Yellowstone-area grizzly bears may no longer be under the umbrella of federal protection but don’t look for Montana hunters to be chasing them in 2018. As part of an agreement with neighboring Idaho and Wyoming, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) proposed to not hunt bears but still retain its share of a discretionary mortality.
“Our focus, now they are delisted, is managing these iconic species for long term recovery and at the same time having the ability to respond to conflicts in the Yellowstone ecosystem,” said Martha Williams, FWP director. “Holding off on hunting for now, I believe, will help demonstrate our commitment to long term recovery and at the same time allow us the science-based management flexibility we need. We also are continuing to work hard at responding proactively to bear conflicts and educating people and communities in grizzly country how to be bear aware.”
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider the proposal at its February 15 meeting in Helena.
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(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)