MTPR

Wild Earth Guardians

The Flathead Forest’s new forest plan was signed in December.
Flathead National Forest

Two conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit this week, challenging the 2018 Flathead Forest Plan.

WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project say the 10 to 15 year management plan for the 2.4 million acre forest decreases habitat protections for wildlife, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx and bull trout.
 

Judge: US Must Reconsider Climate Impacts Of Montana Mine

Feb 12, 2019
Coal train
(PD)

BILLLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials have again been faulted by a federal judge for failing to adequately consider the potential climate change effects of expanding a massive coal mine in the sagebrush-covered hills of southeastern Montana.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan recommended in a Monday ruling that the Interior Department be given 240 days to re-analyze the expansion.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Bear Biologist Cecily Costello at the Wednesday meeting
Nick Mott

Editor’s Note: After this story aired, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks contacted us about how we characterized the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem’s grizzly bear conservation strategy. See the * below for clarification.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is going ahead with business as usual on a rule related to removing grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park from the endangered species list.

Longtime grizzly advocate Mike Bader presents at a letter-writing meetup for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' new grizzly rule.
Nick Mott / MTPR

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) says Monday’s federal ruling to put grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park back on the Endangered Species List will not affect the agency’s work on a new rule that will dictate how Montana will manage grizzlies in and around Glacier National Park if that population is removed from the Endangered Species List.

US Approves Sheep Grazing Research In Grizzly Bear Area

Sep 6, 2018
A sheep research flock at U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
USDA (PD)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federally-run sheep experiment station in eastern Idaho long targeted by environmental groups will resume grazing sheep in the Centennial Mountains of Idaho and Montana next year.

The U.S. Sheep Experiment Station will open on 25 square miles (65 square kilometers) of sheep station land and 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of U.S. Forest Service land, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco-NPS (PD)

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has set official goals for the number of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem if the animal is taken off the endangered species list, as is expected later this year.

Oil well.
(PD)

Environmental groups and landowners Tuesday filed a lawsuit to cancel the federal government’s recent sale of almost 300 oil and gas leases on federal land in Montana.

Excerpt from Tenmile-South Helena vegetation treatment map.
USFS

The Forest Service says it will meet with objectors to its plan to log and burn a nearly 18,000 acre area in Helena’s municipal watershed.  

The Tenmile-South Helena Vegetation Project was proposed in 2014 to reduce fire danger and protect water quality around Chessman reservoir, an area with a lot of homes in the wildland-urban interface.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Predator-killing cyanide traps will no longer be used on public lands in Colorado, pending further study. Colorado is now the second state to take a closer look at use of the devices, also known as M-44 cyanide bombs.

These are spring-loaded devices that resemble sprinklers. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program announced today that it would stop using predator-killing cyanide traps in Idaho, at least temporarily according to the Idaho Statesman.

This after a cyanide trap killed a dog in Pocatello and sickened a 14-year-old boy on March 16

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