MTPR

black bears

The Battle To Control Nature In National Parks

Jul 12, 2017
Penguin Random House

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks.

When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. 

Black bear
(PD)

As anyone who's read Winnie the Pooh will tell you, bears love honey. But in Montana, that love of honey and hives comes at a cost. Every year, a handful of black bears are shot and killed by beekeepers across the state. And while it’s perfectly legal, some think the law needs an update.

Livestock carcass composting site outside Wisdom, MT.
Courtesy of the Big Hole Watershed Committee

Livestock death is part of ranching. At some point, ranchers have to deal with dead animals, from things like difficult births, disease, and weather extremes. And in southwest Montana, those dead animals can also attract unwelcome visitors — wolves and black bears looking for an easy meal.

Researchers To Trap Grizzly, Black Bears In Yellowstone

May 3, 2017
Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area.
(PD)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Researchers will begin trapping grizzly and black bears Sunday in Yellowstone National Park.

The trapping is an effort to gather data on the protected grizzly bears as part of long-term research required under the Endangered Species Act.

Field Notes: What Bears Leave Behind

Jan 4, 2016
Black bear
(PD)

Recently, on an island in a Montana lake, I was walking through an old orchard, left twisted and rotting. Only the red-golden crab apples and tough green pears still grew. The trees were short, yet all the remaining crab apples were just beyond my reach. The only fruit I could reach was on the ground, one side soft. I presumed it had lain there all day, but I ate it anyway, to taste its bitterness.

Bear safe food storage methods.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

Smith River State Park will be implementing some changes in food storage regulations for the coming float season.

About 5,000 Smith River travelers will be changing the way they carry their food and waste next year.

Sarah Hewitt

In this exciting episode of Mountain West Voices, producer Clay Scott recounts the rescue of an orphaned black bear cub on the Montana prairies, miles from suitable bear habitat.

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.
PD

A grizzly bear in Stillwater County had to be shot after it killed a herd of cows. Wildlife officials say bears are becoming more active as they search for food before hibernation. The bear was responsible for a dozen cattle deaths in the Fishtail and Fiddler Creek area since mid August. It was killed by U.S. Wildlife Services officials late last week.

A corn field in the Mission Valley damaged by bears.
Courtesy Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ wildlife staff is warning residents and hunters about widespread black and grizzly bear movement from the base of the Mission mountains to the lower Flathead River. They say bears are following riparian areas west into the valley in search of decreasing food supplies like hawthorn and fruit.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game wardens are seeking information on a black bear poached just south of St. Regis. 

The bear was shot and killed with a rifle sometime between May 31 and June 3 about four miles up the south Fork of Little Joe Creek.

A Wisconsin man was fined more than$2,000 Monday for accidently killing a grizzly bear in Northwest Montana.