Grizzly Bears aren't even a blip on the chart compared to the people living, working and playing in their habitat!*
Now is your chance to advise Governor Steve Bullock that you don't want Montana to authorize the sport hunting of grizzly bears!
The Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council is meeting electronically on April 9 to formulate their advice on this subject.
Please take a moment now and submit your thoughts to the Council here, so Council members have time to download your comments from the survey site prior to their April 9 meeting!
Below is what Swan View Coalition submitted today. We encourage you to submit comments in your own words, though you are of course free to borrow from ours. Please include your name when submitting comments so they don't get devalued as anonymous comments.
Swan View Coalition urges the GBAC to advise Governor Bullock to not consider grizzly bear sport hunting as a viable means to manage grizzly bears and to rescind the language in his Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM 12.9.103). Those rules require a sport hunt of grizzly bears as “the most desirable method of balancing grizzly bear numbers with their available habitat” should the bear lose its federal ESA protection.
Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem number about 1,000 while 100,000 people live in Flathead County alone. Nearly 400,000 people live in the 12 counties that contain the NCDE and the number of people visiting Glacier National Park’s bear habitat each year is still climbing from the 2.4 million that visited in 2015!
Grizzly bears are struggling with increasing numbers of people living, working and playing in their habitat. You can’t balance out this problem by killing grizzly bears without halting or reversing the recovery of the grizzly bear population.
Urge the governor instead to beef up his Administrative Rules of Montana to better protect grizzly bears and their habitat so that grizzly bear numbers can increase and the various grizzly bear ecosystems can be reconnected. Population experts say it will take 5,000 grizzly bears in a reconnected NCDE-Yellowstone-Selway Bitterroot-Cabinet-Yaak-Selkirks ecosystem to maintain genetic diversity over the long term.
Shooting grizzly bears runs contrary to increasing grizzly bear numbers and their reoccupation of essential habitats. And sport hunting does not target the bears that may need to be killed on occasion as a matter of human safety.
It took a lawsuit by Swan View Coalition and Fund for Animals to end Montana’s former grizzly bear hunt in 1991, which was then responsible for 48% of all known human-caused grizzly mortality in the NCDE. Montana simply can’t be trusted to manage grizzly bears through hunting, especially in light of increasing human and development pressures being applied to bear habitat.
THANK YOU for taking a few moments during this difficult time to advocate for wildlife! Threats to them and their habitat never cease!
*Graph data sources are https://www.montana-demographics.com/counties_by_population and
Logging road landslide into Sullivan Creek bull trout habitat!
Keith Hammer photo.