MTPR

climate change

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

A federal judge’s ruling last week that requires the government to further consider climate change when planning coal development is getting mixed reactions from coal industry advocates and environmental groups.

Flooding along Rock Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork River, near Clinton, MT, June 4, 2017.
Josh Burnham

An advisory council to the governor is considering a change to Montana's law on predicting drought conditions, following the historic 2017 fire season that caught state officials by surprise.

This time last year, Governor Steve Bullock’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee did not expect drought to be an issue for Montana in the warmer months of 2017. The committee sent their annual report to the governor last April when streamflows were high and spring rain was falling.

City of Whitefish / City of Whitefish

Climate planners in Whitefish released the city’s Climate Action Plan for public review and comment this week. 

Last year, Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld pledged the city would uphold the Paris Climate Accord. The city council voted to adopt a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent of the previous year’s levels by 2025.

Half a year after a memorable fire season shrouded Montana in thick gray skies, burned more than a million acres and caused tens of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls, scientists at the University of Montana are saying Montanans should get used to it.

Few surviving trees remain in the changed landscape located in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho.
Camille Stevens-Rumann

In the forests of the Rocky Mountains, fewer trees are growing back after recent wildfires because of climate change. That’s what a team of researchers discovered after studying seedling regeneration at 1,500 sites in five different states.

University of Montana fire ecology Professor Philip Higuera is a co-author of the study. He joins us now.

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