Montana Public Radio

Environment

Montana Environment News

Wildlands, wildlife, natural resources & environment news.

A woman stands in a stream fly fishing
PD

Critics say a U.S. Department of Interior order issued earlier this week guts a federal program that uses money from oil and gas drilling to buy land for recreation and conservation.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) received full funding of $900 million per year for the first time in its half-century history when the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law in early August.

A federal magistrate judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that alleged an irrigation project in northwest Montana harms threatened bull trout.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued the Bureau in March, alleging the Bureau was violating the Endangered Species Act in its operation and management of the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal of the Milk River Irrigation Project located east of Glacier National Park.

Gray wolf.
iStock

A coalition of livestock producers, tribes, nonprofits, and landowner groups that sprawls from Montana to New Mexico was awarded a federal grant of nearly $1 million to reduce conflicts between people and predators — especially grizzly bears and wolves.

An map excerpt of the Soldier-Butler Project area.
Lolo National Forest

Two conservation groups Friday sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a proposed logging project in the Lolo National Forest on land wildlife managers say is important for grizzly bear connectivity.

The Washoe Smelter Stack in Anaconda, MT.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

The parties in charge of the sprawling 300 square mile Anaconda Smelter Superfund Site Friday lodged a partial legally-binding cleanup deal in federal district court. The public will soon get to weigh-in on the deal. 

A U.S. district court judge on Oct. 16 rejected tribes’ request for a temporary hold on construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in northern Montana.

The court will now determine whether President Donald Trump had authority to greenlight construction at the border between the United States and Canada.

Great Falls Judge Brian Morris said he won’t bar construction of a 1.2 mile section of pipe that crosses the U.S.-Canada border while he considers whether President Trump violated the U.S. constitution when he issued a 2019 permit.

EPA Associate Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento (R) joined Anaconda's Chief Executive Officer Bill Everett, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, and local business leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hotel complex in Anaconda. October 13, 2020.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency’s second in command returned to Butte and Anaconda this week to celebrate major milestones in their decades-long Superfund cleanups and talk about next steps.

For years, Montana’s political leaders have been advocating for technology that traps carbon at power plants and other industrial sites. So far, carbon capture has seen a slow start. The two candidates facing off for a Montana U.S. Senate seat in the upcoming November election recently highlighted their carbon capture initiatives.

Wolverine
Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences. (USFS)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials are withdrawing proposed protections for the snow-loving wolverine after determining the rare and elusive predator is not as threatened by climate change as once thought.

As the Custer Gallatin National Forest finalizes a plan that will guide management decisions for the next 15 to 30 years, a coalition of conservation and outdoor user groups is making one last push for that plan to add additional protection to an area called Cowboy Heaven.

Northeast of Ennis, a local outfitter leads several people on horseback up a steep, rocky trail. They pass through sagebrush country, which fades into forests speckled with snowberries and 300 year old Douglas firs.

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