MTPR

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Big Arm State Park.
Big Arm State Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is one step closer to purchasing the land that makes up Big Arm State Park on Flathead Lake. Officials says the deal is critical to maintaining the important public access point on the lake. 

Truck carrying timber
Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

The state and the U.S. Forest Service plan to ramp up a program on Montana’s national forests that uses timber sales with restoration components to fund non-commercial conservation work. The amount of timber currently being cut under the program could grow four times over the next year. The timber industry sees that as a much-needed boon.

Two new wildfires were reported in today, one near Wolf Creek and the other near Twin Bridges.

Landlocked public land in southeastern Montana.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and onX; http://www.trcp.org/unlocking-public-lands/

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and onX, a Montana-based land data company, analyzed land ownership patterns for a report detailing the extent of state-owned parcels that lack public access.

Montana, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming each have more than 1 million acres (0.4 million hectares) of state lands surrounded by private property, according to the report. Nevada has the least amount with less than 1,000 acres (405 hectares) landlocked.

U.S. Drought Monitor Map of Montana, August 13, 2019.
Richard Tinker / CPC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP

The governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee almost cancelled its monthly meeting Thursday because there isn’t really a drought issue in Montana right now.

Rachel Cramer with Yellowstone Public Radio News reports that committee members say moisture conditions look good for most of the state, and fire activity is expected to remain moderate.

Map of "Priority Landscapes" for forest management projects on the Lolo National Forest.
Lolo National Forest

Two proposed logging projects in the Seeley Lake area are the latest in a statewide push towards more use of a collaborative federal and state timber harvest program.

The Lolo National Forest wants to partner with the State of Montana on a pair of so-called Good Neighbor Authority projects to log about 5,000 acres of Forest Service land near Seeley Lake.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook July 2019.
Predictive Services - National Interagency Fire Center

Gov. Steve Bullock will get a briefing on Montana’s wildfire outlook Friday from a group of interagency fire partners. The governor’s annual fire season meeting delivers predictions on wildland fire potential and updates on the readiness of agencies to respond once fire breaks out.

"Good Neighbor Authority" allows states and tribes to help the Forest Service with projects on national forest land. The Taylor Hellroaring project near Whitefish is one such project.
U.S. Forest Service

Public comment ends this week on a Forest Service project near Whitefish which proposes to use so-called “good neighbor authority” to collaborate with the State of Montana. It’s a new approach that could mark a shift in which parties get a say in managing national forests.

A state judge has revoked the water permit for a silver and copper mine proposed beneath a northwestern Montana wilderness area.

Judge Kathy Seeley said in a recent order that state officials did not adequately consider potential damage to nearby streams from Hecla Mining Company’s Rock Creek Mine.

State Budget Bill Is Flying Through The Legislature

Apr 9, 2019
Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte, speaks on the Montana Senate floor. Sesso serves as Senate Minority Leader.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA -- Montana’s budget will return to the House of Representatives after it was amended in the Senate last week and passed 28-21 Monday.

Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Carl Glimm, a Republican from Kila, says it’s typical for the Senate to tweak House Bill 2, the legislation that outlines the state’s $10.3 billion, two-year budget.

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