Tag Archives: bear management

Montana to keep 1000 grizzlies after delisting

Montana NCDE Bear Management Units
Montana NCDE Bear Management Units

Here’s a pretty good summary of Montana’s proposed management plan for grizzly bears in the northwest section of the state . . .

Wildlife officials endorsed a plan Thursday to keep northwestern Montana’s grizzly population at roughly 1,000 bears as the state seeks to bolster its case that lifting federal protections will not lead to the bruins’ demise.

The proposal adopted on a preliminary vote by Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners sets a target of at least 800 grizzlies across a 16,000-square mile (42,000-square kilometer) expanse just south of the U.S.-Canada border.

However, officials pledged to manage for a higher number, about 1,000 bears, to give the population a protective buffer, said Dillon Tabish with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

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Decision on Yellowstone region grizzly delisting delayed

Grizzly Bear - courtesy NPS
Grizzly Bear – courtesy NPS

Removal of Yellowstone area grizzlies from the Endangered Species List is by no means a done deal . . .

Federal officials are delaying their decision on whether to lift protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park and allow hunting, amid opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes and conservation groups.

Officials had planned to finalize the proposal to turn jurisdiction on grizzlies over to state officials in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by the end of 2016.

But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Regional Director Michael Thabault said it could take the agency another six months to finish reviewing 650,000 public comments that have poured in on the proposal.

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Tribes hold ‘Prayer for the Great Bear’ ceremony

Grizzly Bear - Thomas Lefebvre, via Unsplash
Grizzly Bear – Thomas Lefebvre, via Unsplash

Representatives of several tribes held a gathering in Glacier Park to speak out in favor of retaining grizzly bear protections . . .

As federal wildlife managers prepare to move grizzly bears off the Endangered Species List in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, opposition to delisting the iconic — and to many, sacred — animal has continued.

Led by several tribal nations, a crowd of roughly 100 people met at the eastern gateway of Glacier National Park on Friday for a “Prayer for the Great Bear” ceremony.

David Bearshield of the Cheyenne Nation sang a prayer in his native language with the shore of St. Mary’s Lake as the backdrop.

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Tribal leaders gather in Glacier Park Aug 12 for grizzly bear ceremony

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs - NPS photo
Grizzly bear sow with three cubs – NPS photo

From the Flathead Beacon . . .

Led by spiritual leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy, tribal leaders from across North America will gather at Rising Sun in Glacier National Park on Friday, Aug. 12 to hold a prayer ceremony for the grizzly bear, which is considered sacred by tribes across the continent. The event will begin at 2 p.m.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing federal protections under the Endangered Species Act for grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone region.

Through a limited drawing, hunters could have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kill a grizzly bear in Montana during a spring and fall season if the animal is delisted.

Tribal governments have expressed opposition on the basis of sovereignty, treaty, spiritual, and religious freedom violations.

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North Fork grizzly killed after breaking into trailers

An adult female grizzly broke into three campers on private property south of Red Meadow Creek, July 28, 2016 - via Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
An adult female grizzly broke into three campers on private property south of Red Meadow Creek, July 28, 2016 – via Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

The day it was captured, I saw this bear eating serviceberries along the North Fork Road. Another unfortunate example of the fate of many bears that develop the habit of breaking into human structures in search of food. Darn it . . .

State wildlife managers killed a female grizzly bear after the animal broke into three camp trailers in the North Fork of the Flathead River drainage.

John Fraley, spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said an adult female grizzly bear was captured July 29 on private property south of Red Meadow Creek. A bear had broken into three camp trailers, which were unoccupied at the time but where people had been living.

According to Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley, the bear was captured in a culvert trap that was set within two feet of one of the trailers. The trailers had been broken into on the evening of July 28. Once inside the trailers, the bear ate dog food along with food in the cupboards.

Read more . . .

Also read: Grizzly bear euthanized after breaking into trailers (Missoulian)

Wyoming considers tribal call for grizzly transplants

Grizzly on ranch east of Yellowstone - Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Grizzly on ranch east of Yellowstone – Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Native American tribes want Wyoming to transplant excess bears to reservations rather than hunting them. Kudos to Bill Fordyce for spotting this one . . .

Wyoming might consider Native American tribes’ request that grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem be transplanted to reservations rather than hunted, a top official said last week.

Even though it has adopted framework regulations for grizzly hunting, Wyoming Game and Fish won’t dismiss the transplant idea, Wyoming’s Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik said. His remarks followed a call by a tribal coalition that grizzlies be transplanted instead of hunted if managers seek to reduce their numbers in the ecosystem.

“Instead of trophy hunting the grizzly, Tribal Nations wish to see grizzlies transplanted from the GYE to sovereign tribal lands in the grizzly’s historic range where biologically suitable habitat exists,” coalition co-founder R. Bear Stands Last wrote Game and Fish director Scott Talbott on June 29. “The same quota of grizzlies that would be hunted per season could easily be trapped and relocated, removing any possible rationalization for re-instituting trophy hunts.”

