Montana Public Radio

Clark Fork River

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.

Butte locals took a close look at the master land use plan for the city's creek corridors at a meeting at Butte Brewing Company. November 1, 2018.
Nora Saks

When most people picture the Silver Bow Creek corridor in the middle of Butte, they think of a forgotten drainage ditch and an industrial wasteland.

But now, Atlantic Richfield, the BP-owned company in charge of cleaning it up, says they have a plan to turn it into a lush greenway, the likes of which could rival the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula. With interwoven trails and wetlands, and parks and playgrounds beckoning families to hang out. A natural paradise and a center of activity.

The Parrot Tailings removal project is underway in Butte. September 2018.
Nora Saks

Near Butte’s Civic Center, a massive construction project is going on across the street, in the heart of town. Mammoth excavators gouge out a colossal hole in the ground. Jumbo haul trucks whisk 70 ton loads of chewed-up earth away on repeat.

Nick Mott

The latest fundraising reports say opponents of a ballot initiative aimed at protecting Montana waterways from mine pollution have raised about 25 percent more money than its supporters, despite not taking in any cash in August.

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.

A portion of the area north and west of Deer Lodge where Montana's DEQ plans to start work this fall
Montana DEQ

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality is preparing to haul 20,000 semi-truck loads of contaminated soil from the banks of the Clark Fork River in and around Deer Lodge.

Dalit Guscio holds a two-month old osprey chick and prepares to take blood and feather samples.
Maxine Speier / MTPR

It’s been a bad year for osprey after record flooding in some parts of Northwest Montana. That’s according to the scientists and educators with the Montana Osprey Project who have been studying osprey chicks in the Clark Fork watershed for more than a decade.

Missoula County Sheriff deputies go door to door warning residents of Keck Street in Missoula to be prepared to evacuate, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is asking for a presidential disaster declaration for the spring flooding in the state.

A presidential declaration would allow the state and counties to request federal assistance to repair damaged infrastructure.

Flooding in Missoula along the north end of Tower Street, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

This year’s record snowpack is rapidly melting, and it started earlier than normal.

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