Montana Public Radio

Environment

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

The National Interagency Fire Center Predictive Services is forecasting warmer and drier than average conditions in late May for western Montana.
National Interagency Fire Center

Fire experts are predicting an above average potential for wildfires in Montana later this summer. The state’s existing normal to slightly-above-normal snowpack buys us time, but anticipated warmer and drier than average conditions could significantly raise the stakes by late summer. 

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
(PD)

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday heard arguments over whether Endangered Species Act protections should be removed for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears.

A federal judge ruled in favor of environmental groups May 01 when he stopped thousands of acres worth of oil and gas lease sales in Montana.

Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls put a hold on almost 300 oil and gas lease sales Friday after he ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to conduct an analysis of environmental effects on groundwater.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Oral arguments over removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act are set for Tuesday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The case over whether roughly 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park should be delisted has been passed up the court system for nearly three years.

A Montana legislative interim committee voted Apr. 27 to delay part of a controversial rule that sets guidelines for disposing radioactive oil waste.

A federal judge in Montana will hear an appeal from U.S. attorneys on his decision to block a federal pipeline permitting program.

Great Falls Federal Judge Brian Morris Tuesday granted the government’s request for an expedited appeal but kept in place a hold on projects using Nationwide Permit 12.

Montana Conservation Corps workers
Montana Conservation Corps

Every summer, conservation crews cut a dent into the billion-dollar backlog of labor on public land in Montana. But the novel coronavirus means uncertainty and less work for the battalion of young adults working on trails and forests across the state.

Environmental groups allege a southwestern Montana water district is illegally polluting the West Fork of the Gallatin River.

On Wednesday, the groups sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District for violation of the federal Clean Water Act.


Yellowstone National Park is gathering input from gateway communities, governors and federal agencies to develop a gradual reopening plan. 

PD

The U.S. Forest Service is allowing loggers more time to meet their contracts in national forests due to the novel coronavirus, according to a notice published in the federal register Wednesday.

The move is meant to lend a helping hand to the timber industry as operations shut down across the country, the notice says.

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