-BY-SA-3)

This spring Missoula celebrated the 10th anniversary of the removal of the Milltown Dam on the Clark Fork river east of town. Now, some people are saying that the old dam could have mitigated some of this year’s flooding.

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

Environmentalists are suing the U.S. Forest Service over the agency’s approval of the Montanore Mine near Libby. The lawsuit filed Friday says the government’s authorization for the mine in the Cabinet Mountains could drain surrounding waterways and harm a species of trout protected under federal law.

A revised federal water pollution rule issued today is earning praise from Montana conservationists and condemnation from the agriculture and building sectors.

Governor Steve Bullock's longtime Chief of Staff is leaving and is being replaced by Tracy Stone-Manning, the current Director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Bullock's outgoing chief of staff, Tim Burton, is leaving to lead the Montana League of Cities and Towns; a nonprofit association of 129 Montana municipalities. Burton says Stone-Manning is an excellent choice.

Edward O'Brien

A year ago this month, the Environmental Protection Agency recommended a comprehensive Superfund cleanup for the 32-hundred acre industrial site that housed the former Smurfit-Stone pulp and paper mill.
        The former mill sits 11-miles northwest of Missoula and operated from 1957 to early 2010. Toxic by-products were created during the manufacturing process; some of which still contaminate the site which is now owned by M2Green.