Environment & Science

Paintbrush: The Prettiest Parasite On The Prairie?

Apr 25, 2017

Most people are familiar with the showy red or yellow flowers of the Indian paintbrushes. They can be found from the dry valley grasslands to lush alpine meadows. There are 21 species of the paintbrush just in Montana, including bristly paintbrush, the red-flowered species of dry slopes and scarlet paintbrush which is common in meadows and along streams.

On a sunny Saturday, while thousands were marching for science around the world, about 50 people gathered inside the Knights of Columbus Hall in Butte for a different kind of Earth Day celebration.

It was what 74-year-old Mary Kay Craig was calling a Butte-style wake.

“Well I’m Irish, so what am I supposed to say?” she asked.

Craig is with the Citizens for Labor and Environmental Justice and she organized the event, called Hope for Snow Geese.

In the last several years, studies have shown that Montana is hotbed for entrepreneurs, people starting up new companies. A new study released yesterday examined what’s different about the so-called entrepreneurship ecosystem here.

One of the Yellowstone National Park's best-known wolves had to be put down after being found injured.

P.J. White of the National Park Service says the female wolf was found Tuesday by hikers on the north side of the park.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program announced today that it would stop using predator-killing cyanide traps in Idaho, at least temporarily according to the Idaho Statesman.

This after a cyanide trap killed a dog in Pocatello and sickened a 14-year-old boy on March 16

Northern Cheyenne Tribe Sues Trump Administration

Apr 3, 2017
(WildEarth Guardians)

The Northern Cheyenne tribe, along with a coalition of conservation groups, sued the Trump administration Wednesday for lifting a moratorium on coal leases on public lands.

The southeastern Montana tribe filed the lawsuit in response to Interior Secretary Zinke’s decision to lift the moratorium on coal leasing.

(Flickr Photo/Shannon Patrick) (https://flic.kr/p/dVnX4W)

Northern Plains Resource Council is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed today challenging the Trump Administration’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. A coalition of environmental groups are part of the lawsuit filed in federal district court in Great Falls.

Northern Plains is challenging the permit based on what they call “outdated and incomplete information” from a 2014 Environmental Impact Statement used to determine the pipeline’s threat to the health of water, land, and communities it crosses​.

(Photo by Marina Starr)

Declaring today as a "great day for American jobs," President Trump reversed an Obama administration decision and issued a permit to continue building the $8-billion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline

Some Eastern Montanan farmers and Fort Peck Reservation residents near the pipeline's route don't agree. They believe the environmental and social risk the pipeline poses is greater than a potentially short-lived economic boost for the state.

About two-dozen water protectors are walking across the Fort Peck Reservation this weekend to pray and demonstrate opposition of the pipeline's construction in the state.

Big Sky Isn't Blowing Smoke But Is Polluting Air

Mar 21, 2017
(Flickr/Todd Klassy) (https://flic.kr/p/qukd81)

Yesterday, the Billings Gazette reported that three oil refineries and a sugar beet factory in town are not polluting the air.

They interviewed a couple of staff from nearby facilities but did not talk to David Klemp– Air Quality Bureau Chief for the Department of Environmental Quality– the guy who's in charge of this information.

Drone Operator Fined For Spooking Elk

Feb 23, 2017
Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS

A Washington, D.C. resident was cited and fined $280 for disturbing approximately 1,500 wintering elk at the National Elk Refuge on Monday, Feb. 20.

According to a press release by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the drone operator launched his equipment from a pullout along North Highway 89 in Jackson, Wyoming.

Lori Iverson serves as the Outreach and Visitor Services coordinator for NER. She says that whether or not someone is flying a drone or walking too closely to wildlife, it can stress them to the point of impacting their overall survival.

"Winter is a really tough time of year, we need animals to conserve as much energy as they can and reduce those conflicts with humans," said Iverson.

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