MTPR

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

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

The U.S. Interior Department announced changes Monday to how federal agencies will apply the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There is concern that the changes could affect Yellowstone grizzly bears' threatened status in the future.

The bears' status under the Endangered Species Act has been tied up in court for years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that it officially placed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem back on the endangered species list, complying with a 2018 court order.

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed Greater Yellowstone bears from the federal endangered species list in 2017, saying the population was distinct and that it no longer needed endangered species protections.

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 Trump Administration must decide by Friday whether to appeal a ruling from a federal judge in Missoula last fall that put Yellowstone-area grizzly bears back on the endangered species list.

Map showing the area between estimated occupied grizzly bear range in the NCDE to the north and the GYE to the south.
Lisa Landenburger, USGS - Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Public domain. Source: Peck et al. 2017.

Don’t expect the federal government to propose removing grizzly bears in Northwest Montana from the endangered species list anytime soon, officials say.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Hilary Cooley says it’s complicated trying to prove in court that the grizzly population is recovered.

Causes of known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bear in the NCDE.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


On Tuesday, grizzly bear managers announced that a representative from Montana’s Department of Transportation will be joining their committee in hopes of reducing a growing number of bear deaths on highways.

Conflicts between grizzly bears and humans in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are on the rise as more bears return to their historic range. The Montana Bear Education Working Group is trying to teach people how to reduce encounters and stay safe.

Following a record year of deaths for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone, state and federal wildlife managers met in Bozeman this week to discuss efforts to reduce conflicts with humans. 

Grizzly bear.
(PD)


Gov. Steve Bullock announced today he is forming a Grizzly Bear Advisory Council. The goal is to spur discussion on grizzly management, conservation, and recovery across the state.

Greg Lemon with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says the new Council is a chance to rethink grizzly bear management in the face of changing populations.

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

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday filed notice to appeal restored Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears granted by a federal judge in Missoula in September.

MTPR's Nick Mott reports on the government’s challenge to a decision that blocked the first hunts of the animal in decades.

Grizzly bear family. Stock photo.
iStock

Grizzly bears in and around Montana are moving faster than the people tasked with managing them. That’s the takeaway from the year-end update from the group of federal and state wildlife experts who met this week in Missoula.

About 20 members of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, an organization in charge of grizzly bear management and recovery, crowded around a conference table, discussing the six ecosystems designated as grizzly bear habitat south of Canada.

Pages