Montana Public Radio

Missouri River

Black Butte Copper Project, project facilities site plan.
Montana DEQ

Conservation groups want a Montana court to cancel the approval of the long-disputed Black Butte copper mine, saying it would pollute a tributary of the Smith River, one of the state's most popular recreational rivers.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
Flickr user shannonpatrick17 http://bit.ly/2H4u5Kk (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a right-of-way allowing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land, federal officials told The Associated Press, pushing the controversial $8 billion project closer to construction though court challenges still loom.

Sponges: These Aquatic Oddities Are At Home In Montana

Jan 5, 2020
Spongilla lacustris, a widspread freshwater sponge often found under logs and rocks in lakes.
Kirt L. Onthank (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Although many people associate these stone-like animals with the crystalline waters of the tropics, several species of sponges do occur in lakes and ponds across North America, including those of western Montana. 

Freshwater diatom seen under a scanning electron microscope.
Courtesy UM Electron Microscopy Facility

The bottom of this shallow stream is covered with a complex community of algae, comprising many different species. Probably most abundant of all are the diatoms, many of which secrete a slippery mucus as they travel, leaving the rocks very slick.

Lee Karney, U.S.F.W.S. (P.D.)

It’s summer in Montana. The sun is bright and the Missouri River has never looked more refreshing. As I hike along a well-worn trail, I see two gorgeous American White Pelicans soaring to an unknown destination. Their grace and beauty are breathtaking.

Judge: TransCanada Must Study Modified Keystone XL Route

Aug 16, 2018
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would cross the Missouri near this spot, less than two miles downstream of the Fort Peck Dam spillway and just a few miles upstream from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation boundary.
Erika Peterman

A federal judge in Great Falls on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Department of State to update its environmental assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to reflect changes in the pipeline’s route through Nebraska.

District Judge Brian Morris’ 13-page partial order is a temporary win for environmental and indigenous rights groups who sued the federal government under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Nearly 140 teens and adults are evacuated via helicopter from a bible camp near Augusta, MT, June 21, 2018.
Montana National Guard

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on Montana flooding (all times local): 2 p.m.

The Montana Army National Guard and the U.S. Air Force are evacuating nearly 140 people from a Bible camp southwest of Augusta after the road was washed out due to flooding.

Flood Warning Issued For Great Falls, Cascade

Jun 20, 2018
Numerous flood highlights continue across portions of North Central and Southwest MT. The flooding is likely to last several days in some areas. There is the potential for additional flooding later this week with more precipitation and runoff.
National Weather Service, Great Falls, MT.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Missouri River between Cascade and Great Falls on Wednesday, leading residents to move belongings to higher ground and start sandbagging. Others were already surrounded.

Northern Plains Resource Council member and lawsuit declarant Dena Hoff outside of Missouri River Federal Courthouse on May 24, 2018.
Northern Plains Resource Council

Groups suing to stop the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline made their arguments in federal court in Great Falls Thursday. They’re asking a judge to void the Trump administration’s permit approving the project crossing the U.S.- Canada border.

Demonstrators March Ahead Of Keystone XL Hearing

May 24, 2018
Keystone XL opponents gather in Great Falls, MT, Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
Hunter Pauli - Montana Free Press

Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline gathered at Riverside Park in Great Falls on Wednesday in support of environmental and indigenous justice groups suing the U.S. government in federal court to stop the pipeline.

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