U.S. Forest Service

 A crew member from Ronan and Associates climbs a whitebark pine tree to collect cones at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Nicky Ouellet

Whitebark pine is a species on the brink of endangerment. If whitebark go, several species of wildlife, including grizzly bears, will lose a significant food source. But researchers are slowly piecing together how to harness the tree’s natural defenses to preserve it.

Conservationists threw a party Saturday to celebrate permanent land protections in the Haskill Basin watershed east of Whitefish.

An arial view of the Pole and Fine fires burning southwest of Ennis.
Beaverhad-Deerlodge National Forest

Fire officials say they expect the thousand-acre Observation fire southwest of Hamilton to continue spreading, because the fire is moving west into “rugged, inaccessible terrain.” There’s a public meeting about the fire tonight at 7:00 at the community center in Darby.

 

 The Northern Region of the U.S. Forest Service has a new director of Fire, Aviation and Air.

Ralph Rau will oversee fire management programs spanning 25 million acres of forests and grasslands in Montana, northern Idaho, North Dakota and part of South Dakota.

Environmentalists weigh in on Weyerhaerser mill closings
Eric Whitney

Wednesday’s announcement that Weyerhaeuser will close its Columbia Falls lumber and plywood mills, along with its administrative offices, brought an avalanche of reaction -- none of it good.

Flathead National Forest to update forest plan, seeks public input
Nicky Ouellet

The forest in the Flathead is about to see some big changes – or not. It all depends on how proposed changes to the Flathead’s National Forest Plan shake out.

The candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House today both sought to make news out of their positions on control of federal public lands.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

The candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House today both sought to make news out of their positions on control of federal public lands.

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

Montana may be in for a "typical" fire season, but officials say that’s not the same thing as an "easy" fire season. Montana’s Fire and Aviation chief for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says most signs point to a “normal” fire season this year.

© Michael Nichols/National Geographic Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.

The May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted entirely to America's first national park: Yellowstone. It's more than just a park. It's a place where, 140 years ago, we began to negotiate a peace treaty with the wild.  David Quammen tells the story of the park in a four-part essay. He is the only author to write the entire narrative for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. These stories and pictures of Yellowstone National Park's animals will surprise you.

Arial view of the Elk Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, April 11, 2016.
Inciweb

The Elk Hill fire, which started early Saturday morning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, has burned more than 1,000 acres in the Circle Creek area. The U.S. Forest Service’s Kathy Bushnell says the 1,000 acre fire is unusually large for this time of year.

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