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Report: State's largest landowners keep expanding

Report: State's largest landowners keep expanding

The big just keep getting bigger.

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Montana State Parks' draft plan calls for increased revenue, recognition

Montana State Parks' draft plan calls for increased revenue, recognition

Taking an “aggressive approach,” Montana State Parks has outlined its plans to raise funding, volunteerism and a greater recognition of the park system in its just-released draft five-year strategic plan.

October 21, 2014 2:30 pm Photos

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New easement program would allow Yellowstone River to roam

New easement program would allow Yellowstone River to roam

A new program to give the Yellowstone River room to roam during high water was strongly endorsed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission on Thursday during its meeting in Bozeman.

October 19, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Successful aspen regeneration project may be trimmed

Successful aspen regeneration project may be trimmed

RED LODGE — After 24 years and an investment of almost $460,000, a unique Montana cooperative project that has regenerated aspen stands along the Beartooth Face may be finished despite definitive success.

October 16, 2014 6:20 am Photos

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Smith River floaters may have to bear-proof camps

Smith River floaters may have to bear-proof camps

Future Smith River floaters may have to add a portable electric fence or bear-proof coolers to their list of gear after the state parks board on Wednesday approved a new food storage rule for the popular permitted river.

October 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Garbage offers clues to 1876 history of Powder River site

Garbage offers clues to 1876 history of Powder River site

Only two months after Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, the population of what would become Prairie County swelled to about 4,000.

October 14, 2014 6:15 am Photos

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FWP bird advisory group frustrated by project delays

FWP bird advisory group frustrated by project delays

Some members of an upland game bird advisory group voiced frustration last week that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hasn’t done enough to start more new habitat projects.

October 13, 2014 9:30 am Photos

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Billings boy tops his own IGFA walleye mark

Billings boy tops his own IGFA walleye mark

It was one of those weekends when Laura Boyer wondered why she hadn’t stayed home in Billings with her two boys, Josh and Sammy, instead of going camping.

October 12, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Fence removal, modification aiding Yellowstone pronghorns

Fence removal, modification aiding Yellowstone pronghorns

Fences are meant to keep animals in or out, not to let them through.

October 09, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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State delays decision on controversial elk plan

State delays decision on controversial elk plan

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has delayed until November its commission’s consideration of a controversial 2015 elk-brucellosis management plan aimed at disease outbreaks in the Paradise Valley.

October 06, 2014 12:43 pm Photos

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Elk encounter nurtures ties to wildlife, mountains

Elk encounter nurtures ties to wildlife, mountains

The broad-antlered bull elk walked to within 12 yards as we crouched on the forest floor behind the trunk of a 7-inch wide aspen tree.

October 02, 2014 6:15 am Photos

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Forest revives road project into Pryor Mountains

Forest revives road project into Pryor Mountains

More than two years after seeking public feedback on a new route into the Pryor Mountains, the Beartooth Ranger District is resuscitating its Powerline Road construction project.

October 01, 2014 5:03 pmLoading…
Federal dollars providing access for hunters

Federal dollars providing access for hunters

Pheasant hunters walking fields when the season opens on Oct. 11 can thank the 2014 Farm Bill for boosting the amount of private lands available to them over the next three years.

September 28, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Unique designs, colors set Helena-built fishing boat apart

Unique designs, colors set Helena-built fishing boat apart

The trout don’t care, but the bright tie-dye patterned oars and angler braces and the hook-jawed brown trout from hell painted on each side of the hull make Garry Stocker’s drift boat one of the most stylish crafts on Western Montana’s rivers.

September 25, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Groups to push BLM for new backcountry designation

Groups to push BLM for new backcountry designation

Growing up in central Montana, Ryan Callaghan planned many of his hunting trips to public land. That tradition has followed him to Idaho where he now works as a marketing manager for a hunting apparel manufacturer whose staff is dedicated to public-land hunting.

September 21, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Elevation points illustrate Yellowstone County's ecological variety

Elevation points illustrate Yellowstone County's ecological variety

High and dry, low and wet are characteristics that distinguish the high- and low-elevation points in Yellowstone County, illustrating the region’s diversity.

September 20, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Red Lodge author Gary Ferguson talks about his journey through grief

Red Lodge author Gary Ferguson talks about his journey through grief

An adventurous backpacker and hiker, Gary Ferguson has made many tough treks into the wilds of North America. But none of them could prepare him for the challenging journey he made through grief following the death of his wife, Jane, after their canoe was swamped on a Canadian river in 2005.

