MTPR

Rocky Mountain Front

National Weather Service

Areas of the northern Rocky Mountains looked more like mid-winter rather than early fall on Sunday as a snowstorm dumped record amounts of wind-driven snow that caused hazardous travel conditions and scattered power outages.

Courtesy of Mike Madel

A Montana wildlife management specialist says one of the oldest male grizzly bears recorded along the Rocky Mountain Front was euthanized this week for killing livestock. 

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.

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Associated Press today that the federal government plans to appeal a federal court ruling allowing oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park.

The Badger-Two Medicine is the site of the creation story for the Blackfoot Tribes, and is located on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation.

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

A federal judge has reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native American tribes.

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust recently awarded $50,000 to the Vital Ground Foundation to support its Glen Willow conservation easement north of Choteau.
Herrera

A new conservation project intended to prevent grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front is getting private funding to help it move forward.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust announced Tuesday that it recently awarded $50,000 to the Vital Ground Foundation to support its Glen Willow conservation easement north of Choteau.

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.

Grizzly bear. File photo.
(PD)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife officials say grizzly bears have begun leaving their dens along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist Mike Madel said Tuesday that based on reported sightings and footprints, he estimates four or five bears are out. Madel says the bears are out a little later than last year.

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert

2017 was a record year for grizzly bear conflicts and grizzly bear deaths along the Rocky Mountain Front.

A bear warning sign.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

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