U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff observed a grizzly bear on the morning of June 14 at the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, about 10 miles northeast of Great Falls, Montana, in Cascade County.
Expansion and movement of grizzly bears beyond the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), which covers much of northwestern Montana, including the Rocky Mountain Front, is becoming more common and sightings are becoming more frequent.
“Bears are present in many areas that the public may not be expecting them to be,” said Gary Bertellotti, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Region 4 supervisor. “FWP is working to provide communities, residents and agricultural producers with education on how to secure attractants and to provide preventative tools to reduce and avoid conflict and reducing the risk to health and human safety.”
Partners from Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, including USFWS, FWP, various tribes, U.S. Forest Service, and other partners will meet to discuss bear management and the delisting process for the NCDE.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that grizzly bears should be managed by state agencies just as they manage elk, mountains lions, deer and other wildlife.
Find more information, including safety precautions, here.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)