Montana news roundup, March 15


What others are writing about Montana this week, as collected by Mountain West News:

Montana senators look to undermine lynx decision
Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines are among co-sponsors of legislation that would reverse a court ruling, known as the Cottonwood decision, that forced the Forest Service to do a top-level review of new critical habitat for lynx under the Endangered Species Act. (Missoulian, 3/13/17)

Interior Secretary Zinke faces delicate balancing act
Zinke’s stated priorities for Interior have been vague but unsurprising: rebuilding trust with the public, increasing public lands access, and improving outdated infrastructure at national parks. But those priorities are rife with controversy. (High Country News, 3/15/17)

Wyoming, Montana would see big tax credit cuts
Count Wyoming among the states where, under the Republicans’ American Health Care Act, an individual enrollee’s tax credit would decrease by more than $4,000 on average. Montana’s reduction would be more than $3,000. (Business Insider, 3/14/17)

Is now the time for Sen. Tester’s Blackfoot bill?
More than a decade in the making, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act would expand Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex by 79,000 acres while also accommodating recreational and economic uses such as sustainable logging on adjacent lands. And it designates two recreation management areas: a 2,200-acre winter area open to to snowmobiling and a 3,800-acre summer area open to mountain biking. (High Country News, 3/13/17)

Wolverine study could lead to reintroductions
Wolverines number 250 to 300 in the mountains of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. Their elusiveness makes them difficult to study. But now DNA and photographic evidence is being collected across the wolverines’ range in the West, which could lead to new conservation initiatives, one being reintroductions into areas where wolverines have been gone for a century. (Great Falls Tribune, 3/9/17)

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit


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