September 18, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Route to forest being carved south of Big Timber

Route to forest being carved south of Big Timber

BIG TIMBER — The sky was a brilliant blue. The first snow of the season was scattered across the hillside, patches of white splotched atop the golden grasses. To the northwest, the Crazy Mountains, coated in fresh snow, seemed to glow from within. Then a covey of about 10 Hungarian partridge…

September 16, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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State game warden detained for 5 ½ hours by tribal officials outside Hays

A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden was detained by Fort Belknap tribal officers Saturday for 5½ hours and threatened with a citation for criminal trespass and the impoundment of his state vehicle before the heated incident was defused.

September 15, 2014 1:59 pmLoading…
Students get unique introduction to mountainous backyard

Students get unique introduction to mountainous backyard

This summer, the Absarokee superintendent of schools assigned some of his vacationing students an unusual summer project.

September 14, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Wilderness anniversary sparks photographer’s memories of 1966 summer job

Wilderness anniversary sparks photographer’s memories of 1966 summer job

On only his second day as a wilderness patrolman, Merv Coleman’s horse broke its hobble and ran away.

September 11, 2014 6:50 am Photos

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Raft trip marks significant point in Montana history

Raft trip marks significant point in Montana history

BONNER — Last weekend I rafted through a dam.

September 07, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Fort Peck rose more than 2 feet after August runoff

Fort Peck rose more than 2 feet after August runoff

With near-record runoff into Fort Peck Reservoir in August — 170 percent of normal — the massive lake in northeastern Montana rose more than 2 feet, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

September 05, 2014 2:50 pm Photos

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Site of Corps of Discovery horse crossing now official

Site of Corps of Discovery horse crossing now official

There’s a little piece of history just south of the heart of Billings, and now it has been officially recognized.

September 04, 2014 6:00 am Video Photos

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Cold, wet weekends stall Beartooth backpack plans

Cold, wet weekends stall Beartooth backpack plans

Twice my hopes to backpack in the Beartooth Mountains were dashed by cold weather, rain and the threat of snow this summer.

September 04, 2014 6:00 amLoading…
Expense of Montana takeover of federal lands difficult to define

Expense of Montana takeover of federal lands difficult to define

Determining the cost to the state of Montana to take over management of roughly 25 million acres of federal land within its borders is no easy task, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation puts such a deal at close to half a billion dollars.

September 01, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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MSU student tackles thorny issue of Yellowstone buffalo

MSU student tackles thorny issue of Yellowstone buffalo

Growing up in Florida did nothing to prepare Eddie Roqueta for spending hours in the cold of Yellowstone National Park making a film on bison last winter.

August 31, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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White calls land transfer unrealistic

White calls land transfer unrealistic

The transfer of federal lands to the state of Montana is too technically complex to be realistic, according to state Rep. Kerry White, R-Bozeman, although he does support more local input on how federal lands are managed.

August 31, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Researchers predict ash fall if Yellowstone supervolcano erupted

Researchers predict ash fall if Yellowstone supervolcano erupted

If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt — and there’s no indication that will happen any time soon — Billings residents could be up to their chins in ash.

August 29, 2014 6:00 am Video Photos

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Amputee passionately pursues backcountry skiing, outdoor fun

Amputee passionately pursues backcountry skiing, outdoor fun

Perhaps it was because Vasu Sojitra nearly died when he was a child that he has chosen to pursue life with such raw gusto, even though the youthful illness cost him his right leg.

August 28, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Group releases access proposals for public comment

Group releases access proposals for public comment

Crossing from public land to public land at fence corners has been a hotly contested issue between Montana hunters and landowners for some time.

August 24, 2014 12:00 am Related Loading…
Great Old Broads hike with a purpose

Great Old Broads hike with a purpose

It was a little jarring at first when the group of tanned, dusty, “women of a certain age” cheerfully referred to themselves as “broads” as they gathered at the Lava Lake Trailhead on Friday.

August 21, 2014 6:10 am Photos

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Wilks brothers get personal in pitch for land exchange

Wilks brothers get personal in pitch for land exchange

Ending years of speculation, Montana’s largest private landowners announced on a website they built to promote a land exchange that their extensive property purchases in the state are not geared to oil and gas exploration.

