Montana Public Radio

U.S. Forest Service

Morel mushrooms.
Flickr user Ann Althouse (CC-BY-NC-2)

With temperatures on the rise, many Montanans have one thing on their minds: finding that perfect morel. MTPR's Clare Menahan has details about harvesting legally on area national forests.

Last year’s devastating fire season means Western Montana has become a mushroom-picking haven for thousands of local and visiting mushroom pickers.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

A conservation group has filed a lawsuit against two federal agencies for allegedly low-balling road mileage counts in grizzly bear habitat in the Kootenai National Forest.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ Executive Director Mike Garrity says roads in grizzly bear habitat tend to mean more poached bears.

Routine maintenance on BAe-146 firefighting plane at Neptune Aviation in Missoula, MT.
Edward O'Brien

The U.S. Forest Service has scaled back the number of firefighting aircraft that might be available this summer. Edward O'Brien explores on what that might mean for Montana.

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.

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 Rice Ridge Fire seen from Seeley Lake on August 1, 2017.
Eric Whitney

There will be no more so-called "fire-borrowing" from the U.S. Forest Service if the big federal spending bill Congress is working on passes. 

Both of Montana's U.S. Senators confirmed today that the spending bill expected to be voted on this week fundamentally changes how America pays to fight wildfires

Montana Wilderness Bills Get First Senate Hearing

Feb 7, 2018

A U.S. Senate committee heard bills from both of Montana’s senators today. One would add wilderness protection to about 79,000 acres of land here, the other would remove Wilderness Study Area designation for around half a million acres.

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.

The Park Creek Fire perimeter overlaid on top of the Stonewall Vegetation project map.
Inciweb

The U.S. Forest Service says additional analysis is needed for a forestry project near Lincoln in the aftermath of last summer’s wildfires.

When the Park Creek and Arrastra wildfires merged into one big fire last August, it burned more than half of the Stonewall Vegetation Project-area northwest of Lincoln.

The Flathead National Forest is hosting an open house on a proposed timber sale near Bigfork.

The open house for the Bug Creek Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project happens February 6 at the Swan Lake Ranger Station in Bigfork. The agency will have specialists on hand to answer questions, it’s taking public comment on the proposal until February 16.

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