Sally Mauk

News Director Emeritus

Retired in 2014 but still a presence at MTPR, Sally Mauk is a University of Kansas graduate and former wilderness ranger who has reported on everything from the legislature to forest fires. She also taught broadcast writing and reporting in the University of Montana journalism school.

Ways To Connect

Porter Fox

It's safe to say that these days many Montanans are either watching the Winter Olympics, or out skiing a local mountain themselves. We live in a snow culture, and it's one of the things we love about Montana.
    But that snow is disappearing, not just here but around the world.

University of Arizona

A leading environmental scholar and climate change scientist, Diana Liverman, is in Missoula this week to lecture at the University of Montana.

Liverman teaches geography at the University of Arizona, and is co-director of the Institute of the Environment there. She's written several books and articles on the impacts of climate change, and how to adapt to it.
    In this feature interview, Liverman talks with News Director Sally Mauk about her 30-plus years' interest in our changing climate and what we should be doing about it.

David Gilkey

Growing up in Montana, Nathan Rott knew wolves were controversial.

Chris Hedges has seen fascism and war up close. For nearly 20 years he was a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans - for both print and broadcast media, including National Public Radio and the New York Times.

Sally Mauk

As we reported earlier this week, the University of Montana must find another 9 million dollars to cut in the coming year - on top of the 6 million cut from this year's budget. President Royce Engstrom outlined the need for the cuts - and potential  money-saving steps - in a campuswide letter this week.

John Latenser V

Anne Gauer of Billings found out on Facebook today that the film "Nebraska" has been nominated for best picture of the year - and for five other Oscars, including best director and best actor.

Montana Historical Society

As we reported earlier this week, a new article on the history of the eradication of wolves in Montana points out the state once was home to hundreds of thousands of wolves.

The current population of 600-plus, is a tiny fraction of the number of wolves that used to roam Big Sky country, before wolves were exterminated in the 1920's.

Idaho Fish and Game

Tonight, we have part two in our series on whether a state should have the right to hire a professional to kill wolves in a federally designated wilderness area.

Three conservation groups - Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch - think not.

Kurt Wilson, Missoulian

Missoula county attorney Fred Van Valkenburg is willing to negotiate a "memorandum of understanding" with the federal Justice department, as a way of resolving DOJ's concerns about the way the county attorney's office has handled past sexual assault investigations.   The offer is contained in a letter written by Van Valkenburg and sent to U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter.

Idaho Fish and Game

Should a state have the right to hire a professional to kill wolves in a federally designated wilderness area, to enhance the area's elk population for recreational hunters? 

As we reported yesterday, some conservation groups think not, and are suing federal and Idaho state officials over Idaho's plan to track and kill wolves from two packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.

Some conservation groups are suing federal and Idaho state officials over Idaho's plan to track and kill wolves from two packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.
     The lawsuit, filed by Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch on Monday, asks the judge to stop the extermination immediately to give the case time to work through the courts.


The boom in oil development in this country has increased the amount of oil shipped by rail from 10,000 tanker cars annually to 400,000 cars - just in the last four years.

Bob Howell

Bryce Andrews grew up in Seattle but childhood visits to a family friend's ranch in Montana began a love affair with ranching that carried him back to Montana to live and work full-time as a ranch hand.

Sally Mauk

Wayne Williams started fighting wildfires in 1974, and became a smokejumper in 1977.

Over his 40 year career, the now-retired Missoula smokejumper was mentored by - and himself mentored - many other wildland firefighters.

Williams was part of the team that recovered the bodies of 14 firefighters who died fighting the South Canyon fire on Storm King mountain in Colorado in 1994. That incident prompted several changes in firefighting safety protocols and strategy.

Dan Boyce

2013 began with a new governor and a new legislature - and wound down with a government shutdown. In-between there were headline-grabbing trials and home-destroying fires.

The MTPR news staff - Sally Mauk, Edward O'Brien, Dan Boyce and Katrin Frye - covered the issues and breaking news. In this feature, they take a look back at a year of drama and heartache, and political surprises.

