Montana Public Radio

National Environmental Policy Act

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

The trail to Piper Creek falls within the bounds of the proposed Swan Forest Initiative’s conservation forest.
Nicky Ouellet

For more than half a decade, the Lake County Conservation District has been working on a proposal to transfer management of 60,000 acres from the Flathead National Forest to the state for the next 100 years.

Caption The US Forest Service has proposed several thinning projects this fall aimed at reducing fuels in dry pine forests like this in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Nora Saks

Montana lawmakers are scoring political points by blaming environmentalists for suing to shut down logging projects on public lands. But public lands logging is both feeding area sawmills and reducing wildfire risk. MTPR's Nora Saks reports on a couple of projects in the Bitterroot Valley.

Trump Executive Order Targets Water Pollution Rule

Mar 15, 2017
The sun setting on Rock Creek in western Montana.
Josh Burnham

I’m standing on the bank of Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, close to where it joins the Clark Fork River. The future of this creek and scores more across the state is in question in a new way now that President Donald Trump has issued an executive order. It seeks to overturn the so-called "Waters of the United States" rule that President Obama established in 2015.

In 2014 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued tags allowing the export of 59,000 bobcat pelts from the United States.
Flickr user Pinke (CC-BY-NC-2)

Conservation groups say the federal government is overlooking the environmental ramifications of trapping furbearing animals for export. They’re suing to implement a review process.

A new kind of fast-track timber sale is being proposed to reduce fire danger around homes northwest of Whitefish.

It’s on 1,300 acres of National Forest land near the ski resort. The City of Whitefish asked the Forest Service to thin trees from the area in 2004, but was told there was no funding available.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

Wednesday brings another round in the decades-long fight over whether to allow energy development on U.S. Forest Service land in the Badger-Two Medicine area just south of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana.

U.S. Capitol
flickr user Tim Evanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

The U.S. House has passed legislation designed to improve the health of national forests by scaling back the environmental reviews that go into some timber projects, and making it harder to file lawsuits that delay thinning projects.

Montana Republican Ryan Zinke is co-sponsoring the bill.

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