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.

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Wolf Killing History
10:15 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The history of wolves in Montana is a bloody one

Wolf hunter Barney Brannin posing with part of the Cripple Foot pack taken on the Waite ranch in winter 1924-1925
Credit 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.

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Frank Church wolves (part 2)
1:02 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Conservation attorney says state of Idaho should leave wolves in popular wilderness alone

Radio-collared wolf born in Idaho, eventually migrated to Montana
Credit 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.

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DOJ Letter
10:03 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Dispute between Missoula county attorney and feds could still end up in court

Missoula county attorney Fred Van Valkenburg at an earlier press conference, with former DOJ assistant attorney general (and current Labor secretary) Thomas Perez taking notes
Credit 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.

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Frank Church Wolves (part 1)
11:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Idaho officials want to eliminate two wolf packs in a popular wilderness area

Radio-collared wolf born in Idaho, later migrated to Montana
Credit 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.

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Wolf Lawsuit
11:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Wolves in a federal wilderness: should they be left alone or managed?

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.

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Bakken oil rail
1:31 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Two dramatic explosions in a year raise questions about the safety of carrying Bakken oil by rail

Explosion of oil tanker cars after train derailment near Cassleton, North Dakota December 30th
Credit usatoday

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.

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Badluck Way
1:37 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

New book looks at the beauty –and brutality - of ranching

Author and ranch hand Bryce Andrews
Credit 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.

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Firefighting Changes
10:24 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Retired smokejumper says firefighting training needs to change in wake of Yarnell Hill tragedy

Retired Missoula smokejumper Wayne Williams
Credit 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.

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Year in Review
11:22 am
Tue December 31, 2013

News staff looks back on a busy year

Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman) quoting from the Montana Constitution in opposition to Republicans taking votes before recognizing a “call of the Senate” during the 2013 legislature
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.

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Solar Energy
2:20 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Solar energy expert says the solar revolution has begun

Physicist, author and solar energy expert John Perlin

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.

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