National Forest Wilderness Sign
Jason Crotty (CC-BY-2)

Due the partial federal government shutdown that started in December, the Bitterroot National Forest is extending a comment period on whether helicopters should be allowed to fly into a wilderness area to repair a century-old dam.

Andrew Larson is the new director of the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute.
Courtesy Andrew Larson

Andrew Larson, The new director of the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute wants to continue refining the organization’s core mission of education, research and service. But Larson also says, "One of the things that I’m hoping we can accomplish is to place wilderness in a broader context."

Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Kathleen Williams debated on Montana PBS Saturday, October 6
Montana PBS

Two of Montana’s congressional candidates squared off Saturday night for their final debate before November’s election.

Republican incumbent Greg Gianforte and Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams’ debate took place on a closed MontanaPBS set in Bozeman.

Montana U.S. House candidates Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams.
(Williams: Olga Kreimer/MTPR)

Wilderness Study Areas:

During the debate, Congressman Greg Gianforte pushed back at challenger Kathleen Williams’ accusation that he had introduced legislation, without public input, to release more than 700,000 acres lands classified as Wilderness Study Areas.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen vows the agency will meet with mountain biking groups who want to regain access to two wilderness study areas in the Bitterroot National Forest.

The Bitterroot National Forest has kicked off a 45-day objection period focusing on bicycle access in two wilderness study areas.

The Blue Joint WSA is south of Darby in the Bitterroot mountains along the Idaho border. The Sapphire WSA is southeast of Hamilton.