MTPR

Clark Fork River

A Montana based environmental research group released a report last week that shows evidence of plastic in more than half of Montana's waterways.

A slickens in Montana's upper Clark Fork basin. Slickens are areas devoid of life due to heavy metal contamination from mine waste.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Montana wildlife officials are investigating what’s being described as a "significant" fish kill along the banks of the Upper Clark Fork River.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fisheries biologist Nathan Cook fielded a report this weekend of several dead fish downstream of Warm Springs and upstream of Galen.

Freshwater diatom seen under a scanning electron microscope.
Courtesy UM Electron Microscopy Facility

The bottom of this shallow stream is covered with a complex community of algae, comprising many different species. Probably most abundant of all are the diatoms, many of which secrete a slippery mucus as they travel, leaving the rocks very slick.

From Evel Knievel to a 'Great Flood' and on to the dawning of the Superfund era, Episode 5 looks at the origins of the government program designed to force whoever made the mess to clean it up.

AR's operations manager, Ron Halsey, stands in front of the intake pipe that siphons water originating indirectly from the Berkeley Pit into this new water polishing plant. August 6, 2019.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

37 years ago, Atlantic Richfield abandoned an open pit copper mine in Butte and allowed it to flood with toxic mine water. Now, the company estimates they’re one month away from proving they’re in control of the Berkeley Pit. MTPR's Nora Saks got a sneak peek of their new water treatment facility and has more.

A flood warning is in effect for parts of west Missoula.
National Weather Service Missoula

A flood watch predicted late last week for a portion of Missoula was upgraded to a warning Monday.

Northey Tretheway, with the Restore Our Creek Coalition, gives outgoing EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento a plaque honoring his work in Butte on March 21, 2019.
Nora Sacks / Montana Public Radio

In Butte Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency set a date for an important milestone in the Mining City’s Superfund cleanup.

Next Friday, the agency says it will give federal court 135 days notice of filing a final consent decree laying out legally binding cleanup plans.

Smurfit-Stone Container mill outside Frenchtown, Montana.
Djembayz (CC-BY-SA-3)

The ongoing partial government shutdown has scuttled an upcoming meeting between Missoula County and the Environmental Protection Agency.

That meeting was meant to discuss ongoing concerns about the closed and contaminated Smurfit-Stone Container pulp and paper mill site in Frenchtown.

A group of birders try to identify a group of birds perched in a tree at Council Grove State Park during the Christmas Bird Count.
Rosie Costain


Lou Bruno likes to watch birds, but he calls himself a lazy birder. Especially when he’s at his home in East Glacier during the summers, looking out over a beaver pond.

Vital Ground and Yellowstone to Yukon's land purchase protects 52 acres abutting the Clark Fork River and an Interstate 90 bridge, safeguarding wildlife movement under the highway and between the Ninemile and Bitterroot mountains.
Herrera (courtesy Vital Ground)

Two Montana conservation groups purchased a plot of land that could help establish safe passage for grizzly bears in a dangerous but crucial corridor for the spread of the species in Western Montana.

Vital Ground Foundation and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative acquired 52 acres that could allow grizzlies and other wildlife to cross from the Ninemile area west of Missoula into the Bitterroot mountains.

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