Campers in national forests worried about target shooting
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Campers in Montana’s national forests are getting skittish as more sportsmen take advantage of rules that allow target shooting, even though they comply with the rules.
The rules bar target shooting 150 yards of a residence, a building, or campsite or developed recreation site, but for some campers, that’s way too close.
Campers point to trees that have been shredded with bullets not far from group campsites.
According to the Great Falls Tribune , forest officials have no plans to change the rules and they are urging recreational shooters to remember that some areas are high-use camping areas with families, including children spending nights there.
Tribes criticize lawsuit challenging transfer of bison range
PABLO, Mont. (AP) — Officials with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes say a lawsuit looking to halt a potential transfer of the National Bison Range to the tribes is not credible.
Attorneys for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a lawsuit last week saying federal officials failed to conduct an environmental review before deciding to support the transfer of the bison range.
The Missoulian reports that CSKT Chairman Vernon Finley says the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which include former bison range employees in addition to the environmental group, have a history of opposing tribal involvement.
In the lawsuit, PEER claims the proposed transfer doesn’t ensure the future of the bison herd and doesn’t take into account the value of the refuge complex, which would be transferred to the tribes at no cost.
Bicyclist run down, robbed by driver in Eureka
EUREKA, Mont. (AP) — A 28-year-old man is expected to be charged in Lincoln County after officials say he ran down a Eureka bicyclist with a car in order to rob the victim.
The Daily Inter Lake reports that Montana Highway Patrol officers say the victim was riding a bicycle on Highway 37 on May 9 when he was struck from behind. The suspect then went through the cyclist’s bag and stashed his vehicle.
Trooper Anthony Jenson says the suspect hitchhiked away from his hidden vehicle and was let out near the scene of the crash. The suspect then gave the victim’s wallet to law enforcement and confessed to the crime.
The victim suffered fractures to the skull, road rash, a broken ankle, broken toe and a concussion.
Man dies after truck rolls over near Custer
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a Yellowstone County crash that left a man dead after his vehicle went off the road and landed in a ditch.
The Billings Gazette reports that the 51-year-old victim from Hysham, who has not yet been identified, died in the crash near Custer on Sunday.
He had been driving a pickup truck when he went off the right side of the road and overcorrected the vehicle before entering the ditch.
The pickup rolled over and the victim was ejected.
It is unknown whether speed or alcohol played were factors in the crash.
The incident remains under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.
Teacher shortage in northern Montana has officials worried
HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — A shortage of teachers in northern Montana has officials worried.
Superintendents from three rural Montana districts told the Montana University Board of Regents that teachers are unwilling to relocate to northern Montana and school officials have problems filling primary and secondary school teacher positions.
According to the Havre Daily News , the superintendents told the regents that a teacher prep program at Montana State University-Northern has helped immensely.
One school official says he’s looking for applicants who understand the region because many potential teachers from outside the area have a hard time adjusting to working in small schools.
Sage grouse protections being considered
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Federal biologists are working to ensure the survival of a small group of sage grouse that inhabit the Gros Ventre (GROW’ vawnt) river drainage, even though it only involves a few dozen of the large birds.
Bridger-Teton National Forest biologists are asking the Forest Service’s regional office to fund seven projects designed to aid the endangered birds.
According to the Jackson Hole News and Guide , the proposed projects include rangeland restoration that will convert smooth grass pastures to native sagebrush and closures of some roads that border sage grouse breeding sites.
Changes to winter travel regulations are also being considered, including areas for snowmobile and hiking.