public land

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

State officials say the new kinds of forest management tools the Farm Bill gave them are good for both Montana’s forests and the state’s economy. But some environmentalists say those claims are dubious at best.

Funding For Montana LWCF Projects Doubles In 2016
Bob Wick (CC-BY-2)

Funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund projects in Montana has more than doubled since it was last offered in 2014.

Proposed Rules Target Oil, Gas Waste On Public Lands

Jan 22, 2016
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

The federal government today proposed new rules to reduce the amount of natural gas released into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands.

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today, is either long-overdue or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.
BLM

The moratorium on major new coal leases on federal land that the Obama administration announced today is either long-overdue, or the latest offensive in the ongoing war on coal. That depends on whom you ask.

Blackfoot Cooperative Landscape Stewardship Project Map
Courtesy Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

Ten years ago people in the Seeley Lake area who were tired of constant fighting over logging and other uses of public lands in Montana got together to try to come up with a new, better way of resolving conflicts. They came up with something called the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, designed to improve the health of local forests, and at the same time keep local timber jobs. The agreement also got consensus on protecting additional land as Wilderness. Wednesday evening, members of the Project are getting together in Missoula to celebrate their accomplishments over the decade. We talked about it with Zack Porter, a field director for the Montana Wilderness Association.
 


House Committee Approves Measure To Open Parks To Paddling

Oct 8, 2015
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted Thursday to lift longstanding restrictions on kayaks, rafts and other "hand-propelled" vessels on hundreds of miles of rivers and streams in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
(PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted Thursday to lift longstanding restrictions on kayaks, rafts and other "hand-propelled" vessels on hundreds of miles of rivers and streams in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Conservation and angling groups opposed paddling in those areas, saying existing restrictions preserve the solitude and wildness of the parks' waterways while allowing boats on many lakes and some rivers. The measure from U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., passed on a 23-15 vote and now goes to the full House.

LWCF.org

The Land and Water Conservation Fund which uses fees paid by offshore oil and gas drilling companies for conservation programs, has suffered a significant defeat in Congress.

Brad Johnson, former Montana secretary of state, current chair of the state Public Service Commission.
Josh Burnham

Last week Brad Johnson formally announced his candidacy for governor. A former Montana secretary of state, he currently serves as chair of the state Public Service Commission. He joined Montana Public Radio's Eric Whitney for an interview.
 

Greater sage grouse. The Department of Interior announced it's decision today not to recommend endangered species protections for the bird.
USFWS (CC-BY-2)

Governor Steve Bullock says Tuesday’s decision to not recommend endangered species protection for the greater sage grouse is good for both industry and conservationists.

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.

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