Montana

Opinion Editorial: Methane rule good for environment, consumers

2/22/2017

The oil and gas industry often reminds us that the New Mexico economy depends on a strong oil and gas industry, and that’s not wrong. New Mexico gets about a third of its state income from oil and gas. But any stockbroker will tell you that an undiversified portfolio comes with significant risk. As we are experiencing now, periodic crashes in fossil fuel prices affect the whole state; cuts for education, senior services – Gov. Martinez is now ordering agencies to cut budgets by 5 percent across the board.

What’s at stake if Congress cuts methane regs

1/31/2017

In the 1880s, farmers on Colorado’s Front Range got fired up about— what else? Water. Their irrigation water came from Clear Creek, a stream that gets its start up on the Continental Divide, then tumbles through mining country before spilling onto the plains west of Denver. Along the way, mills that processed the ore from numerous mines dumped their tailings — sludge loaded with toxic metals and acid-forming sulfides — directly into the stream.

Decision on grizzlies delayed; 100 killed over 2 years

1/11/2017

BILLINGS — A deluge of opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes, conservation groups and some scientists is tying up a decision on lifting protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National park.

Officials had planned to finalize by the end of 2016 a proposal to turn management of grizzlies over to state officials and allow limited hunting.

USFS Amendment Recalled After Lawsuit

12/09/2016

A recent Forest Service decision in Helena put to end a controversial forest plan amendment that could have set a precedent for other neighboring national forests, including the Kootenai, according to a press release issued by the Western Environmental Law Center on Dec. 6.

Helena – A coalition of Montana sportsmen’s groups commended the Helena-Lewis Clark National Forest’s recent decision to withdraw a forest plan amendment that could have negatively impacted big game habitat, potentially greatly reducing public hunting opportunity.

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Withdraws Controversial Big-game Measure, Citing Sportsmen’s Suit (News Release 12/6/16)

12/06/2016
Montana hunters and anglers commend Forest Service’s responsible management decision

A coalition of Montana sportsmen’s groups commended the Helena-Lewis Clark National Forest’s recent decision to withdraw a controversial forest plan amendment that could have negatively impacted big game habitat, potentially greatly reducing public hunting opportunity. 

Public Health and Environmental Groups Move to Defend Standards to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas on Public Lands (News Release 12/2/16)

12/02/2016
Groups Seek to Join Lawsuit to Oppose Challenges to the Standards

Fifteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans took legal steps today to defend new standards that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Water too precious to reopen exempt well loophole

11/23/2016

This September, on behalf of four ranchers and the Clark Fork Coalition, my colleague Matthew Bishop and I successfully challenged a rule that allowed large developments to bypass water permitting. The state Supreme Court agreed that the rule was out of step with the Water Use Act, which protects ground and surface water for all Montanans, including users with existing rights under our longstanding “first-in-time, first-in-right” system.

Montana Supreme Court Orders State To Close Loophole To Protect Water Rights (News Release 9/14/16)

9/14/2016
Developers abused loophole for new subdivisions, threatening water availability for family ranches, wildlife, instream flows

Late yesterday, the Supreme Court of the State of Montana upheld an Oct. 2014 district court ruling that ordered the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to close a loophole in the state’s water well permit rules that developers and other large water users were using to avoid the permitting process when drilling thousands of water wells for new subdivisions.

Suit Seeks Public Review of Animal Pelt Exports (News Release 5/4/16)

5/04/2016
Endangered Species Treaty Misused to Facilitate Mass Fur Export

Today, conservation groups filed suit to require open, public review of the impacts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service’s) export program that facilitates international trade in bobcat and gray wolf pelts, creates more incentive for trapping, and harms wolves, lynx, and other native wildlife.

Judge Rules Feds Improperly Refused to Protect Wolverines (Press Release 4/4/16)

Orders Reconsideration of Safeguards for Species Imperiled by Climate Change

Today, the federal district court for Montana rejected a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to deny protections for wolverines in the contiguous U.S. The court ruled the Service improperly ignored science and violated the Endangered Species Act. A broad coalition of conservation organizations challenged the Service’s refusal to protect imperiled wolverines by listing them under the ESA.

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