MTPR

Canada lynx

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Dec. 14, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead National Forest is now reviewing all the objections to the final draft of its new forest management plan.

The Flathead National Forest released that draft plan back in mid-December. It’s essentially the blueprint that will guide land use decisions on the forest for at least the next decade. Groups who were involved in writing the plan had two months to file objections. The Flathead’s Forest Plan Revision Team Leader, Joe Krueger, says that objection period closed Monday.

USFWS Says Canada Lynx Are Ready To Be Delisted

Jan 11, 2018
Canada lynx.
(PD)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Canada lynx may have recovered to the point where it could be delisted as a threatened species.

The elusive cat was listed as threatened nearly 20 years ago. But since then, Jennifer Strickland with the Fish and Wildlife Service says the federal government has done a good job of protecting and expanding lynx-friendly habitat.

Keith Williams (CC-BY-2.0)

On Monday, Republican Senator Steve Daines joined three other Republicans in releasing draft legislation they say would reverse the so-called Cottonwood decision. Both Daines and his Democratic counterpart, Jon Tester, see it as one way to prevent wildfires, but it’s much bigger than that.

The Cottonwood decision says the U.S. Forest Service needs to draw up a new management plan for 12 million acres of critical Canada Lynx habitat.
Keith Williams (CC-BY)

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the court ruling doesn't require the U.S. Forest Service to update their forest management plan, but to review it and then potentially create a new one. A previous version said "the U.S. Forest Service needs to draw up a new management plan for 12 million acres of critical Canada Lynx habitat." Yellowstone Public Radio regrets the error. 

Montana’s senators are trying to reverse a controversial federal court case out of Bozeman they say is partly to blame for the state’s devastating wildfires. But some environmentalists say it’s actually an assault on the Endangered Species Act.

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