Forest Service turns back Holland Lake proposal, for now

In a letter to the developer, POWDR of Park City, Utah, the Forest Service stated that there were inaccuracies with its Master Development Plan. The letter has not been released to the public, but among the issues that had been pointed out by a grassroots group organized against the development, Save Holland Lake, was the…

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Hunting for elk management solutions in Devil’s Kitchen

Past and present Devil’s Kitchen Working Group members say the longevity of the unconventional elk management framework they developed three decades ago is a testament to the trust they developed — and the compromise they committed to — over many thoughtful conversations and shared meals. Onlookers noting the recent escalating tension surrounding elk management in…

Federal judge orders more analysis of Rosebud coal mine expansion

A Billings judge’s Sept. 30 ruling found that the Interior Department failed to adequately weigh water and climate impacts associated with Rosebud Mining’s proposal to pull an additional 70 million tons of coals from a Colstrip-area mine. The Office of Surface Mining has 19 months to redo its analysis and incorporate a broader range of…

Feds announce agreement with ARCO over Anaconda smelter cleanup

Per terms of the agreement announced on Sept. 30, Atlantic Richfield, or ARCO, will clean up soils in areas upland of Anaconda’s smelter smokestack, “effect the closure of remaining slag piles at the Site” and complete clean-up of residential yards in the towns of Anaconda and Opportunity. The long-term cost of remediating the site is…

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MORE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING

Turf war

Montana livestock-producer groups and two Republican elected officeholders are continuing their pressure campaign to halt bison grazing on federal lands, asking the Bureau of Land Management to reconsider its recent approval of grazing leases in north-central Montana.

Revised Montana wolf regs aim to limit Yellowstone-area kills

At its Aug. 25 meeting, the Fish and Wildlife Commission set a 6-animal cap on the number of wolves hunters and trappers can kill in the area immediately north of Yellowstone National Park after hearing two-and-a-half hours of testimony on 2022-2023 wolf regulations.

How the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act could transform energy development in Montana

Oil and gas industry groups, publicly and cooperatively owned electricity providers and environmental nonprofits highlight elements of the Inflation Reduction Act — President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill — they expect to have an outsized impact on Montana’s energy landscape, including tax credits for clean energy, fees for methane emissions and investment in carbon-capture technology.

How you can avoid causing Montana’s next big wildfire

For more than 70 years, Smokey the Bear has had the same message for us: Only you can prevent forest fires. Here’s advice on how you can avoid sparking Montana’s next big blaze. The U.S. Forest Service’s Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Program, also known as the Smokey Bear Program, was created to bring awareness to…

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