MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

How Black-Backed Woodpeckers Thrive After Wildfires

4 hours ago
Female black-backed woodpecker.
Mike Laycock, USFWS (PD)

You've probably seen woodpeckers. Whether attracting them to your backyard with suet feeders, or hearing them drill on the side of your house, you have probably noticed their large pointed beak and ability to climb tree trunks.

But besides downy and hairy woodpeckers, which are seen often in Montana, we also have some types of woodpeckers that live in some of the most unique habitats and do some of the most peculiar things of any animal in the Rocky Mountains.

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.

'Field Notes:' The Fruits Of Fire

Jun 10, 2018
 A forested area 5 years after a fire.
NPS - Stephanie Metzler (PD)

Have you ever walked around in a recently burned forest? One of those areas where perhaps last summer you saw flames leaping out or smoke billowing? If not, I urge you to go out and take a look at this unique environment. I had never spent any time in a burned forest until a few years ago. I was immediately impressed with the beauty and abundant life I found in this transformed forest.

(PD)


This year’s fire season is off to a slow start, but it could ramp up in July. That’s according an update Montana’s State Forester gave to state lawmakers Wednesday.

Ceanothus: Life From The Kiss Of Fire

May 26, 2018
Ceanothus velutinus, a plant with more common names than zip codes in California.
Walter Siegmund (CC-BY-SA-3)

Thirty-plus years ago when I was studying wildlife management at Oregon State University, we learned that Ceanothus was a highly preferred forage plant for deer and elk during the winter. I knew that Ceanothus was the genus name of a large group of western shrubs and I even knew enough to recognize a few of the individual species back then.

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