Montana Public Radio

Glacier National Park

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will vote on Monday to proceed with a rule related to the management of grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park if the bears are removed from the endangered species list.

Known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bears in the NCDE from 2004 to 2018.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

2018 has been the deadliest year since scientists started keeping track for grizzlies in Northwest Montana.

"We did have a record high number of mortalities," says Cecily Costello, a grizzly bear research biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and she’s talking about the huge swath of land in and around Glacier National Park, known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). About a thousand bears live there.

Hilary Cooley, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, presenting at an annual meeting on grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, Nov. 20, 2018.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it no longer plans to propose removing the population of grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park from the endangered species list this year.

"We were on track to try and have a proposal, or at least have an evaluation of recovery and a potential proposal, out by the end of the calendar year," says Hilary Cooley, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, at an annual meeting Tuesday on grizzlies in what’s known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, or NCDE. 

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Trump administration filed in federal appeals court Tuesday to block oil and gas drilling near Glacier National Park on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

The U.S. Department of Interior led by Secretary Ryan Zinke is contesting an energy development lease just south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. It and others in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest were voided in the final days of the Obama administration, but reinstated by a federal judge this September.

Katherine Stats, West Glacier Paradise. Oil on linen panel 18x24.
Hockaday Museum of Art

Like thousands of tourists, businesses and locals, wildfire altered plans for some 40 artists participating in a residency program hosted by Kalispell’s Hockaday Museum of Art last summer.

Grizzly bears roam near Polebridge seeking food sources.
Courtesy MontanaFWP

Two yearling grizzly bears were euthanized near Polebridge on Sunday, as bears venture closer to people at a time when they’re trying to pack on calories for hibernation.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Dillon Tabish says the bears broke into a yurt, a cooler, garbage, a vehicle and a trailer.

The Flathead National Forest is now taking comments on how it should manage the three forks of the Flathead River.
U.S. Forest Service

The last of this summer’s six public meetings on the management plan for the future of the Flathead River happens Wednesday in Kalispell.

Hosted by the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park, it will focus on recreation monitoring and scenery, two of the river’s outstanding remarkable values protected under its Wild and Scenic River designation.

The Sperry Chalet on Oct. 3, 2018.
Amy Boring/ A Boring Photo

With snow dusting the peaks in Glacier National Park, crews are buttoning up their work rebuilding Sperry Chalet, the backcountry dormitory that burned in the Sprague Fire last summer. Phase 1 of the rebuilding plan is on schedule and on budget. 

Grizzly bear recovery zones.
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

State, federal and tribal wildlife officials are figuring out what returning Yellowstone-area grizzly bears to the endangered species list means for managing other populations of the animal.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Bear Biologist Cecily Costello at the Wednesday meeting
Nick Mott

Editor’s Note: After this story aired, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks contacted us about how we characterized the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem’s grizzly bear conservation strategy. See the * below for clarification.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is going ahead with business as usual on a rule related to removing grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park from the endangered species list.

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