BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal court in has blocked thousands of domestic sheep from being released to graze in eastern Idaho where environmental groups say they jeopardize a small herd of bighorn sheep with deadly viruses. U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Monday granted the temporary restraining order sought by Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians in a lawsuit filed last month against the U.S. Forest Service.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has ruled a fellow justice accepted an illegal plea while overseeing a sexual assault case in 2015. The justices found then-District Judge Dirk Sandefur violated state law in accepting a "no contest" plea. The court vacated Gary Hansen's 60-year prison sentence and sent the case back to District Court in Great Falls where Hansen could enter a legal plea, reach a new plea agreement or take the case to trial.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana has named a state parks administrator nearly a year after the previous one was fired. The Independent Record reports the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks on Monday named Beth R. Shumate the new state parks administrator. Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Martha Williams says the agency saw strong interest in the position and considered 13 applicants before selecting Shumate. Shumate will begin work on Dec. 4.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Opponents of two gold mines proposed near Yellowstone National Park are pressing for Montana's lone U.S. House member to seek federal legislation to withdraw public lands near the park from future mining. After a measure stalled in the Senate, businesses and conservation groups said the support of U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte is crucial to making permanent a temporary mining ban enacted last year on 47 square miles (121 square kilometers) of land north of Yellowstone.
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