MTPR

U.S. Forest Service

Map of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic trail.
National Park Service (PD)

The controversy over the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail’s (PNT) route through grizzly bear habitat in the Yaak Valley is headed to court. The Yaak Valley Forest Council filed the lawsuit Friday claiming that the U.S. Forest Service failed to evaluate the impacts of the trail on grizzly populations.

The roughly 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail, not to be confused with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, would wind from Glacier National Park to the coast of Washington State.

Glacier Loon Project Decision Notice April 2018
USDA

A multi-year court battle over the Glacier Loon timber sale in the Swan Valley will continue. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is now asking the lower court to decide whether the project needs to be reassessed under different regulations protecting grizzly bears. 

In 1949, 13 smokejumpers died in Mann Gulch after being overtaken by fire.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Seventy years ago today, an 18-man smokejumper crew jumped out of a plane into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness northeast of Helena. Within hours of the jump the crew was overrun by the fire they were sent to stop, and most of the men died.

MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney looks back at the Mann Gulch tragedy, which lead the U.S. Forest Service — for the first time — to approach wildfire as a science.

Bell 407 helicopter gathering water from the Big Hole River to drop on the Adson Fire near Wise River.
inciweb

Updated: 5:30 p.m., July 31, 2019 

New forest closures were announced due to the North Hills Fire north of Helena, which has burned more than 4,700 acres. 

The Forest Service closure includes the southern Gates of the Mountain wilderness boundary, extending south along the York/Nelson road to York. It also goes west along York Road to the forest boundary, then north following the boundary and Missouri River. 

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "High" effective immediately.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "high" effective immediately.

The U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Assessment System shows at least two other regions with "High" fire danger — north-central and southeast Montana.


For the first time in thirty years, the U.S. Forest Service is updating its management plan for the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. It’ll determine where you can mountain bike, build new trails and harvest timber, among other things.

The Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park on August 21, 2018
Inciweb

A new Montana Free Press series is shedding a light on how policies of the past and present intersect with wildfire response. Amanda Eggert, a former wildland firefighter and freelance journalist, is writing the three-part series Living With Fire. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke with her about the series.

U.S. Small Business Administration Logo
U.S. Small Business Administration Website

Montana small businesses received about half a billion dollars in 2018 through federal contracts. The federal government says it exceeded its small business federal contracting goal nationwide for the sixth year in a row in 2018.  

Montana businesses received about $729 million dollars last year, and about 60% of that went to small businesses. That’s according to a U.S. Small Business Administration press release on Wednesday.

Elvin Dog Taking Gun, 22, at the Trapper Creek Job Corps in Darby, June 20, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Trump administration Wednesday reversed course on its May announcement that it would close or privatize a lot of Job Corps centers across the country, including two in Montana. The program focuses on trade skills, wildfire response and education. Nick Mott reports from the Trapper Creek Job Corps in Darby.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly connected an appropriations bill procedural delay to the Job Corps amendment. The two are unrelated. Also, the original story correctly noted Gianforte did not vote on the Job Corps amendment, but failed to mention that was because he was flying to Montana with Vice President Pence to participate in a meth roundtable. Edward O'Brien is responsible for the mistakes, not reporter Nick Mott. O'Brien regrets the errors.  

An amendment that would stop the Trump Administration from closing or transferring 25 job training facilities for at-risk youth — including two in Montana — passed the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.

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