Environment & Energy

Jackie Yamanaka

Supporters of National Parks said to survive the next 100 years, the American public will need to visit and support the sites.

“I had 413 options and I wanted to be in Yellowstone,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis.

He was among the dignitaries who gathered near the Roosevelt Arch, the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first, to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service.

Jackie Yamanaka

    

The National Parks face many challenges as it enters its next 100 years.

Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, is in Yellowstone National Park to celebrate the centennial of the federal agency.

Jarvis worries a lack of public support could be the end of the institution. He says the future of the National Park Service rests with being relevant to an urban, ethnically diverse and technologically plugged-in population.

Jackie Yamanaka

    

Wild Sky Beef is part of American Prairie Reserve’s mission to provide habitat for wildlife.

The for-profit arm of APR is paying its neighboring ranchers if they agree to be wildlife friendly.

Some ranchers in central and northeastern Montana resent APR, and its wealthy backers, for buying or leasing their neighbor’s land and turning loose free-roaming bison.

5th generation rancher David Crasco used to be one of those ranchers.

Jackie Yamanaka

For the first time since the Montana Environmental Stewardship award was first handed out in 1992, ranchers and others got a chance to tour a winning ranch to learn more about strategies be economically viable while conserving the land, water, and wildlife.

Jed Evjene co-manages the American Fork Ranch in Two Dot, Montana with his wife Annie.

The first public meeting over the future of the federal coal leasing program and possibly charging more to mine is underway at the Casper Events Center.

The doors opened for speaker registration at 8:30 this morning. The meeting is scheduled to conclude at 4 this afternoon. The Bureau of Land Management is live-streaming the Casper meeting.

Thomas D. Mangelsen

A public discussion is scheduled Saturday, May 14, 2016, in Billings to discuss the fate of grizzly bears that live in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Journalist Todd Wilkinson from Bozeman and grizzly bear biologist Dr. David Mattson will present a slide show and talk about the grizzly in the environment.

Wilkinson is the author of the book on one of the most famous grizzly sows of the Greater Yellowstone, 399.

Jackie Yamanaka

The U-S Environmental Protection Agency redesignated Billings as in compliance with federal air pollution standards.

Governor Steve Bullock says this is the first time EPA has reversed a non-attainment decision

The EPA’s nonattainment designation was handed down in 2013. Federal officials pointed to the closure of the coal-fired Corette Power Plant as improving the air quality.  But state officials disagree that’s the reason for the re-designation.

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Senior High School saved taxpayers $85,000 in energy costs over a 4-month period.

Governor Steve Bullock applauds the effort and awarded the school $1,000 for its efforts under the SMART (Saving Money and Resources Today) Schools Challenge. 

During a visit to Billings Senior, Bullock recognized the school for providing a learning environment that’s also energy sustainable.

Montana is rich in wind resources, but the demand currently doesn’t support the high cost, according to wind and utility expert.

Rob Gramlich of the American Wind Energy Association says Texas, Iowa, and California are the top states taking advantage of wind power.

He says even though Montana isn’t in the top five there are opportunities.

Gramlich says Montana is “the biggest expected source of wind power across the west.”

Jackie Yamanaka

One of the owners of Colstrip Units 1 and 2 denies his company is angling for a fast-track closure of the coal-fired power plants.

Steve Secrist, general council for Puget Sound Energy (PSE) told attendees at the Montana Energy Conference the utility is looking to the long-term.

A bill passed earlier this year by the Washington State Legislature sets up a mechanism to fund a decommissioning and clean-up of the two oldest units at the Colstrip power plant.

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