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Environment

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

The Refuge E3: Listen To The People

Dec 17, 2019
Polar bear outside Kaktovik, Alaska
Nick Mott/Threshold / Nick Mott/Threshold

We continue our reporting from Kaktovik, Alaska—the only town within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—to find out how the conflict over drilling for oil in the refuge feels to the people who live there. 


A federal order that lumps electric bicycles in with traditional bikes has sparked concern among environmental advocacy groups who say that e-bikes could hurt trail traffic and ecology in the Pryor Mountains.

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

A legal battle over whether temporary logging roads in grizzly bear habitat are effectively being closed may put a damper on logging projects in three national forests. The case may be headed for an appeal.

Montana’s largest electricity provider on Tuesday announced it plans to buy a larger share of the Colstrip power plant a day after protesters rallied the company to increase its renewable energy portfolio.

An informational sign at the entrance of the National Bison Range near Moiese, MT.
Josh Burnham

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes would manage the National Bison Range in exchange for concessions on water rights, according to draft legislation Montana Sen. Steve Daines is expected to introduce in Congress. 

Bison at the National Bison Range.
USFWS

A bill proposing to settle long disputed water rights claims between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federal government includes a massive new bargaining chip: transferring the National Bison Range to control of the tribes. U.S. Senator Steve Daines is expected to introduce a bill to do that as early as this week.

Spotted knapweed is an invasive species in the western U.S.
PD

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — States need to work together to stop the spread of invasive species, Western governors say.

The Western Governors' Association on Friday launched the Western Invasive Species Council and named representatives from 13 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

A federal court in Missoula ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday to issue an overdue report assessing how threatened grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are doing. The order stems from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in U.S. District Court this summer.

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

A privately funded, nonprofit organization is creating a 3.2 million-acre wildlife sanctuary — American Prairie Reserve — in northeastern Montana, an area long known as cattle country.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

Montana wildlife managers say 91 cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been found statewide so far this year. The Libby area accounts for nearly half of those detections and that number is expected to grow with results still rolling in from this year’s big game season.

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