Latest Environmental Reporting


Montana Supreme Court revokes Rosebud coal mine expansion

The Montana Supreme Court has halted an expansion of a Westmoreland-operated mine that supplies the Colstrip power plant with coal. The court’s decision vacated an 8-year-old permit that allowed Westmoreland to pull 12 million tons of coal from the Rosebud Mine located in southeastern Montana.

Judge halves wolf trapping season to protect grizzlies

In a 25-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy wrote that the Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force and WildEarth Guardians established “a reasonably certain threat of imminent harm to grizzly bears should Montana’s wolf trapping and snaring seasons proceed as planned.”

Montana Land Board signs off on 328-acre Lower Yellowstone acquisition

The Wildcat Bend property is located in a riparian area east of Forsyth. It’s a “primitive” property about 2.5 river miles downstream of the Far West Fishing Access Site. The proposal was forwarded to the Land Board after the Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously affirmed the acquisition in an October 2023 vote.

The Sit-Down: Amy Fonte

Big Sky Resort aims to hit net zero emissions by 2030. In-house Sustainability Specialist Amy Fonte describes the progress — and the obstacles — on the road to green energy.

Chronic wasting disease found in Yellowstone National Park 

Yellowstone National Park announced that a mule deer buck inside the park’s borders has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The detection is a first for the park, which has previously managed to dodge the always-fatal disease despite its presence in the three states that neighbor Yellowstone.

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Following public input, Glacier revises ticketing system 

Beginning on May 24, 2024, tickets will be required to access the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road at West Glacier, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., until Sept. 8. Tickets will no longer be required to access the Apgar Village area at the foot of Lake McDonald.

Group sues the Forest Service to halt trout replacement project in wilderness area

The Buffalo Creek project was authorized by the Custer Gallatin National Forest in August 2023 at the behest of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which seeks to expand Yellowstone cutthroats in waters beyond their native range to create a climate refuge for the fish as the waterways they’ve historically inhabited warm.

NorthWestern Energy electric rates higher than regional peers

A 28% increase to NorthWestern Energy’s electric rates, approved this fall by the Montana Public Service Commission, has drawn criticism. Here’s how NorthWestern’s new rates compare to the utility’s regional counterparts.

New research finds shrinking number of glaciers across the West  

In Montana, six named glaciers are no longer considered a glacier, including ones in Mission-Swan Range, the Crazy Mountains, the Cabinet Mountains and the Lewis Range in Glacier National Park. Montana has lost 76 glaciers since the mid-20th century.

DEQ asks public for climate plan suggestions

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has received a $3 million federal grant to generate a plan to reduce Montana’s greenhouse gas emissions. Now DEQ is asking the public to suggest shovel-ready projects to incorporate into that plan.


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