Montana Public Radio

Endangered Species Act

Grizzly bear recovery zones, distributions, and distinct population segments.
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission will consider a rule Thursday for maintaining a healthy number of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, in anticipation of the animal being taken off protections under the endangered species list.

Stacy Courville checks his arm for splatter from the "bait bucket."
Nick Mott

Corrected 08/02/18, 6 p.m.

Grizzly bears in northern Montana are being killed this year at a rate far outpacing what’s typically seen.

On average, 25 grizzlies are removed from the population each year in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. So far this year that number is already at 27.

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert


A female grizzly bear was found dead last week in the Spotted Bear area south of Hungry Horse Reservoir. A cub was also orphaned by a car wreck last weekend on Highway 93 south of Ronan that killed its mother and two siblings.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

The federal government’s most recent sage grouse public comment period wrapped up Thursday.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed tweaking conservation plans that were hammered out back in 2015. That’s unnerved some of the people and groups who were involved in that process.

Bull trout
flickr/USFWS Headquarters

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act Thursday that it says will streamline efforts to protect species and habitat. Critics say the changes would severely erode the law.

Forest Service Proposes Changes To Sage Grouse Protections

Jun 20, 2018
Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service proposed changes Wednesday to sage grouse protections in six Western states that call for eliminating special designations for crucial habitat as well as keeping areas open for mining.

The agency also said restrictions on water development for livestock will be removed as will other requirements that could limit some livestock grazing.

Grizzly Bear Committee Delays Vote On NCDE Conservation Strategy
IGBC

Wildlife managers are laying the groundwork to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in and around the Continental Divide in northwest Montana later this year.

On Tuesday, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s executive committee was expected to vote on a so-called Conservation Strategy. But the vote was delayed to give members more time to consider public comments.

Bear Management Units (BMUs) in the NCDE Primary Conservation Area. BMU subunits are outlined in light gray.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is getting together this week for their bi-annual meeting about grizzly bear management in northwest Montana.

Members will vote on a conservation strategy that outlines how federal, tribal and state managers can maintain a recovered, genetically diverse population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. The two-day meeting begins Tuesday in Polson.

Arctic grayling
Mark Conlin, USFWS


Four years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that Arctic grayling in Montana don’t warrant Endangered Species Act protection. Now, it’s asking for public input on its strategy to work with the state and private landowners to protect the last native population of the fish in the lower 48 states.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

Wyoming Wednesday approved its first grizzly bear hunt in 44 years. State wildlife commissioners voted unanimously to do so.

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