Public Lands

Outside PAC money is pouring into Montana's races for Senate and governor - one indication of how competitive those races are. But money isn't the only factor, which gives some underdogs hope. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney gets criticized for participating in a campaign call in his state office. Absentee ballot collection remains a contentious issue. And Montanans likely aren't as leery as the president when it comes to voting by mail.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A train runnning along a river in Lombard Montana.
Miroslav Volek (CC BY 2.0) / BNSF Railway


A survey released on Apr. 13 shows a majority of Montanans support public lands, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

A landscape photo of sagebrush steppe
U.S. Bureau of Land Management / U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. land managers say they will release by mid-March a priority list of federal lands that need but don’t have public access.

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.

A map showing the proposed land exchange between the U.S. Forest Service and private landowners.
U.S. Forest Service


The Custer Gallatin National Forest will open part of a controversial trail Friday in the Crazy Mountains. The range northeast of Livingston is also part of the agency’s recent proposal for a land swap.

The M-44 is a spring-loaded device that realeases sodium cyanide when triggered. This particular device used a non-toxic substance since it was for a demonstration in Lewistown, June 21, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

While a federal agency recently reauthorized a poison used in a predator-killing cyanide trap, more states are banning or limiting where they can be used. That includes around 10 million acres of public land in Wyoming.

Congressman Raúl Grijalva and Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, recently locked horns in a bitter and very public war of accusations. Grijalva called on Zinke to resign in light of several ethics investigations and Zinke in turn took to Twitter to personally attack the Arizona Congressman. Grijalva is set to take over the chairmanship of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the committee that oversees Zinke’s Department and makes critical decisions about public lands, energy and the environment. And it turns out Raúl Grijalva's plans for the committee are quite different from his Republican predecessor.

Public lands are a big deal in the mountain west. Conservationists across our region are celebrating these lands all this month.

 


The Great Salt Lake is vast — around 1,700 square miles of state and federal public lands.

Over the next few weeks, we're going to take you on a tour of some of our favorite public lands.  

Most people visit Curt Gowdy State Park in Southeastern Wyoming for the world-class mountain biking, reservoirs filled with rainbow trout, and hikes through steep granite formations.

But entomologist Christy Bell comes for the bees.

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