Environment & Science

A crosscountry skier in Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

On Tuesday, a coalition of business leaders called on the state’s congressional delegation to pass a ban on mining near Yellowstone National Park by the end of this year. While Montana’s senators and lone congressman all support a ban, passing a bill probably won’t happen by the coalition’s deadline.

Nate Hegyi / YPR

Most grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National park are bedding down for winter,  but the debate over the Trump administration removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the threatened species list earlier this year is not.

De-listing is being challenged in court, and for now, the grizzlies are being managed by the states. Wyoming is considering a potential grizzly bear hunt, and its wildlife management agency is holding a series of meetings to get public input on that. 

Sarah Brown

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill discusses his family's work to restore a 1920s era barn to calve in during the frigid central Montana Spring and to bring in much-needed revenue as an event center during the Summer and Fall.


courtesy Weston Merrill

In this first episode of the new season of Field Days, we meet Weston Merrill, a young rancher in Buffalo, Montana, balancing life on the ranch with his growing family.

Field Days is a weekly audio diary following the day-to-day life of a Montana rancher, produced by Yellowstone Public Radio in collaboration with The Prairie Star newspaper. Theme music by John Kosel of the High Country Cowboys.

In a deal that coincides with President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week, China’s largest online retailer says it will buy $200 million dollars worth of Montana beef over the next three years. 

Bureau of Land Management

In the next month or so, the Trump administration will announce its plan to shrink or modify large national monuments across the country. Some people are heralding the decision, saying these designations are federal land grabs that strangle local economies and kill jobs. 

Others say national monuments help local economies by boosting tourism. But an economist from Utah told a crowd in Bozeman on Thursday they might both be wrong.

The Trump administration has issued the latest blow in a trade war between the United States and Canada. The fight is over lumber and while it could save timber jobs in Montana, it's also creating a lot of uncertainty in Canada.

National Park Service

Much of Montana is under winter weather advisories Friday and Saturday, and that means a lot of snow.

The Cottonwood decision says the U.S. Forest Service needs to draw up a new management plan for 12 million acres of critical Canada Lynx habitat.
Keith Williams (CC-BY)

On Monday, Republican Senator Steve Daines joined three other Republicans in releasing draft legislation they say would reverse the so-called Cottonwood decision. Both Daines and his Democratic counterpart, Jon Tester, see it as one way to prevent wildfires, but it’s much bigger than that.


Blackfeet tribal council member Roland Kennerly sits at the edge of the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Reservation.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended a new national monument at Badger-Two Medicine. While the Blackfeet Nation says the proposal is a good start, they’re also hesitant to fully embrace it before having a say in how the proposed monument is managed.


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