Montana Public Radio

Environment

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


Full funding for a federal purse that supports local conservation projects seems a step closer to reality. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators Mar. 4 announced presidential support for a bill to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog for the country’s National Parks.

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

Anaconda residents are coming to grips with an agreement recently released to the public that will revamp the Superfund cleanup in the area. The public had their first chance to weigh-in on the proposed deal at  meeting this week.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)

Yellowstone National Park has started capturing bison migrating outside the park and will hold them in pens for possible slaughter as part of a population reduction program, officials said Monday.

The annual operation began Sunday and by mid-day Monday six bison had been captured as they entered the Gardiner Basin along the Yellowstone-Montana border, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said.

Edit 3/4/20: A previous version of this article stated that chokecherry is an invasive. It is, in fact, a native plant to Montana and the article has been corrected to reflect this. Additionally, the photo displayed with the article was not buckthorn, and this has also been corrected.

In October 2019, a team from Billings attended a national urban forest workshop where they presented on an invasive shrub that has escaped notice in Montana for years.

 

Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologists will host Facebook Live events each Tuesday in March to commemorate the 25th anniversary of wolf reintroduction in the park. 

March 1 kicks off the new license year for Montana hunters, many of whom will rely on public land to punch their tags. Some of them say large, out-of-state ranch owners are making it harder to get to their favorite hunting grounds. A hunter in Park County is pushing the courts to decide the limits of public access against private property rights.

Solar panels. Stock photo.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over how the Public Service Commission should set the rates NorthWestern Energy has to pay for power it's required to buy from small solar projects.

USDA NRCS

The Trump administration said Wednesday a resumption of coal sales from public lands that had been blocked under former President Barack Obama will result in a negligible increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Windmill at the Judith Gap, MT wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A second Montana city has set a goal to turn away from fossil-fuels by 2030. The city of Helena approved a resolution Monday to move toward 100 percent renewable electricity.

The five members of the city commission unanimously backed the measure that aims to shift the energy makeup powering the Helena area.

A group of city, state and tribal representatives met this week in Bozeman to share ideas about how to address climate change in Montana. A guest speaker at the conference said Rocky Mountain states are going to see catastrophic changes on our current path.

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