Montana Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Grizzly bears are just starting to emerge from hibernation in Yellowstone National Park.

Park spokesperson Linda Veress says the first grizzly sighting of the year occurred last Friday when, “Visitors observed a large grizzly bear between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge. And additionally, grizzly tracks were reported between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Junction on Monday, March 11.”

Yellowstone Bison Capture And Slaughter Begins

Mar 8, 2019
Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — The capture of hundreds of bison in Yellowstone National Park began Thursday as part of a continuing effort to manage the herd's population in the park. Park officials planned to capture 600 to 900 bison, which will be sent off to slaughter, this winter.

Wolves.
David Gilkey

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, re-igniting the legal battle over a predator that's running into conflicts with farmers and ranchers as its numbers rebound in some regions.

The proposal would give states the authority to hold wolf hunting and trapping seasons. It was announced Wednesday by acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt at a wildlife conference in Denver.

The Fork Peck Indian Reservation in northeast Montana recently received five male bison from Corwin Springs, MT, just outside Yellowstone Park.

The bull bison are part of a program through the state and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to help clear bison of brucellosis, which can cause infertility and abortions in livestock, and protect existing populations.

US Senate Passes Major Public Lands Package

Feb 12, 2019
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

A major package of public lands legislation has passed the U.S. Senate. It includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

"Today is — it’s one of the greatest days of my life. It’s amazing, and it really restores faith in the system, too," says Colin Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs.

The President of the Fort Belknap Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes Andrew Werk Jr. delivered the State of Tribal Nations Address, in the House chamber on Thurs., Feb. 7. 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Native American leaders asked Montana lawmakers Thursday for help passing legislation important to tribes across the state. 

The President of the Fort Belknap Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes Andrew Werk Jr. delivered the State of Tribal Nations Address in the House chamber Thursday.

Glacier Park's Lake McDonald.
Glacier National Park (PD)

Yellowstone National Park reports that it experienced another busy year last year. The park recorded over 4.1 million visits. That’s a 0.04-percent decrease from 2017 and a 3.5 percent decrease from the record-breaking year in 2016. It was the third busiest year on record.

Wyoming Bill Allows Takeover Of National Parks During Shutdown

Feb 6, 2019
Yellowstone National Park sign.
Flickr user lance_mountain (CC-BY-NC-ND)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Proposed legislation that would allow the state of Wyoming to take over operation of Yellowstone National Park and other federal facilities during a federal government shutdown has been approved by the state Senate.

Senate File 148 passed on a 17-12 vote Wednesday and now goes to the state House of Representatives for further debate.

Glenn Schenavar leads a meeting of sportsmen concerned wolves are depleting elk and deer in Kalispell January 30, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

A meeting about Montana’s wolf population turned testy Wednesday night in Kalispell.

At one point, a man stood up amidst the sea of green camo, flannel and down and called out that he’s not advocating that everybody go out and buy poison. But, “If we have to kiss heiny to the Senate or whoever it is and get it done legislatively, maybe that’s what we ought to do.”

Toll Of Government Shutdown Still Being Tallied At National Parks

Jan 30, 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park explore the boardwalks near Old Faithful.
Courtesy National Park Service

Update: The original story, published Jan. 30, was updated on Jan. 31, with an additional statement from Sen. Steve Daine's office.

WEST YELLOWSTONE — Federal employees have returned to work at public lands throughout the nation, but the cost of keeping national parks open during the record-length partial government shutdown remains unknown.

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