MTPR

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Montana's Flathead Valley from above.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead Basin Commission is redefining its role protecting water quality in northwest Montana, after legislators gutted its funding last November and its executive director was fired in February.

The Commission spent much of Wednesday reinventing itself.

Firefighters and fire truck.
BLM (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana has just over $4 million in its firefighting reserve fund at the start of what’s expected to be ripe conditions for a substantial fire season. That means the state is significantly short of having the cash on hand needed cover the costs of even an average season. 

But Governor Steve Bullock says fire suppression won’t be limited this season, despite depleted funding reserves.

(PD)


This year’s fire season is off to a slow start, but it could ramp up in July. That’s according an update Montana’s State Forester gave to state lawmakers Wednesday.

An oily sheen on the shoreline of Flathead Lake near Somers. May 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

A group tasked by the legislature to protect water quality in the Flathead Valley is in jeopardy after its funding was cut during Montana’s special legislative session in November and its executive director was terminated in February.

On Wednesday the Flathead Basin Commission will meet in Pablo and reassess its future.

Divers with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Montana FWP prepare to dive at Tiber Dam to look for adult zebra and/or quagga mussels, August 7, 2017.
Beth Saboe - MontanaPBS

An invasive mussel prevention plan is creating conflict between some recreational boaters and resource managers over access to Tiber Reservoir.

Tiber is the only lake in the state that’s tested positive for invasive mussels two years in a row.

Pages