Montana Public Radio

Defenders of Wildlife

US Wildlife Agency Seeks To Carve Out Areas From Protections

Sep 4, 2020
Lesser prairie chicken.
CC-BY-2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/larry1732/

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Trump administration proposal released Friday would allow the government to deny habitat protections for endangered animals and plants in areas that would see greater economic benefits from being developed — a change critics said could open lands to more energy development and other activities.

Eleven bull bison quarantined in a federal facility near Yellowstone National Park were transferred to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on June 24. There, they’ll complete the final phase of a program to make sure they are disease free before being sent out to start or boost herds across the U.S.

Wolverine
Andrew Gainer (CC-BY-NC-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to force the government into deciding if the snow-loving wolverine should be federally protected as the rare predator becomes vulnerable to a warming planet.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this week released a document nearly eight years in the making that outlines how bison could be restored in the state as publicly managed wildlife. 

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Gov. Steve Bullock Friday named the 18 members of his new grizzly bear management council. The appointees are roughly equal parts ranchers and conservation policy advocates.

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.

Black bear stock photo.
(PD)

As anyone who's read Winnie the Pooh will tell you, bears love honey. But in Montana, that love of honey and hives comes at a cost. Every year, a handful of black bears are shot and killed by beekeepers across the state. And while it’s perfectly legal, some think the law needs an update.

Montana Wildlife Officials Plan To Change The Way They Count Wolves

Jun 7, 2017
Gray wolf. File photo.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (PD)

Montana wildlife officials say the way they count wolves is too expensive and falls far short of an actual population estimate, so they plan to switch to a model that uses information gathered from hunters. Conservationists say they want to learn more about the new plan.

Yellowstone River Dam And Sturgeon Passage Lacks Funding

May 2, 2017
Pallid sturgeon.
USFWS Midwest (CC-BY-2.0)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal agency targeted by President Donald Trump for budget cuts next year has only about half the money needed to build a new Yellowstone River dam and bypass channel meant to save an endangered fish, but it plans to begin construction anyway.

Pallid sturgeon.
USFWS Midwest (CC-BY-2.0)

There’s a week left for public comment on a proposal to remove a dam on the Yellowstone river, with the goal of preventing the extinction of the pallid sturgeon. Two federal agencies are working on an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal.

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