MTPR

Wild West Institute

Environmental organizations reacted Wednesday to reports that Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior. The Interior Department and other U.S. agencies control almost a third of Montana’s land and even more of the vast amounts of coal, oil and natural gas that lay beneath it.

Zinke has been critical of federal land management and has advocated for more development of coal, oil and natural gas. However he's also an outspoken supporter of keeping public lands in federal hands.

Looking out on the Swan Range and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

Summer is prime time for visiting Montana’s biggest wilderness area, the Bob Marshall Complex - more than 2,300-square miles of roadless, wild, rugged country stretching between Glacier Park and Lincoln, and straddling the Continental Divide between Seeley Lake and Augusta. It’s so big, it’s hard to take in from the ground.

Weyerhaeuser closed its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls last week.
Eric Whitney

Wednesday’s announcement that Weyerhaeuser will close its Columbia Falls lumber and plywood mills, along with its administrative offices, brought an avalanche of reaction -- none of it good.

Conservation groups seek extension of wolf monitoring program
(PD)

Five conservation groups want to extend a five year federal wolf monitoring program in Idaho and Montana. Those groups put the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on notice Wednesday that the monitoring program should be extended another 5 years. And they’re willing to sue to make it happen.

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

State officials say the new kinds of forest management tools the Farm Bill gave them are good for both Montana’s forests and the state’s economy. But some environmentalists say those claims are dubious at best.

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