Montana Public Radio


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

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — A mountain biker was attacked by a grizzly bear Monday near the southern Montana community of Big Sky, according to authorities.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Morgan Jacobsen told the Billings Gazette that the man was able to walk away and find help. He was airlifted to a hospital with injuries to his face and back and is stable in critical condition.

University of Montana Associate Professor Ashley Ballantyne is a bioclimatologist.

“And what that means is I study how the biosphere and the atmosphere interact,” Ballantyne says.

The biosphere is Earth’s surface layer that contains all life: humans, plants, animals, microbes and soil. The biosphere has a disproportionately big impact on the atmosphere above it, according to Ballantyne.

Researchers survey for stoneflies in the backcountry of Glacier National Park, Sept 1, 2019. Two species of stonefly were listed as "threatened" due to warmer water, drought and diminishing meltwater from vanishing glaciers.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Aquatic insects living at high elevations in Glacier National Park may be more resilient to impacts from climate change than was once thought. That's according to a study published this week. Populations of various other species are still expected to decline and potentially go extinct.

Black Butte Copper Project, project facilities site plan.
Montana DEQ

Operators of a central Montana copper mine will be required to post a $4.6 million bond before construction can begin, according to state officials. The Independent Record reported it will be the first of multiple bonds the company will need to pay to mine near White Sulphur Springs.

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today, is either long-overdue or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.

A judge threw out a lawsuit Friday from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians seeking to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's administration had fixed its initial failure to consider the environmental impacts of ending the moratorium.

A federal agency agreed to temporarily limit how and where it kills wildlife that threaten livestock in Montana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reached the settlement in federal court with WildEarth Guardians May 14.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on May 19 announced the first suspected case of chronic wasting disease in a new area in the southwest corner of the state.

The state of Montana released its draft environmental assessment for a waste disposal facility expansion at a hardrock mine in south central Montana and now seeks public comment.

A new report from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is tentatively hopeful about Montana’s spring water outlook heading into fire season.