Montana Public Radio

Environment

Montana news covering wildlife, public lands, natural resources and more.

Cow moose. Stock photo.
(PD)

A moose in Montana has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time. The finding expands the area wildlife managers believed the disease to exist.

The moose was killed north of Troy, just a half of a mile outside of the Libby CWD management zone, which spans a 10-mile radius around Libby. Thirty white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD within the management zone since the disease was discovered this spring.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has started the process to lift quarantine restrictions on Canyon Ferry Reservoir following a third year of no detections of invasive mussels.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee is pressing Montana’s Congressional delegation to do more to increase public input and tribal consultation on the Keystone XL pipeline. The move comes as the end of the public comment period for a recently updated environmental statement nears.

An aquatic invasive species inspection station in Montana.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Testing of Montana waterways this year turned up no instances of invasive mussels, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Wednesday.

Under state policy, the agency will move to lift restrictions placed on Canyon Ferry Reservoir east of Helena after one suspicious water sample in 2016.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The mortality rate of grizzly bears in northwestern Montana has prompted a group of bear researchers to challenge whether the grizzly should be removed from federal protection.

A new study from Yellowstone National Park highlights what’s working well for visitors and what could be improved.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Montana wildlife officials announced Tuesday that two grizzlies were recently killed in northwest Montana. A food-conditioned male grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend and a female was killed by a hunter last week.

Threshold's The Refuge E1: Sibling Rivalry

Nov 12, 2019
A polar bear outside Kaktovik, Alaska - the only village within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Nick Mott / Threshold


The question for whether or not we should drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most contentious public lands debates in the United States. Even though most Americans would have a hard time finding it on a map, just about everyone seems to have very intense feelings about oil exploration in the refuge.

The number of people using goats to pack gear, game and food into the backcountry is rising rapidly, and national forests in at least 10 western states have proposed partial pack goat bans to prevent the spread of pathogens that could prove deadly to the west's iconic populations of bighorn sheep.

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Hubbard hold a forest management roundtable at  the U.S. Forest Service’s Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center in Missoula, Nov. 7, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Jim Hubbard spearheaded a roundtable this week in Missoula focused on forest and wildland fire policy.

Gianforte called for greater collaboration among stakeholders. Some stakeholders, however, were noticeably absent from the event.

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