Montana Public Radio

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Smoke from a massive wildfire in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is visible across a large swath of southwest Montana.

The Bear Creek Fire, just across the Montana border near Salmon, Idaho, exploded overnight to more than 1,500 acres, fueled by low humidity and plentiful dry timber and brush.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Blackfeet Nation released draft legislation Thursday that would permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine region bordering Glacier National Park from industrial resource development. Montana’s congressional delegation says they are reviewing the draft language of the proposed bill.

Grizzly bear family. Stock photo.
iStock

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A sow grizzly bear and two cubs were captured because they were coming near residences along the Rocky Mountain Front to eat spilled grain, Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said.

A survey of elk hiding cover in the Telegraph Vegetation Project area.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire mitigation project was allowed to proceed in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest after two conservation groups raised concerns over the impact on big game habitat, federal appeals court officials said.

Helena National Forest
Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for input on a 140,000 acre management project in the Big Belt Mountains, northeast of Helena. But there are few details of what exactly the agency is proposing. 

Kathy Bushnell with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest says the Middleman Project includes the Avalanche drainage continuing north to the Trout Creek drainages of the Big Belts.

“The end goal is to have a healthier and more resilient forest," Bushnell says. "And then also to reduce the fire risk to communities, and homes, and people, and firefighters.”

In 1949, 13 smokejumpers died in Mann Gulch after being overtaken by fire.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Seventy years ago today, an 18-man smokejumper crew jumped out of a plane into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness northeast of Helena. Within hours of the jump the crew was overrun by the fire they were sent to stop, and most of the men died.

MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney looks back at the Mann Gulch tragedy, which lead the U.S. Forest Service — for the first time — to approach wildfire as a science.

Despite the government shutdown, U.S. Forest Service supervisors last week signed a new management plan for the Flathead National Forest, along with amendments that standardize grizzly bear management for the Lolo, Kootenai and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit To Block Montana Forest Project

Dec 10, 2018
The U.S. Forest Service will be able to continue with its tree-thinning project in the Elkhorn Mountains.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0) / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a tree-thinning project in the Elkhorn Mountains near Helena.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on Monday rejected arguments by Native Ecosystems Council and Montana Ecosystem Defense Council that the project conflicts with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest plan and needs deeper environmental analysis.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Trump administration filed in federal appeals court Tuesday to block oil and gas drilling near Glacier National Park on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

The U.S. Department of Interior led by Secretary Ryan Zinke is contesting an energy development lease just south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. It and others in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest were voided in the final days of the Obama administration, but reinstated by a federal judge this September.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A federal judge has reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native American tribes.

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