U.S. Forest Service

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.

Grizzly bear track on a trail in Yellowstone National Park.
Public Domain

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the hunter was taken to Ruby Valley Medical Center in Sheridan, Wyoming. The Ruby Valley Medical Center is in Sheridon, Montana. YPR News regrets the error.

Another hunter survived a grizzly bear attack Tuesday in the western Gravelly Mountains. The attack happened between the Coal Creek Drainage and Eureka Basin Road, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It was about eight miles south of where three other hunters were injured last week in two separate grizzly bear attacks.

Two trends are converging in large wildland states like Montana — more frequent and severe wildfires and rapid home development in wildfire prone areas. A conference this week examined how homes burn and how to protect them.

The controversy over the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail’s (PNT) route through grizzly bear habitat in the Yaak Valley is headed to court. The Yaak Valley Forest Council filed the lawsuit Friday claiming that the U.S. Forest Service failed to evaluate the impacts of the trail on grizzly populations.

The roughly 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail, not to be confused with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, would wind from Glacier National Park to the coast of Washington State.

A multi-year court battle over the Glacier Loon timber sale in the Swan Valley will continue. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is now asking the lower court to decide whether the project needs to be reassessed under different regulations protecting grizzly bears. 

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for input on a 140,000 acre management project in the Big Belt Mountains, northeast of Helena. But there are few details of what exactly the agency is proposing. 

Kathy Bushnell with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest says the Middleman Project includes the Avalanche drainage continuing north to the Trout Creek drainages of the Big Belts.

“The end goal is to have a healthier and more resilient forest," Bushnell says. "And then also to reduce the fire risk to communities, and homes, and people, and firefighters.”

Seventy years ago today, an 18-man smokejumper crew jumped out of a plane into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness northeast of Helena. Within hours of the jump the crew was overrun by the fire they were sent to stop, and most of the men died.

MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney looks back at the Mann Gulch tragedy, which lead the U.S. Forest Service — for the first time — to approach wildfire as a science.

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.

Yellowstone National Park's north entrance by Gardiner, Montana, May 16, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Law enforcement is still investigating a human-caused fire that temporarily closed the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park Friday. Rachel Cramer with Yellowstone Public Radio News reports.

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.

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