Tag Archives: bear recovery

Feds may restore grizzlies to North Cascades

Looks like Washington’s Cascade Range may be getting some grizzly bears . . .

A tentative federal proposal to restore grizzly bears in the North Cascades will be explained at public meetings next month.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service are taking public comments for an environmental impact statement before deciding whether to take an active role in restoring the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem…

The North Cascades ecosystem encompasses 9,800 square miles in the United States and another 3,800 square miles in British Columbia. The United States portion includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan national recreation areas plus the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie national forests.

Read more . . .

Petition seeks restoration of grizzly bears to more habitat

The Center for Biological Diversity wants grizzly bears restored to more of their historic range . . .

An environmental group called on federal wildlife managers Wednesday to update a decades-old recovery plan for grizzly bears to ensure the animal’s return to the Grand Canyon and other areas of the West.

The Center for Biological Diversity, in a petition filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, accused the agency of using a fragmented approach as it tries to recover the threatened species. Efforts are currently focused on a fraction of the bear’s historic range, but the petition identifies more than 171 square miles around the West that could provide suitable habitat.

Those areas include a forested region straddling the Arizona-New Mexico border, the Grand Canyon, the Sierra Nevada in California and parts of Utah and Colorado.

Read more . . .

Grizzly bear populations approach delisting status

The Flathead Beacon has a good write-up on grizzly bear recovery . . .

Grizzly bears, the iconic species that once roamed the Western landscape before being threatened nearly to oblivion, have staged an historic comeback across the northern Rockies.

That much is not debatable. The question now is where do grizzlies go from here?

Wildlife officials are preparing to restart the process of removing special protections under the Endangered Species Act for bears near Yellowstone National Park. The move could occur as early as next month and lead the way for other delisting proposals, including one for Northwest Montana’s robust population.

Read more .  . .

More than just good data needed to delist Yellowstone grizzlies

Rob Chaney of the Missoulian posted a good summary of the state of the grizzly bear recovery effort.

Recommended reading . . .

Since the grizzly bear was listed as a federally threatened species in 1975, it’s made a remarkable comeback.

Decades of active hunting and poisoning, habitat destruction, isolation and manipulation pushed it to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 United States. California used to have the most, even putting it on its state flag. Californians killed their last grizzly in 1922. It was erased from its native prairie grasslands by the 1880s, just eight decades after the Lewis and Clark journals gave urban Americans their first account of the great bear.

By 1940, after heavy use of strychnine poisoning by farmers and ranchers, wildlife managers estimated the United States had perhaps 300 grizzlies (not counting Alaska). Today, about 1,850 roam the mountains of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington.

“There’s been a real evolution of attitudes that got us to this point,” said Chris Servheen, the grizzly recovery manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Missoula. “We used to be all about killing predators. Now we’re concerned about predators.

Read more . . .

Yellowstone Grizzlies to keep ‘threatened’ status until at least 2014

The debate over the Grizzly’s status in the Yellowstone Park area continues . . .

Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will keep their threatened status for at least the next two to three years, as wildlife officials said Friday they plan to bolster their case that the species has recovered.

Federal and state officials insist there are enough bears in the three-state Yellowstone region to guard against a reversal of the decades-long effort to bring them back from near-extermination.

Continue reading . . .

Grizzly bear sightings increasing on Montana’s Beartooth Front

From the Associated Press . . .

Wildlife biologists say that reports of grizzly bears are increasing in Montana’s Beartooth Front, but it’s difficult to tell if there are more bears or just more bear sightings.

Barb Pitman, wildlife biologist with the Beartooth Ranger District in Red Lodge, told The Billings Gazette it’s not clear if there are simply more people exploring bear country.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen says bears are pushing out in all directions from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem…

Continue reading . . .

Relocated grizzlies raise concerns for residents of Northwest Montana

An interesting article from today’s Flathead Beacon . . .

A rash of grizzly bear incidents in Northwest Montana has led to one of the busiest years ever involving captures and relocations, according to Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP has made 43 grizzly bear captures in Region 1 because of problem incidents this year, one of the highest numbers ever, according to FWP.

“This valley is a real grizzly hot spot,” FWP spokesperson John Fraley said.

Six grizzlies have had to be euthanized in recent months and one has been transferred to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone following problems, Fraley said.

Fraley attributes the increase in numbers to the fact that the grizzly population has recovered in the Northern Rockies in recent years, with an estimated 1,000 bears living in the region.

Continue Reading . . .

Grizzly bears moving east onto Montana’s high plains

Some pretty interesting news about grizzly bear recovery from today’s Missoulian . . .

An increasing grizzly bear population is expanding east from the Rocky Mountain Front in western Montana as individual bears discover that the plains contain abundant food, a grizzly bear expert says.

Mike Madel of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks said some bears appear to have discovered that food sources are better on the plains than in the mountains. He noted that in the past young bears trying to make it on their own were showing up on the plains, but now there are adult females that are passing their knowledge to their cubs.

Continue reading . . .

Feds ready to delist wolves in Wyoming, shoot on sight

An AP article posted in today’s Missoulian . . .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan Tuesday to remove wolves in Wyoming from federal protection and allow them to be shot on sight in most of the state.

The draft plan posted online and set for publication in the Federal Register on Wednesday opens the way for Wyoming’s wolves to be removed from the endangered list perhaps next summer and no later than a year from now.

The proposal follows a delisting framework that Fish and Wildlife and Wyoming officials agreed to last summer after months of negotiations.

Continue reading . . .

Recent wolf & grizzly bear rulings set back progress, biologists, managers say

Here’s a good overview from today’s Missoulian of the trade-offs involved with two recent federal court rulings concerning wolf and grizzly bear management. Chris Servheen’s comments regarding the potential negative impact on grizzly bear recovery are particularly interesting . . .

Wolves and bears don’t behave well in courtrooms.

But the two big predators are likely to spend the next 18 months there as their advocates and enemies try to untangle them from the federal Endangered Species Act.

Last week, Montana wildlife managers decided to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy’s Aug. 5 decision placing the gray wolf back under federal protection. Meanwhile, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials in Missoula appealed another Molloy ruling that prevented state management of Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly bears.

Read the full article . . .