STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Grizzly managers meet in Missoula amid growing discussion over bear protection

With a growing number of bears, and a growing discussion over eventually not treating grizzlies as a "threatened spec...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 5:02 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 5:02 AM

With a growing number of bears, and a growing discussion over eventually not treating grizzlies as a "threatened species", managers from local, state and federal agencies will meet in Missoula this week to discuss the next steps in grizzly bear management.

Interest in the future of the animal has been building following the decision to "de-list" bears in the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem. A discussion is now underway about possibly reducing federal protection for grizzlies on the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. 

That brought a big crowd of conservations, environmental groups and others to Missoula a couple of weeks ago as the subcommittee for the Northern Divide bears held its regular meeting. Some are challenging the idea the bears are "recovered". 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 45-day comment period Monday on draft criteria for deciding what constitutes a healthy grizzly population in Northwest Montana. 

State wildlife managers say they're ready to follow the science, but do so realizing the social aspects of bear management.

"We know the whole world, multiple people from multiple places and cultures and societies care about grizzly bears. We take that seriously. So, if they're de-listed, when they're de-listed, when these targets are met and whatever the courts decide, we want to have a good plan to make sure that bears around for our kids and the grandkids," said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Supervisor Jim Williams. "And that's what this conservation strategy hopefully will be."

In addition to the status of grizzly populations in the Yellowstone and Glacier regions, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee will receive updates on grizzlies in other areas like the Bitterroot during its two day meeting in Missoula this week. 

The meeting is being held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown at 200 Pattee Street.

The public comment period will close on January 26, 2018. The public can view the proposals on regulations.gov at Docket number FWS-R6-ES-2017-0057, and comments will be accepted until January 26, 2018.

The comments may be submitted electronically on regulations.gov, or by mail to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS–RX–ES–2017–0057; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.  

Article Comments

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 45°
Robinson
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 51°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
43° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 43°
Rockville
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 37°
Casey
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 45°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 45°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 45°
Cloudy, cool, and calm tonight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Image

Washington Nursing Center residents being moved out

Image

Community supports couple with COVID-19

Image

Stores implementing new rules due to coronavirus

Image

COVID-19 impacting realtors

Image

Local family passes time inside with song

Image

American Legion offers free meals

Image

Susie's Place: Watch for signs of child abuse

Image

Donate Life Month events go virtual

Image

Blood drives still scheduled

WTHI Events