U.S. Bureau of Land Management

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.

The federal Bureau of Land Management issued new guidance Thursday for reducing wildfire risks along powerline rights-of-way on some public lands.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

A federal order that lumps electric bicycles in with traditional bikes has sparked concern among environmental advocacy groups who say that e-bikes could hurt trail traffic and ecology in the Pryor Mountains.

A land conservation group says it has helped ensure that 7,300 acres of land in western Montana’s Blackfoot River corridor remains in public hands.

The Nature Conservancy says the acquisition, just east of Missoula in the Belmont Creek area, is due in large part to funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF uses royalties from offshore oil and gas development to fund outdoor projects.

It’s fall and that means it’s prescribed fire season in Montana. Wildland managers are now intentionally setting fires to reduce forest fuel buildup or to restore native vegetation.

Two prescribed wildfire operations just north of Missoula produced dense smoke that degraded air quality to unhealthy levels Wednesday night into Thursday morning. As weather forecasters predicted though, a cold front pushed into the region Thursday afternoon, increasing winds which helped dissipate the smoke.

Oil Well
Montana Public Radio


The Bureau of Land Management last week announced an increase to drilling permit fees on public lands. The fee increases directed by the U.S. Congress also apply to some mineral cost recovery for oil and gas developers.

During Sen. Steve Daines’ stops in Missoula and Kalispell Monday, he was asked whether he supports the Bureau of Land Management's acting Director, William Perry Pendley. Pendley’s past support for the sale of public lands concerns many, but Daines called that concern “overblown.” 

Headshot of William Perry Pendley
Bureau of Land Management

When Interior Secretary David Bernhardt assigned William Pendley as acting head of the Bureau of Land Management on July 29, conservation groups ranging from Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to the Montana Wildlife Federation joined together to stand against the conservative lawyer.

Updated 5:19 p.m., August 1, 2019

Lightning near the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest Wednesday night has sparked a one-tenth acre fire west of Hamilton in the Canyon Creek drainage next to Blodgett Canyon.

Forest Service spokesperson Tod McKay says a few firefighters have been working on the blaze near Barley Creek this afternoon; helicopters have also made water bucket drops.

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

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