Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

SkiDale Timber Sale harvest area map, July 22, 2020.
Montana DNRC

Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced one of the first timber sales to go through a state-federal partnership this year. The amount of timber cut through the Good Neighbor Authority this year is expected to nearly double compared to 2020.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte Monday said directors nominated to lead 12 state agencies will receive an average salary increase of 20 percent over their predecessors. Funding for the pay increases will come from their respective departments.

“Montana’s pay for agency directors has been among the worst in our region and country," Gianforte said in a press release. "We’re looking for folks who can make our state agencies more responsive to the people they serve and more responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars."

Before leaving office, Gov. Bullock finalized a document that will guide forestry and logging projects in Montana for the next decade. Montana Public Radio’s Nick Mott has more from just south of Livingston. 

A citizen committee meeting Wednesday and Thursday put the finishing touches on a once-in-a-decade plan that will shape forest management in Montana.

Decades of aggressively putting out wildfires led to unhealthy, overgrown forests at particularly high risk for burns and disease outbreaks. At the same time, a patchwork of land ownership makes addressing management problems hard to do. That’s where the Montana Forest Action Plan comes in.

Montana Trust Land Revenue Dips From Pandemic, Weather

Nov 18, 2020

Revenue from Montana’s trust lands, which support public K through 12 schools, public buildings and the Montana Veterans Home, is taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shawn Thomas with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) says agriculture and grazing leases accounted for nearly half of the revenue generated by state trust lands for the fiscal year that ended in June.

Revenue from grazing leases held steady but revenue from agriculture leases dropped by $2 million.

Republican Montana Governor-elect Greg Gianforte Friday announced his joint transition advisory team for two agencies key to managing the state’s natural resources.

A news release says the team will review candidates to serve as the next directors of the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

Gianforte campaigned on a promise to get rid of what he called needless delays in permitting and create good-paying Montana jobs.

People evacuating from Bridger Canyon, Sept. 5, 2020. The Bridger Foothills Fire threatened homes and forced evacuations near the fire, which started near the 'M trail' just northeast of Bozeman, MT.
inciweb

State fire officials say last weekend’s record-shattering winter storm put a decisive end to Montana’s 2020 wildfire season. It will be remembered for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was the first one to take place during a global pandemic.

Mike DeGrosky describes Montana’s 2020 fire season as an oddball.

Lightning, warm temperatures and dry conditions are keeping firefighters busy in the region. YPR’s Kay Erickson has the details.

Drought conditions in Montana as of June 30, 2020.
Adam Hartman - NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

Montana’s southern tier is experiencing drought conditions that are expected to intensify this summer. That’s according to the latest Montana Drought Forecast report, presented this week to the Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee.

Northwest and west central Montana started out dry in early spring but have recently benefited from lots of rain and cooler-than-normal temperatures.

How To Assess Wildfire Risk At Your Home

Jun 17, 2020

 

Montana is predicted to have an above average wildfire season. And with firefighters potentially facing dual emergencies of wildfire and COVID-19, specialists say that this year, more than any other, residents can play a vital role in keeping firefighters safe by preparing their homes and communities. Morgan Levey takes us on a wildfire assessment of her home.

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