Montana Public Radio

Paradise Valley

March 1 kicks off the new license year for Montana hunters, many of whom will rely on public land to punch their tags. Some of them say large, out-of-state ranch owners are making it harder to get to their favorite hunting grounds. A hunter in Park County is pushing the courts to decide the limits of public access against private property rights.

A documentary about a community’s fight to stop a gold mine north of Yellowstone National Park will premiere Saturday at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Competition in Canada.

In Missoula Friday, Montana’s Republican U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, said Senate leadership has committed to, “Put some kind of a package together of bills, public lands bills and conservation bills that we hope to move during the lame duck session. We’ll be back in session in the U.S. Senate on November 13 and we’ll have between then and the end of the year — which will be really the end of this Congress — to put something together.”

In Montana's Paradise Valley, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs an order extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years, October 8, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order yesterday extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years.

Zinke stood with this back to the Absarkoa Mountain Range, the peaks half hidden in clouds hanging low over the Paradise Valley, as he said some places should not be mined, even though he describes himself as “a pro-mining guy”.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has scheduled a visit next week to Montana, where he's expected to finalize a proposal to block new mining claims on the forested public lands just outside Yellowstone National Park.

Zinke, a former Montana congressman, plans to sign documents and make a "major announcement" about conservation on Monday in the Paradise Valley area, Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said Thursday.

Swift declined to give further details except to say it was an issue Zinke had been working on for years.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


Federal officials are recommending approval of a plan to block new mining claims for 20 years on public lands in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A proposal to ban mining near Yellowstone National Park got its first hearing in the U.S. House today. It has the unconditional support of Montana’s lone representative, Republican Greg Gianforte.

Congressman Gianforte is an ardent supporter of the natural resources extraction industries. Even so, he testified against mining before a House Natural Resources subcommittee Thursday.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A Montana judge has chastised state environmental regulators over a mine exploration project near Yellowstone National Park.

The ruling out Park County Wednesday says the Montana Department of Environmental Quality gave Lucky Minerals the go ahead last year to explore for gold in Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone without looking closely enough at whether it would impact sensitive wildlife habitat and water conditions.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


An environmental assessment released today from the U.S. Forest Service recommends a 20-year ban on new mining developments on public land in the Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

The agency recommends withdrawing more than 30,000 acres from mining exploration.

Closeup of a cougar kitten looking at camera.
Smithsonian Networks

Most people don’t describe crawling into mountain lion dens in the middle of winter or exploring abandoned buildings littered with animal corpses by moonlight as a dream come true. But for one Montana filmmaker, those hair-raising moments were the opportunity of a lifetime.

Paradise Valley filmmaker Casey Anderson’s newest film “The Mountain Lion and Me” is debuting on the Smithsonian Channel Wednesday night. Anderson is best-known as a host and explorer on Nat Geo Wild. He joins us now to tell us about making his film.

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