Development of solar energy is undergoing a renaissance as the price and downside of fossil fuels increases. Author, physics professor and solar energy expert John Perlin says the use of solar energy goes back thousands of years.

Santa has a lot of helpers getting those Christmas gifts to their destination, including Dave Shappee.

This is one of the busiest months of the year for  the founder of The Shipping Depot in Missoula. And he's still busy today, as last minute shoppers rush to ship their Christmas presents on the eve of the holiday.

 In this feature interview, Shappee talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the unique items people try to ship - and about their procrastination this year.

As reported earlier, Montana's senior Senator Max Baucus has been nominated to be the next ambassador to China - pending confirmation by the Senate.

Among the Montanans hoping to make it to the Sochi Olympics this winter is Bozeman native and reigning national freestyle mogul ski champion, Heather McPhie.

It would be McPhie's second Olympics - she placed 18th in Vancouver in 2010. This year's team will be picked in January.

McPhie is back in Bozeman for the holidays after competing in a World Cup event in Finland. The 29-year-old took time out from her training to speak with News Director Sally Mauk about her skiing career. It's a sport that's in her blood - beginning with her great grandfather.

Former governor Brian Schweitzer says he plans to spend a lot of time in Iowa, and in fact, he's giving a speech there today - raising more questions about whether he intends to run for president.

The financial crash of 2008 brought increased scrutiny and louder calls for reform of the financial industry. Some of that has come to pass, but it's also true the financial sector continues to have tremendous influence over government, which is its chief regulator.

As financial policy advocate for the consumer advocacy group "Public Citizen", Bart Naylor tracks that regulation and lobbies for stricter oversight of a financial industry he believes has too much power.

Beatrice Moritz

This Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 six and seven-year-olds - and 6 of the school's adult staff.

Last week we aired an interview with UM forestry professor Martin Nie, about the resurgence of a western movement to get federal lands turned over to state and local governments - and why he thinks that's a bad idea. In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with one of the leaders of the new Sagebrush Rebellion - Utah state representative, and CEO of the American Lands Council, Ken Ivory - about why he thinks state ownership of federal lands is a good idea.

Sally Mauk

A recent article in the journal "Science" investigates whether decreasing winds in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies are contributing to declining precipitation.

While our bitter cold spell is delaying today's scheduled opening of Missoula's Snowbowl ski area, tomorrow's big FCS playoff football game between the University of Montana Grizzlies and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will go on as scheduled.

The temperature at kickoff could be below zero, with an even more frigid wind chill.

One of the leading historians of 19th century America is in Missoula to speak at the University of Montana. James Oakes teaches history at the City University of New York, and has written several award-winning books on the Civil War and slavery.

In this feature interview, Oakes talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the debate over whether the Civil War was fought over preserving the Union - or over slavery. Oakes says it most definitely was fought to end slavery.

The movement to get the federal government to turn over its land to state and local governments is resurfacing in the American West. Led by a Utah-based group called the "American Lands Council", supporters argue there is a legal and historical basis for this turnover.
    The movement resembles the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 70s. In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with University of Montana forestry professor and natural resource policy expert Martin Nie about both the old and new Sagebrush rebels.

With more information than ever before at our fingertips, you would think the American consumer's news literacy - or knowledge of current events - had never been higher. The fact is, that literacy is slipping dramatically.
    University of Montana Radio-Television Professor Ray Fanning teaches a class on news literacy.

In this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about how to become a smarter news consumer - and about why our news literacy is declining.

Jacob Cowgill, Prairie Heritage farm

Some of you may have already begun thawing the turkey for tomorrow's big meal. The vast majority of Americans get their turkeys from the supermarket, birds that have been mass produced  to meet the mass demand.

Sally Mauk

If you haven't picked up your turkey yet, and you hit a deer with your car, under a new permit system that went into effect this week, you could keep that deer for your Thanksgiving meal.