Montana seeks public comment on grizzly bear changes

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If you want to weigh on grizzly bear management in Montana, now’s your chance. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is collecting public comments on amendments to Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) that pertain to grizzly bears. Specifically, the amendment to the ARM rule 12.9.1401 “clarifies how Montana will manage grizzly bears once they are delisted,” with a focus on human safety, conflict with livestock and genetic exchange, according to a new release.

“We know grizzly bear management continues to be controversial,” said FWP director Dustin Temple. “With these rules, FWP continues to establish solid framework for grizzly bear management to ensure that once they are delisted, grizzly bears in Montana will be thoughtfully managed so as to never need federal protections again. We’ll do this with strong consideration for the lives and property of those who live and work in grizzly bear country.”

The proposed changes would permit landowners to kill grizzly bears that attack their livestock; however, there would also be an annual quota set for the number of bears allowed to be killed under these circumstances. 

These changes are important should grizzly bears be delisted. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has identified six grizzly bear recovery areas – four of which are either entirely in or in part of Montana, according to a news release. FWS has stressed that state management plans are considered “critical” to determine if grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem should be delisted.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will be making a final decision on the amended language during the Aug. 17 meeting. 

Click here to view the proposal.


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