Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

Aerial view of Deer Lodge, Montana.
Sam Beebe (CC-BY-2) / https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9094066

The U.S. Department of Treasury has agreed to settle a Montana county’s debt for the cleanup of a 2011 oil spill. Montana’s Congressional delegation announced the settlement Friday following their bipartisan pressure on the federal department.

EPA Region 8 toxicologist Charlie Partridge (R) told Butte's Board of Health during a Feb. 5, 2020 meeting that the federal agency does not think the results of a study on metals in baby poop show a public health emergency in Butte.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

There’s an ongoing debate in Butte about public health and exposure to heavy metals in the environment from historic and current mining operations. The most recent controversy flared up this week between scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency, over the contents of dirty diapers.

Gray wolf. File photo.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (PD)

State wildlife managers in Montana’s northwest corner want to change wolf hunting regulations. Under a new proposal from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1, general hunting and trapping seasons for wolves would lengthen and the individual kill limit would double.

Elk at a feed ground in Wyoming.
USGS (PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana game farm is under quarantine after an elk tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the state Department of Livestock reported.

The brain wasting disease hasn't been identified in domestic deer or elk in the state since 1999, officials said.

The State of Montana Friday redrafted several proposed regulations for the disposal of radioactive oil waste following widespread public concern.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of writing its first statewide regulatory guidelines for the disposal of Technologically-Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, or TENORM.

The department released a draft last year.

The Cabinet-Yaak grizzly recovery zone is split by the Kootenai River. The Yaak lies to the north. The Cabinets to the south.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A proposed land deal between the state and a nonprofit foundation could help connect an important piece of grizzly bear habitat between the Cabinet and Purcell mountains near the small town of Troy.

Yellowstone National Park officials say the coyote that attacked and injured a cross country skier Tuesday has tested negative for rabies.

The unidentified 43-year-old woman was bitten by a coyote while skiing in the Canyon Village area.

It may be winter but fire danger around Montana could spike this weekend when a system with strong winds, dry conditions and possible record highs for parts of Montana blows in on Saturday.

Libby Superfund map.
US Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency says another Libby Asbestos Superfund Site unit is ready to be delisted. The public has 30 days to comment on delisting the former vermiculite export plant.

Fly fisherman stock photo.
iStock

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. land managers say they will release by mid-March a priority list of federal lands that need but don’t have public access.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they want people to nominate lands where the public could legally hunt, fish or pursue other recreational purposes, except the lands have limited or no access.

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