MTPR

David Bernhardt

Grizzly bear with cubs.
(PD)

A record number of grizzly bears were killed this year in and around Glacier National Park. It’s the second year in a row of record deaths for the threatened species in the area, which is home to more grizzlies than anywhere in the lower 48 states.

But there’s disagreement over whether two years of record bear deaths should raise alarm bells.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

Two top officials in the Trump Administration offered support for one of the state’s final remaining tribal water agreements last week.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation. Now, it needs to pass in the U.S. Congress.

Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Matt Hogan, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Montana U.S. House Rep. Greg Gianforte listen to residents of the Rocky Mountain Front talk about conflict with grizzly bears, Oct 5, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Front Saturday to hear about conflicts with grizzly bears. The secretary heard numerous calls for delisting grizzlies from their threatened species status in and around Glacier National Park, but he says changes may be able to be made prior to delisting.

During Sen. Steve Daines’ stops in Missoula and Kalispell Monday, he was asked whether he supports the Bureau of Land Management's acting Director, William Perry Pendley. Pendley’s past support for the sale of public lands concerns many, but Daines called that concern “overblown.” 

In a move that critics say will hurt plants, animals and other species as they face mounting threats, the Trump administration is making major changes to how the Endangered Species Act is implemented. The U.S. Department of Interior on Monday announced a suite of long-anticipated revisions to the nation's premier wildlife conservation law, which is credited with bringing back the bald eagle and grizzly bears, among other species.

Vice President Mike Pence
Courtesy White House

Vice President Mike Pence visited Yellowstone National Park on Thursday to promote a plan to whittle away the more than $12 billion repair-and-maintenance backlog in national parks across the U.S.

U.S. Moves To Lift Remaining Gray Wolf Protections

Mar 14, 2019
Gray wolf.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Gray wolves in the U.S. would be stripped of federal protection and subject to hunting and trapping in more states under a proposal released Thursday that declares the predators recovered following a decades-long restoration effort.

Wolves.
David Gilkey

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, re-igniting the legal battle over a predator that's running into conflicts with farmers and ranchers as its numbers rebound in some regions.

The proposal would give states the authority to hold wolf hunting and trapping seasons. It was announced Wednesday by acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt at a wildlife conference in Denver.

Toll Of Government Shutdown Still Being Tallied At National Parks

Jan 30, 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park explore the boardwalks near Old Faithful.
Courtesy National Park Service

Update: The original story, published Jan. 30, was updated on Jan. 31, with an additional statement from Sen. Steve Daine's office.

WEST YELLOWSTONE — Federal employees have returned to work at public lands throughout the nation, but the cost of keeping national parks open during the record-length partial government shutdown remains unknown.

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

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.

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