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Aerial view of the Zortman and Landusky Mines in Montana, which led to water contamination on the Fort Belknap reservation. (Associated Press)
Press Release July 11, 2024

Tribes, Conservation Groups Vow Continued Fight Against Irresponsible Mining After “Bad Actor” Retirement

Phillips Baker, Jr., retires from Hecla Mining Company leaving unreclaimed mining disasters behind

document July 11, 2024

Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Bad Actor Suit

Tribes and conservation groups filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss their claim in their ongoing Bad Actor litigation, but vowed to continue to fight to enforce Montana law to prevent additional irresponsible mining that enriches out-of-state corporate polluters and executives while leaving Montanans with the cost of perpetual pollution.

Grizzly bear near Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park. (Jim Peaco / National Park Service)
Press Release: Victory June 28, 2024

Court Ruling Recognizes Roads Harm Grizzly Bears in Flathead National Forest

Conservation groups secure another win for grizzly bears and bull trout

document June 28, 2024

Flathead Forest Roadbuilding – Order

A Montana District Court ruling recognized that grizzly bears are indeed impacted by existing roadways that do not receive motorized use, which the agencies failed to consider when allowing increased roadbuilding in the Flathead National Forest. Grizzly bears have learned to avoid roads — even closed roads — and are often displaced from habitat that features them.

North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. (EcoFlight)
Update May 21, 2024

Coal Mining Winding Down in the Nation’s Largest Coal-Producing Region

The Biden administration announced that it will end coal leasing in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, keeping billions of tons of highly polluting coal in the ground.

The North Antelope Rochelle Mine, located in Campbell County, Wyoming, about 65 miles south of Gillette in the Powder River Basin.
Press Release: Victory May 16, 2024

Biden Administration to End Coal Leasing in Powder River Basin

BLM decision will keep nearly 6 billion tons of highly polluting coal in the ground

In the News: Missoulian April 10, 2024

William Walks Along, Northern Cheyenne tribal leader, mentor and advocate dies at 64

Jenny Harbine, Managing Attorney, Northern Rockies Office: “In law, you always act in partnership with the clients you’re working with. With William, it was really a question of following his lead. Following the tribe’s lead. He taught us the value of respecting the leadership of people who have been the fiercest advocates and a moral…

An old homestead in front of wind turbines on private working ranch land near Kevin, Montana. (William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images)
Press Release: Victory March 20, 2024

Montana Supreme Court Again Rebukes NorthWestern Energy on Clean Energy Projects

Court requires utility to pay fine for failing to invest in community renewable projects

document March 20, 2024

Montana CREPs Decision

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled NorthWestern Energy’s hostile approach to clean energy was a violation of the law. The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) followed NorthWestern’s lead and allowed the company to ignore a requirement for the utility to invest in Montana communities by purchasing renewable energy from small community-based projects. The penalty for this violation will provide much-needed revenue to Low-Income and Tribal Energy Assistance programs.

A pair of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. (Todaysfotos / Shutterstock)
Press Release: Victory March 20, 2024

Court Ruling Halts Wolf Trapping and Snaring in Idaho Grizzly Bear Habitat

Trapping and snaring will no longer be allowed during non-denning periods

document March 19, 2024

Idaho Wolf Trapping Order

A summary judgment ruling in Idaho District Court will prevent the state of Idaho from authorizing wolf trapping and snaring in grizzly bear habitat during non-denning periods.

Montana’s cold, clean streams contain some of the last prime habitat in the United States for threatened bull trout, whose historic range has shrunk by half.
(Joel Sartore / National Geographic Stock / U.S. FWS)
Press Release: Victory March 13, 2024

Court Again Finds Flathead National Forest Roadbuilding Harms Grizzly Bears and Bull Trout

Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service did not lawfully examine impacts to species

document March 12, 2024

Flathead National Forest Findings

A Montana District Court ruling found that significant new roadbuilding projects in the Flathead National Forest will negatively impact Endangered Species Act-listed grizzly bears and bull trout. The court found that the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not lawfully examine the impacts to these species when the agencies greenlit the roadbuilding plan in 2018.

In the News: Montana Free Press March 4, 2024

Petitioners ask Montana utility board to integrate climate impacts into regulatory decisions

Jenny Harbine, Managing Attorney, Northern Rockies Office: “If the commission decides not to abide by those constitutional obligations, it certainly subjects itself to legal arguments that it acted unlawfully. We’re hoping we don’t have to cross that bridge.”

In the News: Great Falls Tribune February 27, 2024

Supreme Court approves copper mine near edge of beloved Smith River

Jenny Harbine, Managing Attorney, Northern Rockies Office: “Montanans and the wildlife who depend on pristine water quality and adequate flows in the Smith River deserve no less than the full protections afforded by these laws.”

The Smith River in Montana is beloved for trout fishing and rafting. (Pat Clayton /
Press Release February 26, 2024

Montana Supreme Court Overturns District Court Ruling That Blocked Mine’s Operating Permit

Separate challenge to Black Butte Copper Mine’s water rights could still prevent mining

document February 26, 2024

Smith River Copper Mine – MEPA Decision

The Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sandfire Resources and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, reinstating the operating permit for the proposed 1,888-acre Black Butte Copper Mine in the Smith River watershed.

North Antelope Rochelle Mine, Campbell County, Wyoming. (Ecoflight)
Press Release February 21, 2024

Ninth Circuit Decision Throws Out Coal Leasing Challenge

Northern Cheyenne Tribe and conservation groups urge Interior Department to act on coal