Environment

A photo taken on November 10, 2015 of a waste management system
U.S.D.A.

CODY, Wyo. (The Cody Enterprise) — A Wyoming city is testing for signs of the coronavirus in sewage and the results so far are negative.

University of Montana Associate Professor Ashley Ballantyne is a bioclimatologist.

“And what that means is I study how the biosphere and the atmosphere interact,” Ballantyne says.

The biosphere is Earth’s surface layer that contains all life: humans, plants, animals, microbes and soil. The biosphere has a disproportionately big impact on the atmosphere above it, according to Ballantyne.

A graphic showing April snowpack from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's spring 2020 water supply outlook.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation


A new report from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is tentatively hopeful about Montana’s spring water outlook heading into fire season.

The Stillwater and East Boulder Mine
Sibanye-Stillwater

The state of Montana released its draft environmental assessment for a waste disposal facility expansion at a hardrock mine in south central Montana and now seeks public comment.

The National Park Service is beginning to test public access in some of its parks across the country, and Yellowstone National Park will allow visitors to enter the park through its Wyoming gates beginning Monday, May 18. Glacier National Park remains closed, but both parks prepare to open access in Montana in the coming weeks.

Since COVID-19 shut down research deemed “non-essential” across the state, Some scientists are now bringing their work home with them.

This story is part of our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on science in Montana.

Scientists' spring and summer field seasons are being postponed, altered or cancelled completely in the face of COVID-19. Time sensitive research is the most vulnerable.

This story is another in our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on scientific research efforts in Montana.

Bear managers around Glacier National Park say they’ve had a busy spring season with conflicts between bears and humans. Mortality numbers are on pace with last year, the second highest on record for the area.

A "mortality" counts any bear removed from the ecosystem for any reason.

A red semi hauls a large tank over bare earth under a blue sky.
Well Done Foundation

A Montana nonprofit is at the beginning of closing roughly a third of Montana’s abandoned oil wells. The group says it aims to stop the wells from leaking carbon and methane into the environment.

A sign reading "NorthWestern Energy" in silver type against a tan woodgrain background.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

The commission that regulates energy utilities in Montana agreed to reconsider a pilot program that would allow the state’s largest utility to separate its revenue from its electricity sales.

The commission is also allowing time to figure out how the coronavirus pandemic might affect that mechanism.

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