Tag Archives: Rocky Mountain Front

Documentary about Badger-Two Medicine coming to Kalispell, Oct 20

From an MWA announcement released this morning . . .

Our Last Refuge documentary
Our Last Refuge documentary

Don’t miss the Kalispell screening of “Our Last Refuge,”a documentary film about the sacred Badger-Two Medicine area and the decades-long struggle to protect it from oil and gas development.

The film features voices from all sides of the struggle — Blackfeet elders, local conservationists, and even the law firm pushing for oil exploration. All together, they chronicle the epic saga of this unique landscape and the current legal challenge over it, the outcome of which could determine the fate of sensitive and sacred lands nationwide.

“Our Last Refuge” is the first in-depth telling of this critical story at a moment in time when the stakes are at their highest.

Thursday, October 20, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Flathead Valley Community College
Large Community Room, Arts & Technology Building, Room 139
777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901

For more information, contact Casey Perkins, MWA Rocky Mountain Front field director, at (406) 466-2600 or at cperkins@wildmontana.org.

The “Our Last Refuge” trailer can be viewed on Vineo: https://vimeo.com/183899314

Note: There is also a free panel discussion in Missoula on Tuesday, October 18, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. featuring Blackfeet Tribal members speaking about the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Rocky Mountain Front and the efforts of the Blackfeet and others to protect this sacred and wild area from oil and gas development.

Hosted by the UM Native American Studies program, the event will feature scenes from the “Our Last Refuge” documentary about the Badger and the fight save it.

The event will be held at
University of Montana – The Payne Family Native American Center – Rm. 105
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812

Grizzlies appearing on high plains north of Great Falls

Grizzly Bear - courtesy NPS
Grizzly Bear – courtesy NPS

Nice to see grizzlies recovering more of their old range . . .

State game wardens have been busy monitoring and hazing grizzly bears as they show up on the prairies east of the Rocky Mountain Front. A trap was set for one after some chickens were killed.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden Mike Krings tells the Great Falls Tribune that he used cracker shells to haze a bear away from the outskirts of Conrad on Tuesday evening, while a grizzly bear making its way toward a small farmstead on Monday was spooked when Krings drove up.

Bear managers have set a trap for a grizzly bear north of Bynum after it pushed open the door of a chicken coop Monday and killed 20 chickens.

Grizzly bear manager Mike Madel says FWP has received reports of grizzlies in the Valier area, as well.

Read more . . .

Grizzlies up and moving early on the Rocky Mountain Front

Grizzly Bear - Thomas Lefebvre, via Unsplash
Grizzly Bear – Thomas Lefebvre, via Unsplash

Grizzly bears are making an early start on the east side this year . . .

Grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front are emerging from their dens this year earlier than ever after the mild winter, Montana wildlife officials said.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials flew over the area on Friday to check on nine bears that had been fitted with radio collars, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Eight were already gone, and several female bears had already traveled far down river drainages east of the mountains. One bear’s radio signal was picked up east of U.S. Highway 89 on the open plains near the Marias River.

“This is by far the earliest we’ve had as many transmitted grizzly bears outside of their dens,” FWP grizzly bear management specialist Mike Madel said.

Read more . . .

Moose population study continues

Moose - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

As mentioned in previous posts here, here and here, Montana’s Moose population is declining and no one is quite sure why . . .

If you went hunting last year, the people at the check station who asked if you had seen any moose weren’t just making conversation.

Those drive-by surveys are part of an ongoing study by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to find out why the massive ungulates have been disappearing from the landscape over the past few decades.

Jesse Newby, a wildlife research technician for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the statewide study launched in 2013. He and wildlife biologist Nick DeCesare use aerial flights and radio tracking as their primary tools to monitor moose populations in the Cabinet Mountains, the Big Hole Valley and the Rocky Mountain Front.

Read more . . .

Grizzlies keep pushing out onto high plains

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs

Grizzlies continue to move down from the mountains and out into their old range on the high plans . . .

