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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has drafted an updated Grizzly Bear Management Plan and is seeking public comment until February 4.
FWP is pushing for “Alternative B” of the plan to be approved since it would help in Montana’s efforts to return grizzly management authority to the state. It also includes hunting as a management tool.
Brief overview below:
There has been no hunting allowed for grizzlies since 1991 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act.
Keith Kubista, past president and current director for Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (MSFW), knows that hunting is a vital part of management, in spite of anti-hunting sentiment.
“Yes, grizzly bears are important to have on our landscape,” he said. “But there's also a way to manage them in ways that create sustainability, not only for the population but for the ability to hunt them someday.”
The FWP-preferred “Alternative B”, is a thorough science-based approach that draws on decades of firsthand FWP expertise.
Jeff Darrah, retired FWS game warden and current Executive Director of MSFW, believes the plan is a good one.
“FWP already does the yeoman’s share of management work,” he said. “To put this plan into place and put it back into state management, the bear will only prosper. The numbers are just going to continue to grow.”