Environment & Science

Big Sky Isn't Blowing Smoke But Is Polluting Air

Mar 21, 2017
(Flickr/Todd Klassy) (https://flic.kr/p/qukd81)

Yesterday, the Billings Gazette reported that three oil refineries and a sugar beet factory in town are not polluting the air.

They interviewed a couple of staff from nearby facilities but did not talk to David Klemp– Air Quality Bureau Chief for the Department of Environmental Quality– the guy who's in charge of this information.

Drone Operator Fined For Spooking Elk

Feb 23, 2017
Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS

A Washington, D.C. resident was cited and fined $280 for disturbing approximately 1,500 wintering elk at the National Elk Refuge on Monday, Feb. 20.

According to a press release by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the drone operator launched his equipment from a pullout along North Highway 89 in Jackson, Wyoming.

Lori Iverson serves as the Outreach and Visitor Services coordinator for NER. She says that whether or not someone is flying a drone or walking too closely to wildlife, it can stress them to the point of impacting their overall survival.

"Winter is a really tough time of year, we need animals to conserve as much energy as they can and reduce those conflicts with humans," said Iverson.

There’s a new plan to restore the Yellowstone River following a 2011 Exxon-Mobil pipeline rupture. The spill leaked 1,500 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone, harming fish and wildlife, and their habitat.

High Stakes For Montana's Wildlands

Dec 29, 2016

The 2017 legislative session convenes Jan. 1, 2016 in Helena with several proposals on the docket related to Montana wildlands. YPR's Brie Ripley spoke with Eastern Field Director of the Montana Wilderness Association, Charlie Smillie, about the most important issue on his mind.


Federal land managers say at least six sites within Montana's Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument should be eligible for listing as historic places.

The sites were evaluated after a federal court determined the U.S. Bureau of Land Management designated hundreds of miles of roads within the monument without reviewing the potential impacts to historical resources.


Environmental organizations reacted Wednesday to reports that Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior. The Interior Department and other U.S. agencies control almost a third of Montana’s land and even more of the vast amounts of coal, oil and natural gas that lay beneath it.

Zinke has been critical of federal land management and has advocated for more development of coal, oil and natural gas. However he's also an outspoken supporter of keeping public lands in federal hands.

Caitlin Cromwell

23 year-old Billings artist Phil Griffin went to Standing Rock from the standpoint of someone concerned over human-caused climate change. Upon arrival, however, Griffin soon learned more about himself and his blind spot for his own white privilege.


Standing Rock Rallies Echo Across Montana

Nov 16, 2016
(Photo Courtesy of Alexander Newby/@TeaRoadTiger)
(Photo Courtesy of Alexander Newby/@TeaRoadTiger)

Demonstrators across the nation rallied Tuesday, November 15 to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Bozeman, over 300 people answered the call outside the courthouse.

Montana State University student Amber Noseep was one of them.
She spoke to YPR's Brie Ripley about the most surprising part of the protest.


Jackie Yamanaka

The former chief executive of Cargill said when it comes to talking about climate change, he wanted to be provocative without provoking the nearly 300 farmers and ranchers in attendance at the annual Montana Farm Bureau Federation annual conference.

Greg Page knows farmers and ranchers are generally skeptical about this topic.

So he opened by asking, “How many people believe we’re seeing climate change?”

About two dozen hands went up and someone yelled out, "It always changes."

Cargill

Greg Page, retired chief executive of Cargill, knows some farmers and ranchers view climate change as part of a liberal agenda. But he says agricultural producers to join the discussion.

The North Dakota-native isn’t interested in a debate over whether climate change exists or what’s the cause.  

"I don’t think we need to become zealots," Page says. "But given the criticality of being able to feed an ever increasing population, I think to be so sure that it’s not happening, that we do nothing or even talk about it or think about it is a mistake."

Pages