MTPR

Bob Marshall Wilderness

Grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.
Josh Burnham

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

Man Found Alive After 4 Days Missing In Montana Wilderness

Jun 23, 2017
Man Found Alive After 4 Days Missing In Montana Wilderness
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (CC-BY-2.0)

CHOTEAU, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a U.S. Forest Service official has found a Pennsylvania man who had been missing in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness since Monday.

Rocky Mountain District Ranger Mike Munoz says 21-year-old Eric Hellmuth was found alive on Friday.

Search Underway For Man Missing In Bob Marshall Wilderness

Jun 21, 2017
The search for Eric Hellmuth is concentrated near the river confluence with Cabin Creek, about 30 miles northwest of Augusta.
Google Earth

A search is being conducted for a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man who has gone missing in a Montana wilderness area.

Pete Fromm Confronts His Tendency To 'Go Feral'

Jun 1, 2017

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm heard of a job babysitting salmon eggs, seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. Thirteen years later, he published his beloved memoir of that winter, "Indian Creek Chronicles" —"Into the Wild" with a twist.

A birds-eye view looking north into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Looking out on the Swan Range and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

Summer is prime time for visiting Montana’s biggest wilderness area, the Bob Marshall Complex - more than 2,300-square miles of roadless, wild, rugged country stretching between Glacier Park and Lincoln, and straddling the Continental Divide between Seeley Lake and Augusta. It’s so big, it’s hard to take in from the ground.

Grizzly Bears Showing Up On Prairies North Of Great Falls

May 12, 2016
Grizzly Bears Showing Up On Prairies North Of Great Falls
Courtesy CSKT Natural Resources Department

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — State game wardens have been busy monitoring and hazing grizzly bears as they show up on the prairies east of the Rocky Mountain Front and north of Great Falls.

New Campaign Touts Benefits Of Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
Courtesy Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

A coalition of Seeley Lake and Ovando-area residents say they’ve developed a plan to both protect and use local public lands. The group’s rebooted its public relations campaign to attract some congressional attention.

Arial view of the Elk Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, April 11, 2016.
Inciweb

The Elk Hill fire, which started early Saturday morning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, has burned more than 1,000 acres in the Circle Creek area. The U.S. Forest Service’s Kathy Bushnell says the 1,000 acre fire is unusually large for this time of year.

Wolverines: Wild Weasels Of The Alpine

Sep 30, 2015
In Montana, wolverines reside mostly within the Crown of the Continent ecosystem.
Andrew Gainer (CC-BY-NC-2)

A small dark blur upslope materialized into a loping wolverine, coming straight toward us! Afraid this wolverine wanted to share our lunch, we left our backpacks where they lay, and hurried out of its path.

A crew working in the Bob Marshall Wilderness rebuilds a main line trail that was damaged during a fire this summer.
Corin Cates-Carney

Hunting and fishing licenses generate about $48 million a year in Montana, and 70 percent of that revenue comes from people from out of state. But this year some of those hunters and fishers had to cancel their trips because of the intense fire season. And that makes it tough on the businesses that serve them.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015
A view of the Little Joe Fire from Thursday, August 27, 2015.
Inciweb

Stage 2 fire restrictions went into effect in the Missoula area today. The restrictions apply to public and private lands in Missoula, Mineral, Sanders, Granite and Ravalli counties, including the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests, BLM and state lands.

Structure protecton on the Bear Creek Fire.
Inciweb

Thompson Divide Complex
The Flathead County Sheriff's Department has issued a mandatory evacuation for the town of Essex, MT, threatened by the approaching Sheep Fire. Highway 2 is now closed from mile markers 176.8-185. The BNSF and Amtrack railroads in the area are also closed.

Residents of Essex and surrounding communities are advised to prepare for possible evacuation as the Sheep Fire burns a couple miles south of town.
Jonathan Moor/Inciweb

Some residents near Noxon have been ordered to evacuate due to wildfire, and an evacuation warning is in effect for Essex.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015
The Bear Creek Fire burning along Spotted Bear River Road, August 14, 2015.
Inciweb

A roundup of the biggest fires burning in western Montana August 18, 2015.

Josh Burnham

Greater restrictions on burning will go into effect later this week as fire danger increases in Northwest Montana. The Stage 2 fire restrictions will go into effect all across northwest Montana at 1:00 a.m. Thursday.

Arial photo of the Salmond Ranch area
Flickr User Sam Bebee (CC-BY-2)

Hunters, a wildlife group and the Bullock administration are hailing the settlement of a decades-old road dispute west of Choteau, MT that restores public access to about 50,000 acres of public land along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Courtesy Photo

People who worked to pass the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act celebrated on a ranch outside of Choteau today.

The Heritage Act was first introduced in Congress in 2011. Speaking to people celebrating on Dusty Crary’s ranch Thursday, Senator Jon Tester praised the hard work over many years before and since then that it took to put it together. It passed as part of a package of bills that were attached to a Defense spending bill.

Man Found Alive After 4 Days Missing In Montana Wilderness
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (CC-BY-2.0)

The U.S. Senate has approved an expansive bill that adds new wilderness lands in Montana and blocks mining and drilling near Glacier National Park.

The measures were in a defense bill that passed 89 to 11 today.

The bill adds 67,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It also allows for a complex coal swap involving the Northern Cheyenne Indians. The tribe will get back 5,000 acres of coal deposits it was wrongly stripped of more than a century ago.

Senator John Walsh used his last speech on the Senate floor this morning to talk about money in politics, protecting Montana public lands and veteran suicides.

In August, Walsh dropped out of his Senate reelection bid amid a plagiarism scandal.

Walsh said 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

"If this country were losing 22 service members a day on the battlefield, Americans would be in the streets protesting."

On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed a bill to reduce vet suicides, it’s now before the Senate.

50 Years Of Wilderness

Aug 1, 2014
The Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT
The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

First, a clarification: the 1964 Wilderness Act provides for areas where “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.” Executive Director of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation Carol Treadwell said it’s commonly confused as untrampled.

“Untrammeled means uncontrolled. So, in a natural state, letting natural things take place and not being tweaked by human influences. It’s there for the wildlife, and so that we can have wild experiences,” Treadwell said.

Katrin Frye

A large scale conservation project to restore genetically pure west slope cutthroat trout in northwest Montana nears the finish line. Three of 21 lakes remain for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to treat as part of the South Fork West Slope Cutthroat Trout Project.

Fisheries Biologist Matt Boyer said this September they’ll be working on Koessler Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This lake they’ll be treating with a poison called Rotenone and re-stocking with genetically pure West Slope Cutthroat Trout.