15 Montana groups add their name to Haaland support letter

BY: - February 17, 2021

More than a dozen Montana organizations and groups have added their name to a letter started by The Wilderness Society which is urging the Senate to confirm former Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to become the next Secretary of the Department of The Interior. Montana Sen. Steve Daines has said he will opposed Haaland’s […]

American Prairie Reserve sends 39 bison to South Dakota

BY: - February 16, 2021

The American Prairie Reserve transferred 39 of its bison in a partnership with representatives from different Native nations in South Dakota. The Montana-based APR is a nonprofit that distributes bison to organizations starting new herds, and to enhance the genetic health of conservation and tribal herds around the country. This was the first transfer of […]

Biden administration may reconsider BLM’s move to Colorado

BY: - February 11, 2021

The Biden administration is reviewing the Bureau of Land Management headquarters’ recent move from Washington, D.C., to western Colorado, even as the state’s congressional delegation has united in a bipartisan pushback to any attempt to reverse the decision. An Interior Department spokesperson said this week that the department’s “new leadership will work with BLM career […]

Is Montana ready for nuclear power?

BY: - February 11, 2021

With the clock running at Colstrip, the ever-changing and often gloomy outlook for Montana’s energy environment has policymakers casting about for solutions.  Among these is an effort supported by the state’s utility companies to facilitate the development of nuclear power by removing the requirement that the voters approve all new major nuclear projects in Montana […]

Bills extending trapping season and allowing snaring of wolves pass second reading in the house

BY: - February 10, 2021

Two bills aiming to increase Montanans’ ability to hunt wolves passed second readings on the House floor Wednesday. House Bills 224 and 225 would allow for the snaring of wolves and extend wolf trapping season dates. Rep. Paul Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, sponsors both bills. As it stands now, registered trappers can use footholds to trap […]

Land transfer bill gets new life in 2021 session

BY: - February 9, 2021

The Legislature is again considering a proposal to ban the sale of federal land transferred to the state by an act of Congress, something that opponents fear is a clandestine effort to — paradoxically — open the state’s public lands to sale. HB320 is an “oldie but a goldie,” a rerun from a slate of […]

Daines vows to block Interior nominee’s quest for top spot

BY: - February 8, 2021

Montana’s junior Senator, Republican Steve Daines, announced during the weekend that he would seek to block President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland of New Mexico. Daines said he would block Haaland if his concerns were not addressed. Among his concerns were the Keystone XL Pipeline and her stance on the […]

Study: Federal oil and gas leases in sharp decline

BY: - February 5, 2021

A new report by Rocky Mountain Wild, a nonprofit group aimed at protecting wild animals and wild lands, shows that federal oil and gas leasing has declined sharply in the Mountain West, and that the effects of President Joseph Biden’s energy policies may not hurt as much as opponents say. However, petroleum industry experts say […]

Biden rolls back Trump rule on migratory birds

BY: - February 4, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act against polluters […]

Public lands protections could move ahead in Congress this year

BY: - February 4, 2021

Democrats in Congress have a rare opportunity to advance an ambitious public lands agenda—if they can keep their tenuous majorities in line. They’re also working with a new president of the same party who’s pledged to expand wilderness protections and highlighted climate change as one of his top three priorities. Several bills that expand public […]

EPA choice hears an earful about environmental policy

BY: - February 3, 2021

Michael Regan would “follow the science and follow the law” if confirmed as EPA administrator, he told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a three-hour confirmation hearing Wednesday. President Joe Biden nominated Regan, who is currently the Secretary of Environmental Quality in North Carolina, for EPA administrator last month. Although Regan’s confirmation […]

Vilsack faces criticism ahead of confirmation hearing

BY: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief during the […]