Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

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

State and Federal wildlife managers are offering a first-of-its-kind summit on grizzly bear education in Helena this week.

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

Grizzly bears that make their way into the Bitterroot Ecosystem will have Endangered Species Act protections. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials made that announcement a letter to National Forests in the area Tuesday.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
Flickr user shannonpatrick17 http://bit.ly/2H4u5Kk (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a right-of-way allowing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land, federal officials told The Associated Press, pushing the controversial $8 billion project closer to construction though court challenges still loom.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

Conservation groups Tuesday announced plans to sue the Trump Administration over a decision that would allow federal officials to kill or remove more than 70 grizzly bears over the next decade near Yellowstone. Officials say this is necessary because of increasing conflicts with people and property on U.S. Forest Service land.

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

A lengthy legal fight over an oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park continued Tuesday in federal court. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. heard arguments over the U.S. Interior Secretary’s authority to cancel the lease. 

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in 2016 canceled the last two remaining oil and gas leases in the disputed area near the Rocky Mountain Front. Moncrief Oil and Solenex LLC took the Interior Department to court arguing that the agency couldn’t suddenly change its mind.

Scientists measuring the terminus of Grinnell Glacier, in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park

Last week, Glacier National Park announced that it will be changing signs warning that its signature glaciers would disappear by 2020. The park says the signs, put in more than a decade ago, were based on the best available predictions at the time.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke about what changed with Caitlyn Florentine, a research physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center.

Update: NPR's Climate Coverage Team Expanding

Jan 17, 2020

In July, we took a deep look at NPR's coverage of climate change and promised a follow-up once the newsroom had concluded its evaluation of whether changes were needed.

A survey of elk hiding cover in the Telegraph Vegetation Project area.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire mitigation project was allowed to proceed in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest after two conservation groups raised concerns over the impact on big game habitat, federal appeals court officials said.

Montana regulators say they expect to have $400 million in bonds in place by July to cover future cleanup costs at the Colstrip power plant.

 

But state lawmakers expressed skepticism over that time frame after regulators failed to meet previous deadlines to secure the money.

Project Manager Elizabeth Erickson with Water and Environmental Technologies presents the results of their Silver Bow Creek restoration study in Butte, Jan. 14, 2020.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A new study says it’s possible to rebuild a creek — destroyed by decades of mining — that once flowed through Butte. But it won’t be easy and it won’t come cheap.

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