Montana Public Radio

Environment

Montana Environment News

Wildlands, wildlife, natural resources & environment news.

"We can’t pretend that this was parachuted in by a bunch of evil oil giants. We were all part of making this happen." -- Chris Turner

Alberta’s oil sands have become the front line of a high-stakes collision between two conflicting world views: one of industrial triumph, and the other of environmental stewardship. Award-winning writer Chris Turner’s "The Patch" offers readers the first objective, beautifully written, single-narrative portrait of the oil sands, untangling the web of vested interests and showing just how deeply the oil sands affect all our lives.

Smurfit-Stone Container mill outside Frenchtown, Montana.
Djembayz (CC-BY-SA-3)

The public will get an update on the polluted Smurfit-Stone paper mill site near Frenchtown Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00pm.

"Clovis is a lyrical tale set in the New West where the interests of oil companies clash with the need to preserve and record the artifacts left by long gone inhabitants of the land. In this novel, Hanna and her archeological compatriots are hired by CanAm Oil Company to assess the impact of an oil line on historical native sites. The complex relationships between her and her co-workers fascinate. The lush descriptions of the natural beauty she encounters are seductive. This is truly a wonderful look into the unique personality of people who choose to make a living doing field work.

Patagonia

"I mean I don’t know where all this is going, but I can’t believe we’re letting the fabric of the natural world unravel without more of a hullabaloo about it because it’s essentially our greater selves. " -- Doug Chadwick

Penguin Random House

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks.

When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. 

<p>Panelists share their research on climate change in Montana
Beau Baker

A panel of Montana scientists laid out their findings on climate change in the state yesterday at the University of Montana (A video of the event is available at Clean Air Montana's Facebook page). That included addressing President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement last week.

by Noah Belanger

I moved to Missoula two years ago without a solid plan. I knew that, eventually, I would attend the University of Montana, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what I would study or when that would be. I wasn’t even sure this was the real reason I was here. What I did know is that when I drove over Lost Trail Pass and headed down the Bitterroot towards Missoula, when I saw impossibly hard and beautiful mountains butt up against soft green valley, I was in love.

Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press

Chapter 14:  The Circle

It’s a universal truth that much of what we see around us follows a circle. Considered the father of modern observational astronomy, Galileo had it right: our planet does not hover motionless at the center of the universe, it orbits the sun. Chris Columbus didn’t fall off the edge of the Earth when he set sail from Spain seeking a new trade route to the East Indies. Whether it be moon phases, tidal patterns, or the annual changing of the seasons, recurrence is the norm. Examples are endless. No clearer is this principle than in nature’s rhythm of renewal and continuance — the water and nitrogen cycles, the ten-year cycle of snowshoe hare abundance, and life’s circle of birth, death, decomposition, and rebirth.

On December 16, 2011, I was one of a couple hundred history-conscious Missoulians who walked onto a snow-covered bluff above the Milltown Dam abutment to see something you almost never get to see: a river tangibly restored. Below us, the Clark Fork began to spill down its reconstructed stream bed, joining the also-undamned Blackfoot River in free flow for the first time since the dam was built in 1908.

Beacon Press

Brad Tyer: Sacrificial Landscapes

I stare in wonder at a handful of bright turquoise bones gathered behind the CVS in downtown Butte. I came here to see them for myself, as I was told these bones have been dyed from copper sulfate leaching from the soil. I guess I didn’t believe our situation was that bad, but now I see. Up the hill from where I stand, massive gallows frames poke their heads from behind brick buildings; to my right, the East Ridge is exposed in a stepped face leading down an open pit mine. In my hands and surrounding me on all sides are the effects of my hometown’s mining past.

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