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Grizzlies potentially at risk on 2 million acres after delisting

Grizzly on ranch east of Yellowstone - Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Grizzly on ranch east of Yellowstone – Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Here’s a pretty good discussion of the issues grizzly bears could face in parts of Wyoming after delisting goes into effect. Kudos to Bill Fordyce for spotting this one . . .

Wyoming will “discourage” grizzly bears — likely by hunting — from thousands of square miles they currently occupy in the Yellowstone ecosystem, state officials said recently while describing pending plans.

Grizzly bears can’t easily live without conflict in 3,236 square miles they now occupy on the fringes of the Yellowstone ecosystem, Wyoming wildlife authorities say, and the federal government agrees. Consequently, grizzlies now living on some of the ecosystem edges won’t be counted in official censuses and will be moved off, killed or hunted, sometimes even before they conflict with human activities, pending state and federal plans say.

Nevertheless, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removes the Yellowstone-area grizzly from the list of threatened species — a process that could be completed by the end of this year — the agency will continue to monitor grizzly populations in the core of the ecosystem. Area managers will strive for a population of 674 bears in the 19,270 square-mile central zone known as Demographic Monitoring Area. If that population is well distributed and fecund with breeding females, there’s enough habitat and regulations to make federal wildlife managers confident grizzlies will persist.

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Nuisance Columbia Falls grizzly moved to North Fork

Grizzly bear release in Whale Creek drainage, April 11, 2016
Grizzly bear release in Whale Creek drainage, April 11, 2016

Yet another delinquent grizzly was moved to the North Fork earlier this month. The Hungry Horse News has the story. Also, check out the video . . .

A 3-year-old male grizzly bear was captured April 10 at a private residence along Tamarack Road northwest of Columbia Falls. The 211 pound bear was captured by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear and lion specialist Erik Wenum after the resident reported a bear had killed some of his young chickens.

The young bear was anesthetized, radio-collared, and released by grizzly bear management specialist Tim Manley. The Interagency decision was made to release the bear back into the wild since it had no previous known conflicts. The grizzly bear was released on the afternoon of April 11 in the Whale Creek drainage of the North Fork of the Flathead, 34 straight line miles from where it was caught.

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See also: Video of the bear being released

Grizzly and black bear activity picks up in Northwest Montana

Black Bear
Black Bear

From a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release . . .

A 3 year old male grizzly bear was captured April 10th at a private residence along Tamarack Road northwest of Columbia Falls. The 211 pound bear was captured by FWP Bear and Lion Specialist Erik Wenum after the resident reported a bear had killed some of his young chickens.

The young bear was anesthetized, radio-collared, and released by Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley. The Interagency decision was made to release the bear back into the wild since it had no previous known conflicts. The grizzly bear was released on the afternoon of April 11th in the Whale Creek drainage of the North Fork of the Flathead, 34 straight line miles from where it was caught.

Black bear activity has picked up as well. FWP Bear and Lion Specialist Erik Wenum reports that he has handled two problem bears in the last two days and is attempting to trap four other black bears that have ranged close to residences. Wenum reminds
residents to take down bird feeders, secure garbage, feed pets inside, clean up chicken and livestock feed, and in general remove all odorous substances that can draw bears.

On Monday morning, a radio tracking flight was conducted to locate radio-collared grizzly bears in the Swan and Mission mountains. A total of 8 radio-collared grizzly bears were located. Seven of the bears were out of their dens, but still in the upper elevations in the snow. A total of 16 grizzly bears were observed which included cubs, yearlings, and two-year-olds that were with their mothers.

Additional flights are planned during the month of April to locate radio-collared grizzly bears in the Whitefish Range and the Middle Fork of the Flathead. One of the main objectives of the flights is to get visuals on adult females and the number of young they have when they first emerge from their dens. This allows biologists to track cub reproduction and cub survival throughout the year.

Manley reminds residents and recreationists to secure attractants and carry bear spray while in bear country. Residents can also protect their chickens, beehives, and other livestock from bears by properly installing and maintaining an electric fence. For more information you can visit the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/ or at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/.

See also: Bears emerging early have run-ins with Montana residents (Missoulian)

‘Twenty-five grizzly bears a year die in Yellowstone Park, but this one had a name’

Grizzly bear sow with three cubs

Here’s an interesting article that picks up social media’s impact on bear management and runs with it . . .

When a grizzly bear killed a hiker in Yellowstone National Park last year, millions of people took it personally.

“The public response was 100 percent different than two years ago,” said Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone’s bear manager. “Twenty-five grizzly bears a year die in Yellowstone Park, but this one had a name.”

Her name was Blaze, according to the outpouring of outrage on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets that appeared within a day of the Aug. 11 incident. Gunther and other park officials still aren’t sure it was that particular, often-photographed sow with two cubs (there were four such females with two cubs in the area). But they are sure their decisions, and all future debate about managing grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountain West, are under a new level of scrutiny.

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