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Environment

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

The Refuge E2: To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

Nov 20, 2019
Sign in Kaktovik, Alaska - the only town inside the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Nick Mott/Threshold

For 40 years, the fight over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been waged mostly from afar, in Washington, D.C. But what would oil development mean to the people who live closest to the proposed drilling area?

Map of the Taylor Hellroaring Project.
FS USDA – https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/105405_FSPLT3_4301037.pdf

The Flathead National Forest officially approved the Taylor Hellroaring project just north of Whitefish Monday. The project will include nearly 2,000 acres of logging, mechanical thinning and prescribed fire treatments as well as construction of 28 miles of new trails.

Fred Allendorf speaks during a Nov. 15, 2019 meeting in Missoula about grizzly bear connectivity. The meeting was called by five independent researchers. Organizers Jake Kreilick and Mike Bader are visible in the background.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

After Montana’s new Grizzly Bear Advisory Council met last week in Bozeman to map out a state management plan for the expanding grizzly bear populations near Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, researchers in Missoula railed against turning management over from federal agencies to the state.

As grizzly bear populations in Montana expand into areas where they haven’t been seen for generations, so does the number of potential conflicts with humans.

Hunter. Stock photo.
iStock

Out-of-staters are becoming a greater share of the hunters and anglers in Montana. Out-of-state anglers accounted for more than 85% of the increase in Montana fishing license holders from 2010 to 2017, according to data gathered by the Legislative Fiscal Division.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a proposal to remediate pollution from wastewater facilities at Units 1 and 2 at the Colstrip Steam Electric Station.

Cow moose. Stock photo.
(PD)

A moose in Montana has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time. The finding expands the area wildlife managers believed the disease to exist.

The moose was killed north of Troy, just a half of a mile outside of the Libby CWD management zone, which spans a 10-mile radius around Libby. Thirty white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD within the management zone since the disease was discovered this spring.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has started the process to lift quarantine restrictions on Canyon Ferry Reservoir following a third year of no detections of invasive mussels.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee is pressing Montana’s Congressional delegation to do more to increase public input and tribal consultation on the Keystone XL pipeline. The move comes as the end of the public comment period for a recently updated environmental statement nears.

An aquatic invasive species inspection station in Montana.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Testing of Montana waterways this year turned up no instances of invasive mussels, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Wednesday.

Under state policy, the agency will move to lift restrictions placed on Canyon Ferry Reservoir east of Helena after one suspicious water sample in 2016.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The mortality rate of grizzly bears in northwestern Montana has prompted a group of bear researchers to challenge whether the grizzly should be removed from federal protection.

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