As the lone grizzly bear expert for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Region Four office, Mike Madel hasn’t had any problems keeping busy along the Rocky Mountain Front. “It was a heck of a year,” he said during a presentation to regional grizzly experts Wednesday near Kalispell. “We had bears expanding way out into the plains again, and further than we’ve ever had them.”…

The range of grizzly bears along Montana’s Northern Continental Divide has roughly doubled since they received federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, and much of that new territory has been east of the Rockies.

Grizzlies are increasingly present on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, often following the winding, tree-lined drainages that extend east from the mountains. Even Great Falls might not be immune to the encroaching bears for long.

Read more . . .

Also read: State, federal grizzly bear experts to meet in Missoula

Blackfeet musician Jack Gladstone invites oil company exec to Rocky Mountain Front

Our colleagues on the Rocky Mountain Front are having a problem with Solenex, an oil outfit based in Lousiana. Solenex is suing the feds to allow oil exploration in the Badger-Two Medicine area. Jack Gladstone came up with a unique way to open a conversation with the company . . .

Blackfeet musician Jack Gladstone has invited a Louisiana oil executive to visit him on the reservation and discuss relinquishing his company’s oil leases south of Glacier National Park.

Gladstone wrote to Solenex Inc. manager Sidney Longwell on Aug. 30, telling him the company’s drilling plans along the Rocky Mountain Front would “violate both the sanctity of this landscape and the treaty rights” of the Pikuni-Blackfeet people…

“Sidney, my home is on the Blackfeet Reservation. I may not have all the amenities of the big city, but a pot of coffee is always on and a meal never far from the stove,” Gladstone wrote. “I invite you to visit me here, to deepen our understanding of each other’s motives and visions regarding the Badger-Two Medicine/Hall Creek wildlands.

Read more . . .

New oil exploration leases near Glacier Park trigger concern

Renewed concerns about oil exploration along the Rocky Mountain Front . . .

A series of new oil exploration leases on the border of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park has renewed the anger and motivation of those opposed to energy development along the Rocky Mountain Front.

The leases were found last week among records held by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. They include nine lease blocks, two of which include a portion of Chief Mountain — the square-shaped landmark mountain along the eastern border of the national park.

Continue reading . . .

Grizzly bear panel eying oil activity on east side

Land and wildlife managers are keeping an eye on the impact of oil and gas development on the Rock Mountain Front . . .

An interagency panel of land and wildlife managers has turned its attention to the impacts on grizzly bears from oil-and-gas exploration and extraction on the Rocky Mountain Front.

The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Subcommittee is geared toward delisting the grizzly bear population, with a draft Conservation Strategy for doing so expected to be released this summer.

But removing the threatened Northern Rockies grizzly bear population from protection under the Endangered Species Act is still “several years out,” said Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Continue reading . . .

FWP issues alert for grizzly bears on high plains east of Rocky Mountain Front

Even more evidence that grizzlies are starting to disperse eastward from the Rocky Mountain Front . . .

Wildlife officials are warning residents that grizzly bears are on the prairie east of the Rocky Mountain Front and precautions should be taken.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks workers tell the Great Falls Tribune that the agency has received reports of grizzlies east of Valier, on the Sun River between Fort Shaw and the town of Sun River, and along the Marias River above Tiber Reservoir.

Continue reading . . .

Obama proposes $29M in Montana land conservation projects

From today’s Missoulian . . .

Montana acreage ranks high on President Barack Obama’s wish list for 2013 landscape conservation initiatives, including possible additions to Glacier National Park, conservation easements in the Blackfoot Valley and the Rocky Mountain Front, and completion of the Montana Legacy Project.

“The fact this has risen to this level, with a White House conference last week, is really important,” said Greg Neudecker, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff member and vice chairman of the Blackfoot Challenge. “The president and secretary of Interior were very complimentary of what folks in the Crown of the Continent have been doing here. It’s great to see them latching on to community conservation.”

Ovando rancher Jim Stone visited with Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last Friday at the White House Conservation Conference in Washington, D.C. The meeting grew out of the president’s new America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which kicked off last year in Ovando before going nationwide.

Continue reading . . .