U.S. Forest Service

Mike DeGrosky is Montana's new Fire and Aviation Bureau Chief.
John Owens/BLM

The State of Montana has a new Fire and Aviation Bureau Chief. He was hired last month, and is keeping a close eye on this winter’s weather.

Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire.
Inciweb

The U.S. Forest Service will have to wait before it can change how it pays to fight wildfires.

When federal fire suppression funds run out during bad fire years, the agency has to transfer money from its other programs to cover those costs. Firefighting now costs the agency over half of its $5 billion total annual budget.

On Friday Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack sent a letter to the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to cancel the 18 remaining leases on the Forest Service land that’s sacred to the Blackfeet people.
(PD)

The head of the U.S. Forest Service now says he believes that all oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest should be cancelled.

On Friday Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack sent a letter to the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to cancel the 18 remaining leases on the Forest Service land that’s sacred to the Blackfeet people.

A new kind of fast-track timber sale is being proposed to reduce fire danger around homes northwest of Whitefish.

It’s on 1,300 acres of National Forest land near the ski resort. The City of Whitefish asked the Forest Service to thin trees from the area in 2004, but was told there was no funding available.

The modified Sherpa aircraft can be used to carry smokejumpers and for other missions.
Courtesy Neptune Aviation/Cliff Lynn

Missoula’s Neptune Aviation has won a federal contract to modify military airplanes for use by the U.S. Forest Service.

Historically the beneficiaries of Forest Service lands often disagree about how they should be used. Should we increase or decrease timber harvest and why. Open more roads or close some we put it in in past years? Add Wilderness or not? The hot seat for many of those issues is the Regional Forester in Region One based in Missoula Montana. Leanne Marten is the guest on "Home Ground" this week.

The Solenex well site in the Badger-Two Medicine
Corin Cates-Carney

A U.S. District Court judge today gave the federal government until November 23 to decide whether a Louisiana company can drill for oil and gas on National Forest land in the Badger Two-Medicine area adjacent to Glacier National Park.

A Neptune Aviation next-generation air tanker drops retardant on a fire
Jonah Curtin/Neptune Aviation

Missoula’s Neptune Aviation has won the largest of three contracts to supply next-generation air tankers to the U.S. Forest Service to fight fires.

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.

Members of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation hear comments on proposed drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area in Choteau, MT Sept. 2, 2015
Corin Cates-Carney

The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation held a meeting in Choteau Wednesday evening on proposed drilling on U.S. Forest Service land in the Badger-Two Medicine area. The council is trying to understand how and if the exploration for natural gas can comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.

Pages