Environment & Science

The Last Piece Of Ground

Feb 14, 2018
Lacy Jane Roberts

Robin Sterritt, a mechanical engineer who’s lived in Colstrip, Montana, for thirty years, points to the cloud of steam where the town’s famous smokestacks typically loom. It’s four degrees and the towers are hidden behind the heavy fog. “A day like today, everybody’s got the heat on,” he said.

Normally the smokestacks are hard to miss; they’re the tallest man-made structures in the state. On a clear day, you can see them thirty miles before you drive into Colstrip, a tidy town of 2300 in the southeast corner of Montana. Colstrip isn’t on the way to many places. It’s out here for only one reason: coal. 

Field Days: Montana Winter Fair

Feb 12, 2018
Courtesy The Prairie Star

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill heads to the Montana Winter Fair, where he learns how to be a better advocate for the agriculture industry.  


A new coalition called “Our Land, Our Legacy” says it plans to fight against Daines’ bill with social media messages and an advertising campaign.
Jason Crotty-CC-BY-2

Montana Wilderness advocates are launching a campaign in opposition to a bill introduced by the state’s Republican Senator Steve Daines. If passed, that bill would eliminate protections for some federal lands in Montana.

Yellowstone Park's east entrance.
Diane Renkin-NPS (PD)

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can now purchase entrance passes online instead of in person. Normally, visitors to the nation’s oldest national park had to pony up cash or a credit card to a ranger if they wanted to get in.

Field Days: Preparing For Calving

Feb 5, 2018
Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill revives a forty year-old snowblower to clear out his corrals in preparation for calving.

  

Getty Images

Sky watchers are in for a rare triple treat very early Wednesday morning, Jan. 31,2018. A supermoon, blue moon and total lunar eclipse will be on display for early risers.

The 3 lunar occurrences are not unique events by themselves.

A blue moon-- which isn’t really blue-- is a calendar event  when two full moons occur in a  month, which 

happens  about every two-and-a-half to three years.

Field Days: Vaccines And Brands

Jan 29, 2018
Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill gets his cows through the chute for their bangs vaccine and a new brand.


A group of bison on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park
Nate Hegyi / YPR

The search continues for dozens of bison reported missing from two holding pens at Yellowstone National Park. Authorities say the animals escaped when somebody used bolt cutters to open up a fence. Park officials are calling the incident a crime. 

 

Field Days: Pasture Rotation

Jan 22, 2018
Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill reflects on the pasture rotation system he used for the first time this past summer.


Jim Peaco, Yellowstone National Park (PD)

Yellowstone National Park has opened a criminal investigation to determine how more than 50 of its bison escaped through a cut fence at a quarantine facility. Authorities say it appears somebody cut the fence with bolt cutters.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calls the incident “devastating.”

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