Aaron Bolton

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.

Montana wildlife officials announced Tuesday that two grizzlies were recently killed in northwest Montana. A food-conditioned male grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend and a female was killed by a hunter last week.

The state and the U.S. Forest Service plan to ramp up a program on Montana’s national forests that uses timber sales with restoration components to fund non-commercial conservation work. The amount of timber currently being cut under the program could grow four times over the next year. The timber industry sees that as a much-needed boon.

The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether BNSF Railway can be held liable for exposing Libby residents to asbestos that was in shipments of vermiculite it transported before the local mine shut down in 1990.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step this week toward transferring oversight of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site to the state. EPA released the first of two plans outlining how the state will mitigate the spread of any remaining contamination in Libby and Troy.

Both deer and elk rifle hunting seasons opened across the state Saturday and hunters hiked into the woods at the crack of dawn in the hopes of coming out with some fresh meat to stock their freezers. That ritual was a little different this year for hunters in the Libby area, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in white-tailed deer.

Conservation groups announced Monday that they sent a letter to BNSF Railway threatening a lawsuit over grizzly bears killed along its train tracks. So far this year, a record eight grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been killed by trains.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s illegal to kill them, even if it’s an accident.

Kalispell Public Schools will soon adopt a new mobile app allowing students to anonymously report tips about threats to a school, bullying and mental health issues to administrators and law enforcement.

Dennis Bane is a school resource officer at Flathead High School and with some help from students, he began testing incident reporting apps for the school district last year.

The reconstruction of the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park is nearly complete after two seasons of work. The historic chalet was consumed by Sprague Fire in 2017, leaving only its stone exterior.

Guests will again be able to stay in the chalet in the 2020 season. Acting Glacier National Park spokesperson Gina Kerzman says that only the finishing touches are left on the Sperry Chalet.

Feral swine threatening to cross the northern border from Saskatchewan and Alberta could cause millions of dollars of crop damage and decimate ecosystems in Montana. State and U.S. agencies say they’re ready if that happens, but farmers and ranchers want more.

Producers want the government to pressure Canadian officials to step up their management of the wild pigs before they move south.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) announced Tuesday that an email data breach this summer may have exposed the personal and private healthcare information of nearly 130,000 of its patients.

Information exchanged in emails with KRH staff such as names, addresses and some social security numbers as well as personal medical information could have been accessed as early as May 24.

Pages