August 20, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Wilks brothers take land exchange offer public on website

Wilks brothers take land exchange offer public on website

In an unusual tactic, Montana’s largest private landowners have taken their proposal for a land exchange with the Bureau of Land Management directly to the public via a website.

August 19, 2014 6:00 amLoading…
FWP seeks to poison brook trout in Yellowstone tributary

FWP seeks to poison brook trout in Yellowstone tributary

Concerned that 10 years of work to remove brook trout from Soda Butte Creek has been ineffective, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are considering poisoning about 12 miles of the stream just outside Yellowstone National Park to kill the nonnatives.

August 19, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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King's paradise: Castle Mountains provide wealth of opportunity

King's paradise: Castle Mountains provide wealth of opportunity

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — Looking at the map, it didn’t seem like it would take long to drive up and over the Castle Mountains in central Montana.

August 17, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Wild prairie inventory: Students document land features north of Winnett

Wild prairie inventory: Students document land features north of Winnett

Sending a dirt bike rider and an Eastern Montana native to inventory lands with possible wilderness characteristics may seem like a bad choice by the Montana Wilderness Association, but Cameron Sapp doesn’t see it that way.

August 15, 2014 6:15 am Photos

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Good gear makes tough wilderness trip more comfy

Good gear makes tough wilderness trip more comfy

There were no sympathy cards left to play.

August 14, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Montana fishing report: Bighorn River black caddis hatch is hot

Dry fly fishing on the Bighorn River during the afternoon black caddis hatch is the best so far this season.

August 14, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Conservation groups vie to auction big game licenses

Conservation groups vie to auction big game licenses

Bidding wars on coveted big game hunting tags are common at conservation group gatherings, but on Thursday a couple of those groups were vying against each other to be the auctioneer of some of the popular Montana tags.

August 10, 2014 12:00 am Related Loading…
Historic ranch for sale: PN Ranch in Central Montana dates to 1800s

Historic ranch for sale: PN Ranch in Central Montana dates to 1800s

A small corner of Montana’s early history is for sale.

August 08, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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The wrong bite: Minnesota angler’s wilderness fishing trip stings

The wrong bite: Minnesota angler’s wilderness fishing trip stings

When Kellen Bennett’s uncle offered to fly him into the Idaho wilderness for a fishing trip as an apology for missing his April wedding, the 30-year-old Minnesotan eagerly accepted.

August 07, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Descent of remote snowfield ends in harrowing plunge

Descent of remote snowfield ends in harrowing plunge

It’s not easy to find snow in the summer, but die-hard skiers and snowboarders are known to climb high into shaded mountaintop couloirs to extend their season.

August 03, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Capturing photographs of lynx, wolverine proving tough for students

Capturing photographs of lynx, wolverine proving tough for students

Taking photographs of camera-shy Canada lynx and wolverines is tough, but it’s even more difficult when the camera is placed at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet or deep in the underbrush of the Beartooth Mountains.

August 01, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Wilderness Act’s anniversary prompts discussion about past, future

Wilderness Act’s anniversary prompts discussion about past, future

For 71-year-old Bill Cunningham, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act this summer has been an arduous task.

July 31, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Backpackable boats: Packrafting lures more paddlers into wild places

Backpackable boats: Packrafting lures more paddlers into wild places

BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS — Paddling his packraft deftly but quickly, Jared White appeared to be stuck between a rock and a hard current.

July 31, 2014 12:00 am Video Photos

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Car outings offer opportunity to haul lots of gear

Car outings offer opportunity to haul lots of gear

Car camping is a great way to take all of those extra comforts along with you into the woods — like a big, thick mattress, two-burner cookstove and camp chairs — so that roughing it isn’t so tough.

July 24, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Officials envisioning a new future for Montana State Parks

Officials envisioning a new future for Montana State Parks

Amid record-setting visitation and the celebration of Montana State Parks’ 75th anniversary, there is a lot of discussion behind the scenes among agency officials about what the next 10 years might look like.

July 20, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Trek became reconnection to youth, beauty of wildlands

Trek became reconnection to youth, beauty of wildlands

In this year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, I wrote an essay to read to a local group. Since they didn’t boo me off the podium, I thought I’d share it with you. Hopefully, you can find a chuckle in it, too, as well as some motivation to go on your own adventure.

July 17, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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