West Yellowstone

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 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.

Resort residencies in Big Sky, Montana, 2006.
Jim (CC-By-SA-2.0)

A new economic profile report about Big Sky highlights one of the fastest population growth trends in the state and some of the struggles that come with it. Big Sky’s population has grown 21 percent over the last five years to almost 3,000 residents, according to a new economic profile from Bridge Economic Development released this week.

The National Park Service Hammerhead Crew catches a non-native lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, June 17, 2015.
Public Domain

Yellowstone National Park will temporarily ban wakeboard boats and plans to gate boat launches this season to reduce the risk of introducing new invasive species in park waters.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cameron (Cam) Sholly in his office at Mammoth Hot Springs, November 2018.
Public Domain

The new superintendent of Yellowstone National Park says shuttles could be the key to easing congestion, though he doesn't think recent growth in visitor numbers will continue. Cam Sholly, who came to Yellowstone last October, adds the park can’t solve its bison management problems without better cooperation between the state of Montana and American Indian tribes.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Immigration is a lightning rod issue at the national and local level. Bozeman Public Library will host a panel discussion and Q&A Tuesday to explore the impact of immigration on the economy. 

Earthquakes continue to shake the area west of Yellowstone National Park today. A sequence of about 30 earthquakes magnitude 2 and larger have hit the area since Monday.

Yesterday a 4.5 magnitude quake occurred in a backcountry area at 6:48 PM, near West Yellowstone. 

Montana Office of Tourism

Lawmakers are considering whether to give local governments the authority to ask their voters to approve a local option sales tax. The money raised would be used to provide property tax relief and pay for public works projects. 

Senate Bill 331 is based on the existing resort tax model that’s assessed on goods and services purchased by tourists.  Current state law restricts the resort tax only for communities with a population under 5,500 and draw a high number of tourists. Local residents vote to impose this tax. The money collected pays for public works projects and property tax relief.