Environment & Science

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.

The party MSU:Billings threw Monday, August 21, to celebrate the solar eclipse was a big hit.

Campus officials estimate more than 500 people gathered on the grassy lawn on the western edge of campus to view this rare solar occurance.

Faced with declining enrollment and a budget deficit, the University of Montana is offering early retirement buyouts to some faculty members. Well-known, climate science Professor Steve Running accepted the offer and is set to retire.

Running was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team, which was collectively awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its broad report on the connection between human activities and global warming. Running was a lead author for one of the chapters in the IPCC report. He's also on the NASA Advisory Council Science Committee and has taught at the University of Montana for 38 years.

MTPR’s Katie Riordan spoke with Running about his decision to retire and his future plans.

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