Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

A landowner advocacy group in Montana filed a complaint this week against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks saying that the department has not thoroughly explored the consequences of allowing free-roaming wild bison in the state.

 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Mar. 11 that encounters between people and grizzly bears in the southern part of the state were higher in 2019 than in recent years. The number of injuries has stayed about the same.

Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Matt Hogan, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Montana U.S. House Rep. Greg Gianforte listen to residents of the Rocky Mountain Front talk about conflict with grizzly bears, Oct 5, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be more involved in managing Rocky Mountain Front grizzly bear conflicts.

Early season boat inspections have begun in the northwest corner of Montana in an effort to block aquatic invasive species.


Full funding for a federal purse that supports local conservation projects seems a step closer to reality. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators Mar. 4 announced presidential support for a bill to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog for the country’s National Parks.

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

Anaconda residents are coming to grips with an agreement recently released to the public that will revamp the Superfund cleanup in the area. The public had their first chance to weigh-in on the proposed deal at  meeting this week.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)

Yellowstone National Park has started capturing bison migrating outside the park and will hold them in pens for possible slaughter as part of a population reduction program, officials said Monday.

The annual operation began Sunday and by mid-day Monday six bison had been captured as they entered the Gardiner Basin along the Yellowstone-Montana border, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said.

Edit 3/4/20: A previous version of this article stated that chokecherry is an invasive. It is, in fact, a native plant to Montana and the article has been corrected to reflect this. Additionally, the photo displayed with the article was not buckthorn, and this has also been corrected.

In October 2019, a team from Billings attended a national urban forest workshop where they presented on an invasive shrub that has escaped notice in Montana for years.

 

Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologists will host Facebook Live events each Tuesday in March to commemorate the 25th anniversary of wolf reintroduction in the park. 

March 1 kicks off the new license year for Montana hunters, many of whom will rely on public land to punch their tags. Some of them say large, out-of-state ranch owners are making it harder to get to their favorite hunting grounds. A hunter in Park County is pushing the courts to decide the limits of public access against private property rights.

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