Nicky Ouellet

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.

The Kootenai National Forest is making changes for more accurate avalanche forecasting this winter.

The Kootenai National Forest is splitting its avalanche forecast in two: one report covers the western part of the forest, which shares characteristics with the Idaho Panhandle. A separate forecast is issued for the Whitefish Range, which more closely resembles conditions in the Flathead National Forest.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has closed vehicle access to some state parks in northwest Montana this winter due to state budget cuts.

Welcome to the fifth and final episode of "SubSurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders." Today we’re putting our producer Nicky Ouellet in the hot seat to answer some listener questions about mussels.

Learn more about how you can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, on this episode of SubSurface.

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Thursday morning after four years of fine-tuning and analysis. The plan will guide land use decision making for the next 10 to 15 years.

Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber says writing a guiding document like this is a balancing act between thousands of stakeholders.

Montana's Representative Greg Gianforte Wednesday voted for a bill that would allow bicycles in wilderness areas. The bill is drawing mixed reactions.

We’ve heard in previous episodes what it’s like to live with invasive zebra and quagga mussels: the costs they can impose, the changes they bring, the clarity they leave in their wake. We learned how they spread, and how managers are working to stay in front of their advances into Big Sky Country. But what if they get here anyway? What are options then? And what does this invasion mean for the landscape? For us? Today in the fourth episode of SubSurface, we’re looking at Plan B, and thinking about what the mussel invasion tells us about ourselves. This is Active Resistance.

  

Everyone agrees that the goal is to stop invasive zebra and quagga mussels from spreading, but there isn’t consensus on how to do that. This is where Montana is right now. There are a lot of different groups — state, tribal, federal, local and non-government — working to keep the mussels out, but they’re all working under different systems, with different rules to follow and different ideas about how to move forward.

Today we’re asking: Where are we cooperating, and where are we entangled in bureaucracy? This is SubSurface episode three: Shell Games.

Today, we’re diving into what we know about the mussels - what are they, where did they come from, how did they get here? What can we do to stop them from spreading? We’re trying to understand how those microscopic mussel babies ended up in two Montana reservoirs last summer -- and what our options are if more of them arrive. In this episode we’re tackling the Science of Spread.

The Montana-based company that won, and then lost, a $300 million contract to restore power in Puerto Rico says its on-the-ground workers are starting to pack up and go home. The departures follow pre-set dates outlined in subcontracts.

This is "SubSurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders." I’m Nicky Ouellet, and in our first episode I’m taking us to the Midwest, to lakes where people have been fighting invasive zebra and quagga mussels for decades, to hear, see and smell what could become Montana’s mussel-encrusted future if a full-blown infestation happens here. These stories are reporting from the future.

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