Environment

2020 was the worst fire season in 2,000 years, research shows, and it’s expected to get worse

BY: - July 31, 2021

Rocky Mountain high-elevation forests burned more in 2020 than they have in 2,000 years, according to researchers from the University of Montana and the University of Wyoming. UM professor Philip Higuera said he and his team conducted the study of present and historic burn patterns using data collected during 15 years.  He said that this […]

Gianforte tells Biden ‘it’s a tinderbox situation’ in Montana at wildfire conference

BY: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden met virtually with governors from Western and Midwestern states on Friday to discuss how federal intervention can best aid states battling wildfires, amid complaints from states about federal forest management. “We’ve got big, complex wildfires burning across multiple areas,” Biden said. “We’re in for a long fight this year, and the only […]

Gianforte announces agreements for active forest management

BY: - July 28, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday that agreements of the cross-boundary, active management projects associated with the Montana Forest Action Plan have been signed and completed, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office. “This fire season has proven to all Montanans the importance of active forest management to reduce wildfire risk,” Gianforte said in […]

National parks refine ticketed-entry systems to manage visitor boom

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Watching the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain at Maine’s Acadia National Park is a gorgeous view — so breathtaking that on some days, as many as 500 cars could be found vying for the scenic overlook’s 150 parking spots. That competition has become more manageable since Acadia officials began using a reservation system in May, […]

The heat is on: Montana likely to stay hot, dry for months

BY: - July 27, 2021

If you’re looking for good news in this weather story, you might want to start to read something different. May we suggest something about the outdoors or political commentary? Because forecasters with the National Weather Service and climate scientists say that while July has been exceptionally hot, dry and smoky – in Montana, it’s not […]

‘Land of the burning ground’: Yellowstone National Park’s Native American history and traditions

BY: and - July 27, 2021

We sometimes think of Yellowstone as an untouched landscape, but humans have been present in the area for more than 10,000 years! The history and traditions of Native Americans in Yellowstone are as rich as the landscape itself. To the Crow, it was the “land of the burning ground” or “land of vapors”; to the […]

DEQ issues air quality alert for 12 counties; smoke to worsen Tuesday

BY: - July 26, 2021

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued Monday an air quality alert for 12 counties, and if you’re looking for clean air in the state, you’ll likely have to wait. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the forecast that’s indicating we’re going to get a big breath of fresh air,” said Kevin Stone of the DEQ. In […]

Two groups sue Forest Service for Red Lodge timber plan they say will destroy lynx habitat

BY: - July 26, 2021

Two conservation groups are suing the United States Forest Service for what they say is a failure to follow several federal laws and jeopardizing lynx habitat. Lynx remain on the endangered species list. The two groups, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council, previously sued the Forest Service in 2015 for the Greater […]

NorthWestern: Drought conditions mean lower water levels at Hebgen Reservoir

BY: - July 26, 2021

Drought conditions are resulting in lower water levels at Hebgen Reservoir to protect fisheries on the lower Madison River, NorthWestern Energy said in a news release Monday. “Current drought conditions, the result of low snowpack, low spring precipitation and recent hot, dry weather have led to challenging low water conditions in the Madison River system,” […]

‘Trees Grow on Money’: Recent report examines tree equity in MT

BY: - July 25, 2021

A lack of tree canopy coverage and an unobstructed Big Sky in some lower-income neighborhoods across the state means many Montanans miss out on arborous benefits like better air quality, cooler temperatures and boosted property values, according to a new study. A recent report by American Forests, a conservation non-profit, looked at hundreds of areas […]

Yellowstone National Park closes some fishing because of high temperatures, low flow

BY: - July 23, 2021

Effective July 24, Yellowstone National Park’s rivers and streams will close to fishing in the afternoon and evening due to high-water temperatures and unprecedented low stream flows. This closure will protect the park’s native and wild trout fisheries. What will be closed? Fishing on rivers and streams will be prohibited from 2 p.m. to sunrise the […]

Wildfire smoke drives people in low-vaccinated areas indoors, raising outbreak fears in Montana

BY: - July 22, 2021

MISSOULA, Mont. — Missoula’s new downtown library was teeming with people who might typically spend a Saturday afternoon hiking, biking or otherwise making the most of Montana’s abundant outdoor recreation. One look at the soupy haze blanketing the city and it was clear why. “We’re definitely trying to stay out of the smoke,” Charlie Booher […]