MTPR

Rocky Mountain Front

Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento runs through basic bear identification during a community meeting in Fort Shaw, MT, April 4, 2018. Sarmento and other bear managers are preparing locals for more grizzlies moving into the area.
Corin Cates-Carney

This week on the Rocky Mountain Front, state wildlife officials trapped one grizzly bear and killed another when the bears, separately, killed a calf and attacked sheep. Wildlife managers expect more conflicts like this as the number of bears in the region grows.

Grizzly bears have started walking back into their historic territory on the eastern plains, and many farmers and ranchers who haven’t seen the bear in generations are scared for what this revival means for their own way of life.

Grizzly bear. File photo.
(PD)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife officials say grizzly bears have begun leaving their dens along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist Mike Madel said Tuesday that based on reported sightings and footprints, he estimates four or five bears are out. Madel says the bears are out a little later than last year.

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

2017 was a record year for grizzly bear conflicts and grizzly bear deaths along the Rocky Mountain Front.

A sign in Missoula warning that bears inhabit the area.
Josh Burnham

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

Grizzly Bears Showing Up On Prairies North Of Great Falls

May 12, 2016
Grizzly bears showing up on prairies north of Great Falls.
Courtesy CSKT Natural Resources Department

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — State game wardens have been busy monitoring and hazing grizzly bears as they show up on the prairies east of the Rocky Mountain Front and north of Great Falls.

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