Environment

In Butte, the epicenter of one of the most toxic industrial sites in the country, essential work during the COVID-19 outbreak can mean protecting humans, and the environment, from historic pollution. Nora Saks with Montana Public Radio’s Richest Hill podcast has this look at Superfund during the pandemic.

Montana is edging closer to the spring runoff season. Scientists now have a better idea of what our mountain snowpack will yield this spring and summer.

The state of Montana was slated to take control of part of the Libby Asbestos Superfund site from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 1. But because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that transfer is being postponed indefinitely.

Spring is here, and that means bears in Montana are leaving their dens. Wildlife managers report bear sightings across northwest Montana.

National forests in Montana are shutting down developed recreation sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visitors can still recreate on most those federal lands, but should not expect any amenities.

Grizzly bears are repopulating areas of Montana that haven’t seen them for decades, creating more conflict between livestock, people and bears. Some ranchers are learning they need to do something that doesn’t come naturally — change how they live on the land.

As bears were hibernating in their dens this winter, the Blackfeet Stockgrowers Association held a meeting in Choteau to provide a space for ranchers like Mark Hitchcock to talk about working alongside the growing number of grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front.

The Environmental Protection Agency last week announced a final Superfund deal for Butte, detailing a roadmap they say will permanently clean up one of the most intractable Superfund sites in the country.

State wildlife managers in Montana’s northwest corner want to change wolf hunting regulations. Under a new proposal from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1, general hunting and trapping seasons for wolves would lengthen and the individual kill limit would double.

Grizzly bears that make their way into the Bitterroot Ecosystem will have Endangered Species Act protections. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials made that announcement a letter to National Forests in the area Tuesday.

Last week, Glacier National Park announced that it will be changing signs warning that its signature glaciers would disappear by 2020. The park says the signs, put in more than a decade ago, were based on the best available predictions at the time.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke about what changed with Caitlyn Florentine, a research physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center.

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