Environment & Science

An organization that's usually focused on bear conservation is raising money for air filters for schools in Frenchtown.

Missoula-based Bear Trust International is about $3,000 away from its goal of raising about $8,200 to place air filters in all 32 Frenchtown classrooms. A press release says the need is acute because there is no air conditioning in Frenchtown schools, so teachers have to open windows to moderate temperatures.

KTVQ News

A young black bear created some excitement Wednesday morning in the east end of Billings. He was doing what bears do this time of year, getting ready for hibernation.

Creative Commons

A mountain lion has been showing up in Absarokee in south central Montana recently. Residents report seeing the animal at all hours. So far it’s not acted aggressively around businesses or homes.

There’s a deadline for public comments coming up on a proposal to have the state take over management of a section of National Forest land. The comment period ends Thursday.

The Lake County Conservation District wants the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to manage a 60,000-acre swath of the Flathead National Forest, and use timber sales on it to help fund local conservation efforts.

Yellowstone River
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Montana officials say they recently discovered dead fish in the Yellowstone River and are waiting on test results to know if they were killed by the same parasite that killed thousands of fish last year.

Lynn Donaldson

A heifer has tested positive for the disease brucellosis on a cattle ranch near Yellowstone National Park. 

Bison
Yellowstone National Park

More than half of Montana is currently in the grips of a severe drought, according to the latest numbers released by the U.S. Drought Monitor Thursday. And, as pastures shrivel up in the heat, ranchers are trucking in bales of hay and selling their cattle early.

But there’s another big, horned animal out there on the range. Bison.

Public Domain

A judge has ruled a small population of grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered "endangered" even if they are not "on the brink of extinction."

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen's order Monday reversed the 2014 re-classification by U.S. wildlife officials for the 40 to 50 bears of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they are reopening the public comment period on the future of the National Bison Range. That’s in response to feedback the agency got earlier.

Service officials will hold a public meeting in Missoula next week.

oil well
Montana Public Radio

For the first time ever, The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has published draft rules overseeing the disposal of radioactive oil waste in the state. But some conservationists say the rules don’t go far enough.

Ed Thamke of the DEQ says radioactive oil waste isn’t as bad as it sounds.

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