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Environment

Montana Environment News

Wildlands, wildlife, natural resources & environment news.

The view southeast over the McKillop Creek Road near Libby, Montana. The land is part of the private timber lands in northwest Montana belonging to Southern Pine Plantations.
Chris Boyer / Kestrelaerial.com

The owner of a large block of private timberland in northwest Montana says it’s likely done its last major land sale after a deal announced this week. Southern Pine Plantations sold 125,000 acres of timberland west of Kalispell.

Hunter with a rifle.
iStock

A bill heard at the Montana Legislature Tuesday reignited a long-running debate over the role of money in hunting access in Montana.

SkiDale Timber Sale harvest area map, July 22, 2020.
Montana DNRC

Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced one of the first timber sales to go through a state-federal partnership this year. The amount of timber cut through the Good Neighbor Authority this year is expected to nearly double compared to 2020.

Federal scientists have confirmed that 2020 basically tied with 2016 for the hottest year recorded since 1880. The Earth is about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than it was in the mid-20th century. Scientists warn that humans must keep global temperatures from rising more than about 3 degrees Fahrenheit in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

A massive front end loader deposits the first shovels of dirt removed from the Parrot tailings site into a dump truck at the old ball field behind the Civic Center in Butte, June 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A major mine waste cleanup in central Butte is entering a new phase of tailings removal in February.

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

On Wednesday, the Kootenai National Forest signaled that it's moving forward on a sprawling and controversial logging project.

The U.S. Forest Service says the roughly 100,000-acre Black Ram Project would reduce wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface near Troy, Montana, while encouraging fire’s natural role in the ecosystem and restoring historic forest conditions.

Correction: The original post said the American Prairie Reserve will expand its disease management plan by testing 325 bison each year for the bacterial disease brucellosis for the first five years and then 150 bison annually for the next five years. The story has been updated to reflect the American Prairie Reserve will test 325 bison total during the first five years of the settlement agreement and another 150 over the next five years.

Biden Cancels Keystone XL Border Crossing Permit

Jan 21, 2021

President Joe Biden followed through on a campaign promise on his first day in office and cancelled a permit required to build the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

One of Biden’s first executive orders included revoking the presidential permit Donald Trump granted Canadian developer TC Energy in 2019 to cross the international border into Montana.

County commissioners looking forward to incoming tax dollars expressed their disappointment at the decision, while environmental and tribal activists celebrated.

Reclamation crews started removing the Mike Horse Dam at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex east of Lincoln, Mont. in 2014.
Courtesy of Montana Department of Environmental Quality

State and federal officials say a large mining clean-up project in Montana is nearly complete and open for recreation.

At the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex east of Lincoln, crews have removed roughly 1 million cubic yards of tailings and mine waste. The area is the former site of a lead and zinc mine along with the six-and-a-half-story high Mike Horse Dam, which is made of mining waste.

Former Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Martha Williams was appointed on Wednesday as second-in-command at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Biden Administration. William’s replacement within Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s cabinet was also named today.

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