Edward O'Brien


Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Various agencies are teaming-up to research recreation patterns on the Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers.
     The study will be conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the University of Montana.
     The point of the survey is to find out what river users like about our waterways and where they'd like to see some improvements made.

In this feature interview, F-W-P's Fishing Access Site Manager, Chet Crowser, says one thing is clear; people love our rivers and more of us are using them.

The "Marketplace Fairness Act" - better known as the "Internet Sales Tax" bill -  recently passed the U.S. Senate without the help of Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
      The proposal will soon go before the U-S House where it's widely expected to face a more skeptical reception. Montana Republican Representative Steve Daines has already gone on the record opposing the measure. 

If implemented, it would require states to force e-commerce retailers in other states to collect sales taxes for them.

The USDA's Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment says he believes there's strength in diversity.

Butch Blazer's been touring Idaho and Montana to talk about a number of issues including an effort to bring greater diversity to the ranks of the Department of Agriculture.

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

As we recently told you, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest will soon begin applying insecticides in popular recreation areas.

Summer is almost here and for many Americans that's the time to think about spending a few well-earned days away from work and getting away for an adventure.
     For many though, it's also a time of increased anxiety and stress because it can sometimes be a little more difficult to find that next meal.   

In this feature interview, Edward O'Brien speaks with Gayle Gifford, C.E.O of the Montana Food Bank Network.

A University of Montana professor appeared before the annual convention of the American College of Sports Medicine this week to discuss a study on a remarkable group of cyclists .
      Brent Ruby is the director of the Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism. Ruby and his colleagues research how people respond to various forms of stresses and how dietary and training strategies can help us better prepare to deal with stress. Ruby's a lifelong athlete who says he's always nurtured a passion for science.

National Park Service

Scientists and others will gather in Yellowstone National Park for three days early next week to discuss what they know about the geothermal system in the Old Faithful area. The meeting will take place at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and will be open to the public.

In this evening's feature story, Edward O'Brien speaks with Yellowstone National Park Geologist, Dr. Hank Heasler(that's pronounced HESS'-ler), about this conference and what scientists know - or perhaps more to the point - don't know about the Old Faithful area's geothermal system.

Members of the Clark Fork River Task Force met in Missoula this week to discuss water supply and climate condition forecasts for this year.  In short the  hydrologists,  drought experts and others say the recent cool and wet spell has been an important counter-balance for the basin that's experienced several warm spells. Northwest Montana has plenty of moisture at the moment.  Southwest Montana - just like last year - is most at risk for dry conditions this summer. Edward O'Brien speaks with University of Montana School of Forestry and Conservation's Dr.

Be Bear Aware

May 24, 2013

The carcass of an adult male grizzly bear hit and killed by a car last spring near St. Ignatius is now being used to help teach the public about bears. Dale Manning is the professional taxidermist who transformed the animal's remains into a tool that will now be used to teach the public about bear avoidance techniques and the characteristics that differentiate grizzlies from black bears.

As we reported yesterday, Chronic Wasting Disease continues its push towards western Wyoming's winter elk feedgrounds and Yellowstone National Park.
     In part one of Edward O'Brien's feature interview, Dr. Bruce  Smith explained the science behind CWD.
     In short, it's a terrible, infectious disease that slowly saps the life from whitetail and mule deer, elk and even moose. There is no known vaccine or treatment, animals do not develop immunities to it and it's 100-percent fatal.

Chronic Wasting Disease is creeping closer to western Wyoming's winter elk feedgrounds and Yellowstone National Park.
     A retired U.S Fish and Wildlife Service biologist says this is something the public and policy-makers must pay close attention to.
      Dr. Bruce Smith is a former senior biologist at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming and author of "Where Elk Roam: Conservation and Biopolitics of Our National Elk Herd."

Hundreds of Missoula high school students recently witnessed a mock scenario portraying teenagers involved in a devastating car crash; a crash caused by a drunk driver.
     The staged event portrayed everything that typically happens in its real-life equivalent.
     If you've been fortunate enough to have never been in a serious car accident, it was an eye-opening event. And that's just what organizers were hoping for.
     Edward O'Brien - along with hundreds of high school students at Loyola Field - was there and files this feature story...