Maxine Speier

Maxine is a UM Journalism School graduate student working on Montana news for MTPR.

Mule deer.

After discovering what’s believed to be the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a wild game animal in Montana Wednesday, state wildlife officials are implementing their response plan.

"We are in the process right now of drawing what we would call an 'initial response area'," says John Vore, the Game Management Bureau Chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "That’s roughly a 10-mile radius around where this animal came from."

Mule deer.

A mule deer buck harvested south of Billings in October has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, officials confirmed Wednesday. CWD is deadly and contagious to deer, elk and moose.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says a sample collected from the hunter-killed deer 10 miles southeast of Bridger tested positive during an initial round of testing. A second, more thorough test is now being done on the sample at Colorado State University to confirm the presence of the infection.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin
U.S. Geological Survey

The nomination of a new regulator of surface mines in the United States is receiving praise from pro-coal groups in Montana but criticism from environmental groups in the state.

President Trump nominated Steve Gardner Thursday for the position of Director of the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement.

Mule deer.

Big game hunting season is now underway, and this year Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is doing more than ever before to look for Chronic Wasting Disease. The agency has a million dollars to spend on disease surveillance and testing over the next five years.

Emily Almberg is a disease ecologist with FWP. She says it’s inevitable that the disease will be discovered in Montana any day now.

Grants Make Montana Playgrounds More Accessible

Montana State Parks has a new program to make playgrounds more accessible to children with disabilities.

The agency started taking applications Tuesday for grants that will help provide funding for communities to renovate and improve playgrounds, making them safer and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.