FORT BENTON – Climate-change activist Leonard Higgins received a deferred sentence Tuesday for his part in an October 2016 effort to bring attention to climate change by shutting down pipelines carrying Canadian tar-sands through four U.S. states.Read More
As Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tries to plan the next two years of elk hunting, the biggest problem appears to be antiquated population goals that were carved out 14 years ago.
That was what the FWP commission struggled with on Thursday as it tried to figure out whether proposed hunting quotas were adequate and if shoulder seasons were long enough.Read More
The main focus of Thursday's Fish, Wildlife & Parks commission meeting was updating Montana's hunting regulations for the next two years, but the issue of chronic wasting disease kept popping up.Read More
SUPERIOR – A few of this summer’s wildfires burned through timber that the Forest Service planned to log eventually. Now, logging will happen sooner but only as part of smaller salvage operations.
During Tuesday’s public scoping meeting at the Superior Ranger Station, Ninemile District Ranger Erin Phelps and other Forest Service specialists explained their fast-tracked proposal to log about 2,700 acres within the boundaries of the Sunrise Fire and 2,150 acres of the Sheep Gap Fire.Read More
HELENA – Legislators, scientists and leaders of the outdoors industry were just some of the almost three dozen Montanans who traveled to Helena to voice their comments on a proposal to mine copper along a tributary of the Smith River.Read More
After a turbulent three years and a two-month investigation into its leadership, Region 3 of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is again looking for a supervisor.
On Wednesday, word came down to FWP staff that Sam Sheppard was retiring from the Region 3 supervisor position, effective immediately.Read More
When Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species list in late June, at least seven environmental groups filed notices of intent to sue him. But Indian tribes have beaten them to the punch, citing violations of religious freedom.Read More
With grizzly-bear recovery potentially complete in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, agencies are daring to plan for a time when most bears are under state control.
A lot of balls remain in the air as the Interagency Grizzly Bear Executive Committee met to consider its next five-year plan. The committee is juggling the pending delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population and the myriad of challenges posed by the six other regions of grizzly recovery in the Northwest.Read More
Worried about losing parts of Montana’s historic and ecological legacy, a grassroots group has sprung up to fight Trump administration attacks on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
On Monday, Hold Our Ground, a campaign sponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association, was launched in Fort Benton, the gateway to the 146-mile float down the Wild and Scenic Missouri River. Three spokesmen detailed the different reasons they oppose efforts by the Trump administration to rescind or diminish the 378,000-acre Missouri River Breaks monument.Read More
A Helena Republican claims 40 of Montana’s top writers and their supporters violated federal election laws during the recent special election for Montana’s Congressional representative.
Recently, the writers, photographers and dozens of supporters received letters from the Federal Election Commission informing them that Joe Dooling, Chair of the Lewis and Clark County Republican committee, had filed a complaint accusing them of multiple campaign violations. Dooling also ran for but lost a state senate race in a Helena district to Jill Cohenour in 2014.Read More
After almost a year of consideration and comment, a proposal to save some of Montana’s streams from the technological toys of the future has been defeated.
While considering the Quiet Waters Initiative on Friday, the three new members of the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission had their first taste of the contentiousness that can flare up in response to fish and wildlife proposals. Although the commission was originally scheduled to vote on the initiative, Chairman Dan Vermillion proposed to once again extend the public comment period to gather more information and give those new commissioners a chance to better acquaint themselves with the issue prior to voting. So that’s the thing he asked people to comment on.Read More
As more tribes join the bison hunt north of Yellowstone National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is asking them to put hunting restrictions on themselves.
On Wednesday, the wildlife representatives of five tribes met in Missoula with FWP, Department of Livestock, U.S. Forest Service and YNP managers to review this winter’s tribal bison hunt north of Gardiner and west of West Yellowstone. Although it was a fairly successful hunt, a few parts of it weren’t pretty.Read More
After nonprofit organizations challenged a 2015 finding that logging wouldn’t affect bull trout, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently reversed itself, stopping a logging project at the edge of the Mission Mountain Wilderness.
On Friday, Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber announced he was withdrawing his Notice of No Significant Impact involving the Cold Jim Fuels Reduction and Forest Health Project in the Swan Lake District. The project was intended to be part of an effort to reduce fuels in the wildland-urban interface. In a May 12 letter, Weber said his September 2016 decision to allow the logging project to move forward was based on USFWS biologists agreeing that bull trout in the area about 3 miles northwest of Condon would not be affected.Read More
After the Legislature rejected two of the governor’s four candidates for the Fish & Wildlife commission, two FWP veterans will fill the roles for at least the next two years.
On Friday, Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Tim Aldrich of Missoula and Shane Colton of Billings to replace Gary Wolf and Matthew Tourtlotte on the FW commission.Read More
Last week’s purchase of the Stillwater Mining Company puts one more Montana mine in foreign hands. Fortunately, a citizen-crafted agreement will keep the new company from being environmentally irresponsible.
On May 4, the Stillwater Mining Company finalized about six months of negotiations and agreed to sell $2.2 billion worth of assets to Sibanye Gold Limited, a South African gold mining company. The buyout helped Stillwater transfer $500 million worth of debt it had accumulated since the 2008 recession.Read More
Montana’s snowpack is the best it’s been in a handful of years, so most streams should flow nicely even through August.
May’s snowpack is what sustains the state’s streams through most of the summer, and this year, it’s above normal and half again what it was last year, according to measurements made by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.Read More
It takes more than buying a bunch of game tags to represent Montana hunters, according to a sportsmen’s coalition.
With a month to go until the special election for Montana’s lone Congressional seat, the Montana Sportsmen’s Alliance has thrown its support behind Democratic candidate Rob Quist. The MSA political action committee says Quist comes closest to supporting the values of Montana’s sportsmen and women.Read More
Montana’s senior senator has taken the lead in the fight against proposed mines in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem by introducing legislation that would withdraw federal mining rights north of Yellowstone National Park.
On Monday, Sen. Jon Tester introduced the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, a short but concise bill withdrawing 30,000 acres of the Emigrant Crevice area from lands that are subject to federal mine leases.Read More
The two new members of the Fish, Wildlife & Parks commission got off to an easy start on Friday with minimal public comment on wolves, lions and grizzly bears. But wolves still sparked discussion.
Commission chair Dan Vermillion praised an FWP proposal to finally include wolves in the regular season-setting agenda that comes before the commission every two years.Read More
Hunting guides and outfitters will have to continue recording details of clients' hunts after the defeat of a bill backed by Montana Outfitters and Guides.
On Monday, the last day before the bill would have become law without his signature, Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed Senate Bill 264. SB 264 would have reduced the information collected by the Montana Board of Outfitters to only that required to justify outfitter licensing. In other words, details regarding clients’ names, trip dates, and animal species, sex and location would be eliminated.Read More