Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

A female grizzly bear with cubs of the year emerges from a den in northwest Montana. FWP File photo.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Spring is here, and that means bears in Montana are leaving their dens. Wildlife managers report bear sightings across northwest Montana.

Big Larch Campground on the Lolo National Forest.
Lolo National Forest

National forests in Montana are shutting down developed recreation sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visitors can still recreate on most those federal lands, but should not expect any amenities.

Yellowstone visitors line up at the park's north entrance outside of Gardiner, Montana.
Yellowstone National Park (PD)

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced Tuesday they’re closing to all visitors, effective immediately.

The closure comes days after area county health officials and Montana and Wyoming’s governors called for the parks to close to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Electric fencing can be an effective tool for protecting livestock such as chickens, goats and young cattle.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Grizzly bears are repopulating areas of Montana that haven’t seen them for decades, creating more conflict between livestock, people and bears. Some ranchers are learning they need to do something that doesn’t come naturally — change how they live on the land.

As bears were hibernating in their dens this winter, the Blackfeet Stockgrowers Association held a meeting in Choteau to provide a space for ranchers like Mark Hitchcock to talk about working alongside the growing number of grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Edit March 23: A correction version of this story clarified the judgement of the 2011 case mentioned.

Environmental activist groups representing 16 young Montanans are suing the state in hopes of changing Montana climate policies.

Spring in Montana is getting warmer and lasting longer according to new research from a non-profit group of independent scientists. One of their meteorologist explains what the changing spring means for life in Montana.

Wolverine
Andrew Gainer (CC-BY-NC-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to force the government into deciding if the snow-loving wolverine should be federally protected as the rare predator becomes vulnerable to a warming planet.

 Edit 3/18: The article has been corrected to reflect the full name of the Montana Environmental Information Center.

Montana utility regulators say they need more information from NorthWestern Energy before considering the company’s request to buy an additional share in the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

DEQ said Tuesday morning after the story had been published that the agency has decided to cancel the in-person meetings for the Smith River Algae Study and will offer the Helena meeting as a live stream on YouTube channel.">DEQ's YouTube channel, Wednesday from 3-5 pm.

Updates on an ongoing study of algae growth on the iconic Smith River are expected from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality this week. Details on the study will be released at public meetings in Helena and White Sulphur Springs.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that an elk herd in the Bangtail Mountains has tested negative for brucellosis. State wildlife managers recently completed the two-year project aimed at understanding the risk and spread of the disease in wildlife and livestock.

Pages