Montana Public Radio

Chris Servheen

Wolf portrait closeup on the eyes, on a black background.
iStock

More than a half dozen wildlife bills have been signed into law, all with a similar vision for Montana: they suggest that there are too many predators on the landscape — and that numbers of animals like wolves and grizzly bears need to be reduced. Now, questions are proliferating over the future of predators in Montana. How that future looks lies at the intersection of law, values, and living with those species on the ground. 

Grizzly bear mother and cub, stock photo.
(PD)

Planned races on trails in the heart of Northwest Montana’s grizzly habitat are reigniting a debate over adventure sports like mountain biking and ultrarunning in bear country.

Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento runs through basic bear identification during a community meeting in Fort Shaw, MT, April 4, 2018. Sarmento and other bear managers are preparing locals for more grizzlies moving into the area.
Corin Cates-Carney

This week on the Rocky Mountain Front, state wildlife officials trapped one grizzly bear and killed another when the bears, separately, killed a calf and attacked sheep. Wildlife managers expect more conflicts like this as the number of bears in the region grows.

Grizzly bears have started walking back into their historic territory on the eastern plains, and many farmers and ranchers who haven’t seen the bear in generations are scared for what this revival means for their own way of life.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

As the federal government prepares to remove Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in the area around Glacier National Park, bear management experts say public acceptance of grizzlies will be crucial to their long term survival.

Chris Servheen saw what a difference that can make in his 35 year career as the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

Scientists and wildlife advocates meet Tuesday, 10/17 to discuss whether grizzly bears in northwest Montana are ready to lose Endangered Species Act protections.

Wildlife officials say they are, and want grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem de-listed by 2020.

But Michael Jarnevic, says that’s way too soon:

Several hundred friends, family and Forest Service personnel attended the funeral of a man killed after surprising a bear on June 29.
Nicky Ouellet

A new report details the final moments of a career Flathead National Forest law enforcement officer killed last summer after a chance encounter with a grizzly bear.

Chris Servheen has been the government’s point man on grizzly bear recovery for 35 years.
Courtesy UM College of Forest & Conservation

The man hired to guide the federal government’s grizzly bear recovery program retires at the end of this month.

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert

Yellowstone-area grizzly bears should be removed from the Endangered Species list - that’s what federal wildlife officials said Thursday.

Grizzly bear, file photo.
(PD)

State and federal grizzly bear experts meeting in Missoula this week have no shortage of topics to discuss.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is catching up on everything from to habitat and conservation strategies to ongoing efforts to recover the animals’ overall population so it no longer needs federal Endangered Species Act protections.

"We’ve got a huge effort underway. It’s very complicated and we want to make sure everybody’s on the same page and being successful in moving forward.”

Grizzly bear mother and cub, stock photo.
(PD)

The federal government's point man on grizzly bears says the Yellowstone ecosystem's grizzly population should be removed from the endangered species list.

Chris Servheen says the most accurate population estimate shows between 1,000 and 1,200 grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

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