The Missoulian has an excellent story on the board of review findings concerning last summer’s mountain biker fatality. It includes links to the actual report document, as well as to the board’s recommendations for alleviating future biking-bear encounters . . .
An analysis of the fatal collision last summer between a grizzly bear and a mountain biker near Coram recommends more safety evaluation before new biking trails are built in grizzly habitat.
“Current safety messaging at trailheads and in the media is usually aimed at hikers,” the interagency board of review report stated. “However mountain biking is in many ways more likely to result in injury or death from bear attacks to people who participate in this activity.
“In addition, there are increasing numbers of mountain bikers using bear habitat and pressure to increase mountain bike access to areas where black bear and grizzly bear encounters are very likely.”
Read more . . .
The final official word on the fatal bear attack near West Glacier on June 29 . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) personnel have received additional information on the bear attack on a mountain biker on June 29 on Forest Service property a few miles south of West Glacier. Brad Treat, a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service, was fatally mauled when he encountered a bear while riding his mountain bike on the Green Gate/Half Moon trail system off of U.S. Highway 2. Treat was found dead by officers at the scene of the attack.
Based on the Wildlife Human Attack Response Team investigation, Treat collided with the bear in a surprise encounter on a section of trail that contains limited sight distances, which lead to a very short reaction time before the collision. The team collected evidence samples that were submitted in an effort to determine animal species, sex, DNA profile and whether this is a known or unknown bear.
The DNA results show that the bear involved in the collision and subsequent attack was a known male grizzly bear, approximately 20 years of age. This bear has no management history and as far as we know the bear has not had any previous conflicts with humans. The bear was captured and released in 2006 in Glacier National Park as part of an ongoing research project and at that time was aged at approximately 8 – 10 years. Due to the parameters of the research project the bear was not fitted with a radio collar. The bear was again identified through DNA from hair samples collected from rub trees in 2009 and 2011.
At this time, FWP has concluded its investigation into this incident.