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Environment

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

The Flathead National Forest issued a draft decision Thursday for a large forest thinning project northwest of Whitefish. The project calls for a thousands of acres of commercial timber harvest and several miles of new roads.


A federal judge in Montana heard arguments May 13 in a case where environmental advocacy groups say coal leasing under the Trump Administration breaks federal law.

Caption: Madi Miller has been doing research from her kitchen since the COVID-19 pandemic closed her lab.
Courtesy Madi Miller

Since COVID-19 shut down research deemed “non-essential” across the state, Some scientists are now bringing their work home with them.

This story is part of our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on science in Montana.

Milkweed

A hearth is many things: a place for solitude, a source of identity, something we make and share with others, a history of ourselves and our homes. It is the fixed center we return to, and it is just as intrinsically portable. It is, in short, the perfect metaphor for what we seek in these complex and contradictory times—set in flux by climate change, economic emergencies, migration, the refugee crisis, and the dislocating effects of technology.

Kayla Ruth and Samantha Bundick look through binoculars in 2016 while doing research aimed at determining the species of songbirds they're observing on private lands in Eastern Montana.
Courtesy UM Avian Science Center

Scientists' spring and summer field seasons are being postponed, altered or cancelled completely in the face of COVID-19. Time sensitive research is the most vulnerable.

This story is another in our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on scientific research efforts in Montana.

A subadult male grizzly bear was euthanized after it repeatedly broke into a chicken coop and killed several chickens off Farm to Market Road between Kalispell and Whitefish, August 21, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Bear managers around Glacier National Park say they’ve had a busy spring season with conflicts between bears and humans. Mortality numbers are on pace with last year, the second highest on record for the area.

A "mortality" counts any bear removed from the ecosystem for any reason.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced plans to partially reopen in phases starting on May 18, after a seven week closure due to COVID-19. 

Starting Monday at noon, visitors will be allowed to enter Yellowstone National Park through its southern and eastern Wyoming gates. They’ll be limited to the lower loop of the park, which includes Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake and Hayden Valley.

A group backing a Montana voter initiative says it’s been given the green light to collect signatures remotely in order to qualify its issue for the November ballot. It’s the first group to find a workaround during social distancing guidelines. 

A small airplane coming in for a landing
iStock

The federal appeals court in Washington D.C. ordered the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration last week to craft management plans for flight tours in Glacier National Park and 22 other national parks within the next two years.

The National Interagency Fire Center Predictive Services is forecasting warmer and drier than average conditions in late May for western Montana.
National Interagency Fire Center

Fire experts are predicting an above average potential for wildfires in Montana later this summer. The state’s existing normal to slightly-above-normal snowpack buys us time, but anticipated warmer and drier than average conditions could significantly raise the stakes by late summer. 

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