Montana Public Radio

National Environmental Policy Act

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The BNSF Railway Company Tuesday published a long-awaited habitat conservation plan intended to reduce grizzly bear mortalities in Northwest Montana.

USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue (center) in Missoula to announce new USFS priorities June 12, 2020. Behind him: Chuck Roady, GM of F.H. Stoltze, Rep. Gianforte, USDA Undersecretary James Hubbard, Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott, RMEF Pres. Kyle Weaver
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

*UPDATED 06/13 

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary visited Missoula Friday to announce a blueprint to prioritize work for the U.S Forest Service.

Supporters say it will modernize the agency and cut unnecessary red tape. Opponents, however, counter it will undermine the nation’s laws aimed at protecting the environment.


A federal judge in Montana heard arguments May 13 in a case where environmental advocacy groups say coal leasing under the Trump Administration breaks federal law.

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) — U.S. government attorneys say the Trump administration plans to finish a new environmental review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada even if a federal appeals court throws out a lawsuit that blocked the project.

President Donald Trump issued a new permit for the $8 billion pipeline last month.

Students at Corvallis High School practice participating in a public comment meeting for grizzly bear management.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A new Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks initiative aims to engage kids in the public comment process through video cameras, computers, and grizzly bears.

A map showing the proposed project management areas outside of Stevensville.
Forest Service USDA


  The Bitterroot National Forest is taking comments on a proposed timber sale and vegetation management project in the Sapphire Mountains northeast of Stevensville.

The Forest is proposing to manage vegetation and reduce fuels on 238 acres in and next to the Threemile Wildlife Management Area. It says is entirely within the Wildland-Urban Interface -- the area of forest that mixes with human development and is at risk for wildfire.

The 2017 order by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke that lifted the Obama-era moratorium on federal coal leasing.
Department of the Interior

A federal judge in Great Falls Thursday heard arguments over whether the Trump administration lawfully lifted a ban on coal leasing federal lands.

The Department of the Interior lifted the Obama-era moratorium on federal coal leasing in early 2017, fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to end the so-called war on coal.

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.

The U.S. Forest Service's National Director of Fire and Aviation Shawna Lagarza and retired USFS employee and Management Consultant Richard Stem at Rep. Gianforte's field hearing on wildfire in Hamilton, MT, August 7, 2018.
Edward O'Brien


Congressman Greg Gianforte was in Montana Tuesday talking about wildfire. The Republican was in Hamilton holding a field hearing which started on an unusual note.

An informational sign at the entrance of the National Bison Range near Moiese, MT.
Josh Burnham

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a series of public meetings this week to hear input on five alternative plans for future management of the National Bison Range and nearby wildlife refuges.

Alternatives for two Comprehensive Conservation Plans range from continuing management as it is now,  to emphasizing visitor experience, to managing for key species, to managing for ecological sustainability, and working with tribal and local partners to increase connectivity between the refuges.

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