Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

A grizzly bear walks through tall grass.
Ania Tuzel Photography/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist doing field work in southwest Montana survived a grizzly bear attack Wednesday. 

A grizzly bear was sighted nearly 80 miles northeast of Great Falls Sunday, according to state wildlife officials. The area near Big Sandy where the bear was spotted is the farthest a grizzly is known to have ventured toward the eastern plains of Montana from either the Yellowstone or Glacier area populations.

Grizzly bear sow and cub in Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park / Yellowstone National Park

 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Mar. 11 that encounters between people and grizzly bears in the southern part of the state were higher in 2019 than in recent years. The number of injuries has stayed about the same.

Conservation groups Tuesday announced plans to sue the Trump Administration over a decision that would allow federal officials to kill or remove more than 70 grizzly bears over the next decade near Yellowstone. Officials say this is necessary because of increasing conflicts with people and property on U.S. Forest Service land.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Tuesday that it’s crafting a new statewide management plan for grizzly bears.

The state of Montana filed its final arguments late last week in the complex and controversial lawsuit over the fate of Yellowstone-area grizzly bears.

In the summer of 2017 the Department of the Interior removed Endangered Species Act protections for the roughly 700 bears estimated to live in the area at the time. Tribes and conservation groups promptly filed suit and a federal judge in Missoula restored protections for the bruins last fall

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Front Saturday to hear about conflicts with grizzly bears. The secretary heard numerous calls for delisting grizzlies from their threatened species status in and around Glacier National Park, but he says changes may be able to be made prior to delisting.

Grizzly bear track on a trail in Yellowstone National Park.
Public Domain

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the hunter was taken to Ruby Valley Medical Center in Sheridan, Wyoming. The Ruby Valley Medical Center is in Sheridon, Montana. YPR News regrets the error.

Another hunter survived a grizzly bear attack Tuesday in the western Gravelly Mountains. The attack happened between the Coal Creek Drainage and Eureka Basin Road, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It was about eight miles south of where three other hunters were injured last week in two separate grizzly bear attacks.

The Lionhead Recommended Wilderness near West Yellowstone, Montana, is part of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, May 31, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

The future of a forest stretching from West Yellowstone to South Dakota is reaching a pivotal point this week. The public comment period for the Custer Gallatin National Forest draft plan closes June 6, and the perspectives on forest management seem to be almost as diverse as the forest itself. One of the main areas of debate is recommended wilderness.

Grizzly bear track on a trail in Yellowstone National Park.
Public Domain

Conflicts between grizzly bears and humans in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are on the rise as more bears return to their historic range. The Montana Bear Education Working Group is trying to teach people how to reduce encounters and stay safe.

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