MTPR

public land

Mountain biking.
(PD)

A judge has ordered Bitterroot National Forest officials to allow public comment on whether two Wilderness Study Areas should be re-opened to bicycle use.

At least a half-dozen groups, including the Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists, have sued for increased access to the Blue Joint and Sapphire Wilderness Study Areas.

Congressman Greg Gianforte speaking at the Road Access Hearing in Washington, D.C.
House Oversight Committee

Montana Representative Greg Gianforte is trying to win support in Congress for more roadbuilding on public lands. Conservationists say he’s trying to turn back the clock to policies that proved unsustainable.

On Tuesday, Gianforte chaired a House subcommittee hearing focused on road closures and access on U.S. Forest Service lands.

Fire danger sign.
Jonathan Thorne (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Bitterroot National Forest is changing its fire danger level from ‘Low’ to ‘Moderate’ starting Wednesday, June 27.

The shift to ‘moderate’ means that wildfires can now be expected to start from most accidental causes. In addition to lightning, that includes human causes like smoldering campfires left unattended.

View Of The North Fork of The Flathead River Near Ford Cabin.
Flathead National Forest

The Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park are continuing to seek public input on a new comprehensive river management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River. 

A total of 219 miles of the Flathead are designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Act was intended to safeguard the special character of certain U.S. rivers. As part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, the Flathead is subject to federal planning to preserve and protect its outstanding natural value, including the various wildlife that call the river home.

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.

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