YPRnews

A recent aerial survey revealed there are only three wild caribou left in the contiguous United States. Biologists say the chances to save them are slim, but an international recovery team is still trying.

Before the 19th century, thousands of woodland caribou ranged from Washington to New England. But then those herds were decimated by overhunting, logging and broken-up habitat.

Now you can count the number of wild caribou left in the Lower 48 on one hand. They live in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho.

Jackie Yamanaka

There were general agreements on issue positions related to public lands and health care among the 6 candidates seeing the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House during their debate last night in Billings.  But some of the candidates also took the opportunity to stand out from the crowded field as Democratic voters have to decide which one to advance to take on the Republican incumbent. 

Jackie Yamanaka

Some Montana college students aren’t content to sit on the political sidelines.  Instead they are joining political party groups, registering voters and organizing and sponsoring debates.

Yellowstone
Nate Hegyi / Yellowstone Public Radio

Now that a National Parks entrance fee hike is on hold, competing legislation is floating through Congress that would permanently pay for the multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog using federal mineral revenues.

Briana Lamb posts a status update on Facebook at the state capitol in Helena, Montana.
Nate Hegyi / Yellowstone Public Radio

Mark Zuckerberg is on the hot seat this week. He’s testifying in front of Congress about Facebook user profiles being mined without permission.  

The data breach prompted a “Delete Facebook” movement that hasn’t really gained any traction.

That’s especially true in the Native American community, where Facebook is much more than sharing cat videos or keeping in touch with friends and family.  

Jackie Yamanaka

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson says the coal industry isn’t dead. He says it’s in transition and there needs to be a plan. Part of that plan may be forming a coalition with renewable energy producers.

Richardson envisions something akin to a Marshall Plan. It was a U.S. program that helped Europe rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

Jackie Yamanaka

A Westmoreland Coal Company says its 3 Montana coal mines are profitable despite its current financial crunch and the company is working to keep its mines open.

Extreme fires, flash droughts, and fast-melting snowpacks are all predicted in the state's first ever climate assessment, which is slated for release on September 20th.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month earmarked billions of dollars for fighting wildfires.  Many conservationists and politicians celebrated that change.

But the legislation also rolls rolls back some environmental protections and that has split the conservation community.

Coal
Kym Farnik / Flickr

Over the past decade, the market for Mountain West coal has cooled. Renewables and natural gas in the U.S. are cheaper, stocks are tumbling and some coal companies are even teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Jackie Yamanaka

A Montana civil rights panel wants to learn more about alleged discrimination that affects Native Americans when it comes to the criminal justice system and interactions with law enforcement. Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says he looks forward to discussing this issue in Montana’s largest community Thursday in Hardin.

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