MTPR

Ryan Zinke

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

Watchdog: Zinke Charter Flight Approved Without Full Info

Apr 16, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $12,000 charter flight by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was reviewed and approved by department ethics officials without complete information, because staffers who helped schedule the trip did not provide sufficient details, an internal watchdog said Monday.

Yellowstone Park's east entrance.
Diane Renkin-NPS (PD)

The Interior Department is increasing fees at 17 popular national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle.

Montana Democrats want the Green Party off the ballot; Sen. Tester shows his tough side in a new campaign ad; Zinke for president?;  Denise Juneau is moving to Seattle; And Governor Bullock says the whims of "the president's morning Twitter habit," aren't enough reason to deploy the National Guard.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin discuss these stories and more on this episode of "Campaign Beat." Catch up with the latest Montana election news now.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone Park.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


An environmental assessment released today from the U.S. Forest Service recommends a 20-year ban on new mining developments on public land in the Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

The agency recommends withdrawing more than 30,000 acres from mining exploration.

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