Environment & Science

Boaters in the Flathead Basin may see some significant changes next season. A new set of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive mussels next year are now being drafted.

The proposed regulations would require all boats to be inspected before they launch, set up a sticker for boats that only launch in Flathead and Swan Lakes, and establish annual fees to fund the program.

Nate Hegyi / YPR

As the most severe drought in the nation continues to pummel ranchers and farmers in northeastern Montana, the National Weather Service says it isn’t ending anytime soon. 

grizzly bear
National Park Service / National Park Service

The Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear was officially removed from the threatened species list on Monday.

The Interior Department stripped federal protections for grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National Park and they will now be managed by state and tribal agencies in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

Nate Hegyi

Yellowstone National Park is taking action against up to a dozen employees after an investigation found some female workers were subjected to sexual harassment and other problems.

Superintendent Dan Wenk says some of the employees could be fired while others could receive suspensions or counseling.

“Tell me an organization that’s almost 1,000 employees and find me one that doesn’t have issues about work place issues, find me one,” said Wenk. “I don’t think you will. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t improve it.”

Flickr Creative Commons / NOAA

Weather, fuel, and topography all affect wildfire behavior—and changes in any one of them can greatly impact the way firefighters work the fire lines.

It’s up to incident meteorologists and fire behavior analysts to help firefighters understand the nature of the particular fire they are battling, and how best to contain it quickly and safely.

The U.S. government has reversed its earlier decision to deny a request for aid to help pay for fighting Montana’s largest wildfire.

FEMA approved the state's grant application today to Montana Disaster and Emergency Services.

Montana faces twin threats this summer: On land, crews are battling some of the biggest and most destructive fires in the country. In the water, officials are staving off the spread of invasive mussels that could cause millions of dollars of damage to hydropower dams and irrigation lines. These threats come together for wildland firefighters, who often use equipment that travels across the country and has the potential to carry invasive hitchhikers with it. But firefighters are tackling the potential contamination head on.

While Native Americans may be underrepresented in the "hard sciences," Jade Johnson would argue that now, more than ever, Native scientists are needed to make sure environmental issues don’t get swept under the rug or forgotten.

Johnson, a member of Navajo Nation, is an undergraduate chemistry student at San Diego State University. This summer, she’s doing research at the University of Montana. It’s not the first time she’s done something like this.

Lodgepole Complex Fire Managers

The nation’s biggest wildfire may be fully contained within a week.

According to Rick Connell, incident commander for the Lodgepole Complex fire in eastern Montana, everything is “looking pretty good.”

Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management estimates that there are about 50% higher than average fine fuel loads in the Big Horn Basin.

Coupled with dry conditions, Northern Wyoming land is right now extremely vulnerable to wildfires.

That's why there are two public sessions this week and next that will help rural landowners prepare for fire devastation.

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