Grizzly bears aren't even a blip on the chart compared to the people living, working and playing in their habitat!*
Please tell the State of Montana you want far more than 800 grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem so it can reconnect with Yellowstone and other isolated ecosystems!
Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is trying to write into law that it will maintain 800 grizzly bears in the NCDE/Glacier-Bob Marshall area, fewer than the 1,000 thought to exist today and far fewer than the 5,000 bears population viability experts say need to exist in an interconnected ecosystem in order to maintain genetic diversity!
This would be one of the final steps in removing Endangered Species Act protections from the bear (delisting)!
You can help by sending an email, writing a letter, or attending a meeting next week in Kalispell or Missoula! Comments are due by October 26.
If you live nearby, please speak up at a meeting in Missoula on Sept. 26, 6:30pm, Holiday Inn Downtown, 200 S. Pattee St. or in Kalispell on Sept. 27, 6:30pm, FVCC Arts and Technology Bldg., 777 Grandview Drive!
Here are some suggested talking points:
1. A 90% probability of maintaining 800 bears in the NCDE core is an inadequate target. How many bears and how much habitat is needed for a single, connected population in the Yellowstone, NCDE, Cabinet-Yaak, Selkirks, and Selway-Bitterroot ecosystems?
2. The "lower 48" grizzly bears were listed under the ESA as "threatened" with extinction. Why are MDFWP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trying to "divide and conquer" rather than "connect and recover" these ecosystems?
3. Grizzly bears are currently confined to about 2% of their former range and numbers. MDFWP should be ashamed to try and write into Montana law that this constitutes bear "recovery."
4. Grizzly bear hunting would kill bears needed for population expansion and ecosystem connectivity. If you want to write a law, make grizzly bear trophy hunting illegal in Montana forever.
For more background, see page 2 of our Summer-Fall newsletter.
For more talking points, see our recent letter to the editor.
For information on MDFWP's proposed law or to comment on-line, click here.
THANK YOU for taking a moment to speak up for grizzly bears!
*Graph data sources are https://www.montana-demographics.com/counties_by_population and https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd566349.pdf (pages 281-288).
Logging road landslide into Sullivan Creek bull trout habitat!
Keith Hammer photo.