Caroline Byrd

Grizzly Bear Advisory Council Struggles With ‘Herculean’ Challenge In Missoula

Dec 6, 2019
Grizzly Bear Citizen Advisory Council members Caroline Byrd, left, and Trina Jo Bradley, right, listen as council member Chad Bauer addresses Gov. Steve Bullock at an advisory council meeting in Missoula Dec. 5.
Alex Sakariassen / Montana Free Press

MISSOULA — Chad Bauer, a member of Gov. Steve Bullock’s Grizzly Bear Citizen Advisory Council, expressed a sense of urgency and unease on the second morning of the council’s Dec. 4-5 meeting in Missoula. Bauer and Bullock sat across from each other in a crowded conference room on the University of Montana campus. Bullock had recently announced the end of his presidential campaign, and Bauer, who works as a municipal market manager for Missoula waste hauler Republic Services, was three months into his role on the council. Bullock has given the council the task of delivering recommendations on the future of state grizzly bear management by the end of next summer.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Gov. Steve Bullock Friday named the 18 members of his new grizzly bear management council. The appointees are roughly equal parts ranchers and conservation policy advocates.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A major package of public lands legislation has passed the U.S. Senate. It includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

"Today is — it’s one of the greatest days of my life. It’s amazing, and it really restores faith in the system, too," says Colin Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs.

Greater Yellowstone Coalition's Scott Christensen and Liz Purdy eating lunch at Follow Yer Nose BBQ in Emigrant on their way out to Jardine, MT for a conservation celebration.
Courtesy Caroline Byrd

A Canadian mining company and a pair of conservation groups have finalized agreements they say will protect two tributaries of the Yellowstone River and part of a crucial migration corridor for thousands of elk from Yellowstone National Park.

The Toronto-based mining company donated 549 acres and its water rights for the tributaries near the company's former Mineral Hill Mine site that closed in 2001.

Emigrant Peak north of Yellowstone, near the area of a proposed Lucky Minerals mine exploration.
Flickr user Sean Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Caroline Byrd describes south-central Montana's scenic Emigrant Gulch in the Paradise Valley as Yellowstone National Park's "northern backdoor".

"It's got wildlife. It's got water. It's got scenic beauty and it's got real ecological importance for keeping the whole place knit together," says Byrd.

Byrd, the executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition says that's no place for a mine.

Emigrant Peak, near a proposed mine exploration site.
Richard Reeve (CC-BY-SA-2)

Environmentalists say a Canadian company's request to explore for gold and other elements south of Livingston puts the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem at risk.

Lucky Minerals Incorporated wants to explore a six square-mile area for copper, molybdenum and gold in Emigrant Gulch in the Custer Gallatin National Forest and on private land nearby.

6/3/14: This week on "Home Ground:" For decades, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition has fought to protect grizzly bears. With numbers rebounding dramatically in and around Yellowstone Park, can the G.Y.C. shift gears and work cooperatively with the public agencies and private landowners it once fought?