Grizzly Bear Management Under Fire
Over the past several years, Montana citizens have been raising concerns over grizzly bear management. Populations of the apex predator on the Rocky Mountain front is growing and human encounters continue to increase.
As with any predator, grizzly bear habitat is controlled with territorial domination by the species. Additionally, rural America continues to see the desire of well funded wildlife organizations to expand the range of this predator.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks has been monitoring bear populations across Montana with an anticipated action plan to properly manage them. When the wildlife director was asked if there was a plan to reduce the population, he stated that his hands are tied.
The federal listing of bear populations also prompted Montana to segregate management potential into different regions. With the predominant encounters experienced in and around Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, the areas where the bears are causing concern have been left out.
Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt participates in a visit to Montana where he got first hand testimony from residents facing an increasing threat from the bears.
Montana Republican Representative Greg Gianforte facilitated a visit where citizens have been under threat by the bears extending into the Great Falls area and beyond.
Congressman Gianforte is wrapping up his 56 county tour for the year and shared his experience in Townsend, Montana.
Residents in Washington are also having their voices heard as they object to the continued expansion of grizzly bear habitat. Not unlike the spotted owl, any expansion of protected habitat directly impacts the ability to live and work in these areas.
Okanogan County Washington residents gathered to have their voices heard. They do not want grizzly bears in Washington’s North Cascade Mountains. Rob Wallace, assistant U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and the state heads of the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were all put on the burner.
Washington’s Republican U.S Representative Dan Newhouse facilitated the meeting based on the claim that these federal agencies ignored the voices in the 2017 comment period on proposed bear management actions.
Jeremiah Johnson said in the classic movie that he could skin Grizzlies as fast as his friend could catch them. Will it come to that?
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