Montana Public Radio

Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem

Electric fencing can be an effective tool for protecting livestock such as chickens, goats and young cattle.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Grizzly bears are repopulating areas of Montana that haven’t seen them for decades, creating more conflict between livestock, people and bears. Some ranchers are learning they need to do something that doesn’t come naturally — change how they live on the land.

As bears were hibernating in their dens this winter, the Blackfeet Stockgrowers Association held a meeting in Choteau to provide a space for ranchers like Mark Hitchcock to talk about working alongside the growing number of grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Frank Van Manen, team leader at the United States Geological Survey's Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, presents at an annual meeting of bear managers in Missoula, MT, December 17, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Bear managers pushed back on recent concerns over grizzly bear deaths during a meeting of state and federal wildlife officials in Missoula Tuesday.

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 with cubs.
(PD)

A record number of grizzly bears were killed this year in and around Glacier National Park. It’s the second year in a row of record deaths for the threatened species in the area, which is home to more grizzlies than anywhere in the lower 48 states.

But there’s disagreement over whether two years of record bear deaths should raise alarm bells.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
(PD)

Montana wildlife officials recently captured a grizzly bear near Columbia Falls and moved it to a remote location in the North Fork of the Flathead River Drainage.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) says the 240-pound subadult male was eating from fruit trees and garbage on private property north of U.S Highway 2.

Fred Allendorf speaks during a Nov. 15, 2019 meeting in Missoula about grizzly bear connectivity. The meeting was called by five independent researchers. Organizers Jake Kreilick and Mike Bader are visible in the background.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

After Montana’s new Grizzly Bear Advisory Council met last week in Bozeman to map out a state management plan for the expanding grizzly bear populations near Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, researchers in Missoula railed against turning management over from federal agencies to the state.

As grizzly bear populations in Montana expand into areas where they haven’t been seen for generations, so does the number of potential conflicts with humans.

Grizzly bear track.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The mortality rate of grizzly bears in northwestern Montana has prompted a group of bear researchers to challenge whether the grizzly should be removed from federal protection.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Montana wildlife officials announced Tuesday that two grizzlies were recently killed in northwest Montana. A food-conditioned male grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend and a female was killed by a hunter last week.

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Conservation groups announced Monday that they sent a letter to BNSF Railway threatening a lawsuit over grizzly bears killed along its train tracks. So far this year, a record eight grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been killed by trains.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s illegal to kill them, even if it’s an accident.

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

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) moved three grizzly bears from the Bigfork and Libby areas after the animals attempted to access human food.

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