Montana

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

California is king of U.S. agriculture. But on a per capita basis, no state brings in more farm revenue than Idaho.


The grizzly bear is one of North America’s few remaining large predators. With a diminished range, grizzlies are again spreading across the West. But in the valleys where once they were king, grizzlies are finding the landscape they’d known for eons utterly changed by this millennia’s most dominant animal: humans.


Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A one-of-a-kind house sits on what was once a barren promontory in Idaho’s Hagerman Valley. In the mid-1950s, landscape painter Archie Teater and his wife commissioned arguably the world’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design a studio for them. 


A federal watchdog group is looking into U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s family land deal with an oil executive. But Zinke is calling the controversy fake news.

VCU CNS / Flickr

An exchange between the boss of Idaho’s Hecla Mining Company and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is ringing alarm bells in some circles.

The brief interaction between Hecla Mining CEO Phillips Baker Jr. and Interior Secretary Zinke happened in October.

Montana Hit With 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake

Jul 6, 2017
United States Geological Survey

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck western Montana a little after midnight Thursday.

 

The early morning quake was felt across hundreds of miles from eastern Washington to western Montana to Idaho. According to the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake’s epicenter was around six miles southeast of Lincoln, Montana and about eight miles underground.

In the 1840s, a million Irish citizens died of starvation during what became known as the “Great Hunger.” Taking up the desperate cause of his countrymen was a spirited and wealthy young orator named Thomas Francis Meagher.

Victor Pozo / Flickr Creative Commons

The Montana man killed by a bear near Glacier National Park was intimately familiar with both the beauty and the danger of the wild forest that spreads from the shadows of the park's rugged peaks.

But there was seemingly nothing that former park ranger and longtime U.S. Forest Service law-enforcement officer Brad Treat could do when he surprised the bear on Wednesday. Authorities say the bear knocked him from his mountain bike on a trail in that forest just minutes from his home.

Boise State Public Radio

If you could help reduce water pollution right in your laundry room, would you? As you unpack your fleece jacket when autumn rolls in, there’s new information that might make you reconsider how - and how often - you wash it.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr

Trappers killed 77 gray wolves in Montana during the 2014-2015 season that ended over the weekend.

That's down from the previous trapping season, when 87 wolves were killed.

To date, a total of 204 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers this winter. Montana's rifle hunting season for the animals ends March 15.

Idaho hunters and trappers have killed 205 wolves, as of Feb. 25.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One grizzly bear's incredible 5,000-mile journey across Montana and Idaho has scientists re-thinking what they know about the animals.

Ethyl the grizzly bear walked from Kalispell, Mont. west toward Coeur d’Alene and back east toward Missoula. She covered thousands of miles of mountainous terrain in just two years, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen says Ethyl's story began when she was first captured in 2006 east of Kalispell, Mont.

wedding rings
MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge in Montana has overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled Wednesday that Montana's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that Idaho and Nevada's bans are unconstitutional. Montana is part of the 9th Circuit, and Morris cited the Circuit Court's opinion in his ruling.

Provided by Boise County Sheriff

A California man who went missing while traveling from his summer job in Idaho to the University of Montana died in a car crash northeast of Boise.

Custer County Coroner Vicki Armbruster says 21-year-old Lucius Robbi of Orleans, California, died on Aug. 19 of blunt force trauma that happened when his car went off Highway 21 and down a 60-foot embankment.

A private helicopter hired to join the widespread search for Robbi spotted the tip of a kayak in the trees near the Stanley Lake turnoff on Thursday.

After cancelling a string of campaign events and fundraisers this week, Montana Democrat John Walsh announced Thursday that he would drop out of the race for the U.S. Senate.

"I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator," Walsh said in a statement. "You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will."

He will serve out the remainder of his Senate term, which expires in Jan. 2015.

On Sunday morning, with haze from wildfires thick in the air, Sen. John Walsh addressed a graduation for officer candidates at the Fort Harrison Army post outside Helena, Mont.

"As your senator and someone who sat in your seat approximately 30 years ago today, I will always be your partner," Walsh told the small crowd.

For Walsh, this should have been a perfect event. He's the only Iraq War veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. And he had graduated from this same training here.

transportation, river, train derailment
Kagan Yochim @TripwithKagan / Twitter

A Montana Rail Link spokeswoman says it took about 12 hours to remove the first of three commercial airplane bodies that fell into the Clark Fork River after a train derailed.

Spokeswoman Lynda Frost said Monday that specialized machines are pulling the 20-ton fuselages attached to 50-ton flatbed cars from the embankment one at a time at a rate of 20 feet per hour.

Frost says the most difficult fuselage to retrieve was removed safely Sunday. Crews are working on the second fuselage Monday and plan to remove the third by Tuesday.

Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the cutthroat trout.

In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Bend over and look closely and you might see a 2-inch fish wriggling out from under a submerged rock — the spawn of native cutthroats.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Montana wildlife commissioners have initially approved a proposal allowing landowners to kill up to 100 gray wolves annually if the predators pose a perceived threat.

Thursday's action significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license. In the past, that was largely limited to instances in which wolves attacked livestock.

Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs. State lawmakers last year passed a law requiring the expansion.

Montana resident Markus Kaarma pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murdering a German exchange student last month. Kaarma shot the 17-year-old while the student was trespassing in his garage. The case has attracted international scrutiny to the contentious debate over how far Americans may go when defending their homes.

The Montana Supreme Court has overturned a 30-day prison sentence handed to a former high school teacher who was convicted of a raping a 14-year-old student.

We told you last year about the case. Here's a brief summary:

Across The Universe / Flickr Creative Commons

Pop legend Paul McCartney has added a stop in Missoula to his "Out There" tour.

The University of Montana announced Monday that the former Beatle is scheduled to play at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Aug. 5. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on May 9. Prices range from $49.50 to $250 and will be available at all GrizTix locations.

Nomadic Lass / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservation group is suing the federal government for failing to reclassify a small population of grizzly bears as endangered.

The estimated 42 Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are considered a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year issued a decision that said changing the bears' status from threatened to endangered was warranted but precluded by higher-priority species.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies says in its lawsuit filed Tuesday the population needs to be at least 100 to be considered viable.

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Yellowstone National Park, Bison, Lamar Valley
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Montana wildlife officials say they are seeking proposals to take up to 135 disease-free bison being held under an experimental effort to establish new populations of the animals.

The small herd in the U.S. Department of Agriculture program is made up of animals captured from Yellowstone National Park and their descendants.

The bison have been held for the past several years on behalf of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks at a Bozeman-area ranch owned by philanthropist Ted Turner.

Hunters Kill Nearly 500 Wolves In Idaho, Montana

Mar 17, 2014
wolf, wildlife, yellowstone
Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Hunters and trappers in Montana killed 230 wolves during the recently concluded wolf season.

That's only five more wolves than the prior year's wolf harvest despite the lifting of quotas on the animals across most of the state and a higher bag limit for individual hunters.

Hunters took 144 wolves during a season that started in September and ended Saturday. Trappers took 86 wolves.

Pages