U.S. Forest Service

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "high" effective immediately.

The U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Assessment System shows at least two other regions with "High" fire danger — north-central and southeast Montana.

Ecologists, fire managers and journalists visit a burn site one year after lightning started the Bacon Rind Fire, July 10, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

It’s been about a year since lightning started a fire that burned almost 4,500 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park. Local fire managers and ecologists invited journalists to see how the burn site is recovering and learn how fire plays a role on the landscape.

The U.S. Forest Service approved a special use permit Tuesday for one of two controversial trail running races scheduled in the Flathead Valley later this year. Critics are disappointed, but not surprised. 

Vice President Mike Pence speaks about infrastructure as Old Faithful erupts, Yellowstone National Park, June 13, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Vice President Mike Pence visited Yellowstone National Park Thursday to discuss the Park Service’s backlog of maintenance projects. Pence says the Trump administration is committed to conservation and improving national parks infrastructure.

The Lionhead Recommended Wilderness near West Yellowstone, Montana, is part of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, May 31, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

The future of a forest stretching from West Yellowstone to South Dakota is reaching a pivotal point this week. The public comment period for the Custer Gallatin National Forest draft plan closes June 6, and the perspectives on forest management seem to be almost as diverse as the forest itself. One of the main areas of debate is recommended wilderness.

Flickr User, Tim Lumley (CC-by-2.0)

The Custer Gallatin National Forest is hosting public meetings about a proposal to update its management plan for the next 10 to 15 years. The Forest Service released a draft plan last month that could essentially re-zone sections of the 3 million acre forest and affect how people use it. Two national forests — the Custer and the Gallatin — were combined into one administrative unit in 2014, but it’s still being managed under two separate plans from the 1980s. 

Vicki Christiansen was sworn in this morning as Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. She’s only the second female to serve in this role in its 113-year history.

If there's a fee for either a camping site or a day use area on Forest Service land, there's probably some kind of toilet there. But solving the problem of human waste in vaulted or backcountry toilets is not as easy as flushing it out of the system.

As record wildfires rage across the West, funding for fire prevention science is in jeopardy. Under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal, cuts to various programs will be significant.

Portrait photographers working in the region have been getting reminders lately of a federal rule that they need permits to shoot on forest service land.

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