Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

The roughly 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will remain federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. 

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Blackfeet Nation released draft legislation Thursday that would permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine region bordering Glacier National Park from industrial resource development. Montana’s congressional delegation says they are reviewing the draft language of the proposed bill.

Recently, we let the cat out of the bag and told you that Butte’s Superfund parties reached a very big deal; one that will clean up the Mining City forever. That sounds like good news, and I hope it is. But as someone who lives right in the heart of a Superfund megasite, lately I’ve been experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

During his reign, President Trump has radically transformed the Environmental Protection Agency. I haven’t known how to square the EPA's cheerleading on Superfund with the Trump Administration’s overall track record on the environment, and whether all the action we’re seeing in Butte, Montana is the Superfund exception, or the rule.

Road crew worker installs guard rail on the iconic Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, MT.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a landmark bill to permanently fund public lands management programs and maintenance in national parks.

A trail sign near the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A pilot has been fined for landing a helicopter in a federally protected wilderness area in Montana.

Samuel L. Schwerin, 48, landed his helicopter in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex May 16, The Daily Inter Lake reports.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to reinstate a contentious oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park. 

USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue (center) in Missoula to announce new USFS priorities June 12, 2020. Behind him: Chuck Roady, GM of F.H. Stoltze, Rep. Gianforte, USDA Undersecretary James Hubbard, Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott, RMEF Pres. Kyle Weaver
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

*UPDATED 06/13 

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary visited Missoula Friday to announce a blueprint to prioritize work for the U.S Forest Service.

Supporters say it will modernize the agency and cut unnecessary red tape. Opponents, however, counter it will undermine the nation’s laws aimed at protecting the environment.

Grizzly bear recovery zones, distributions, and distinct population segments (distributions current as of 2017 and 2018).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A grizzly bear was sighted nearly 80 miles northeast of Great Falls Sunday, according to state wildlife officials. The area near Big Sandy where the bear was spotted is the farthest a grizzly is known to have ventured toward the eastern plains of Montana from either the Yellowstone or Glacier area populations.

Westslope cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

A recent study found a way to identify lakes and other bodies of water in northwest Montana that are at high risk of illegal fish introductions, which can threaten native species. The study will allow state fish managers to improve patrols in high risk areas.

Hunter with a rifle.
iStock

A group of Montanans working to form consensus over the future of grizzly bear management in the state is divided over the role of hunting as grizzly populations expand.

The governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council, tasked with guiding the future of the bear's management in Montana, released draft recommendations last weekend.

Pages