VA_N4

The Governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council is meeting in Bozeman on Nov. 13-14 at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 3 Headquarters, 1400 South 19th, in Bozeman. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. both days and is open to the public.

The council will review its initial work to date followed by panel discussions and presentations on grizzly bear distribution and connectivity between ecosystems.

“I am looking forward to making some real progress at this meeting,” Trina Jo Bradley said. “We got all the preliminary work out of the way at October’s meeting, and now we can get down to business.” Bradley was appointed to the council by Gov. Steve Bullock earlier this year.

“We will have a panel discussing grizzly bear distribution both days, so we can be updated on the current bear ‘occupation,’ as well as have a better idea of which areas of the state need the most management,” she continued. “This information will be great to have as we move forward with recommendations for the Governor and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.”

Bradley added, “I encourage everyone to attend these council meetings, which are all open to the public. Everyone in the state is affected by grizzly bears one way or another, and the more information people have, the better prepared they will be when the grizzlies come knocking on their doors.”

Shawn Johnson and Heather Stokes from the University of Montana’s Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy program are facilitating the meetings. FWP staff assist as a technical support team.

This summer, Bullock appointed Bradley and 17 other Montana citizens to the new council, selecting a diverse group of people who have a connection to grizzly bears, including those who live, work, and recreate in bear country. The council is intentionally representative of the different parts of the state where grizzlies are currently or may soon be found.

The advisory council’s work is centering around broad objectives including:

• Maintaining and enhancing human safety;

• Ensuring a healthy and sustainable grizzly bear population;

• Improving timely and effective response to conflicts involving grizzly bears;

• Engaging all partners in grizzly-related outreach and conflict prevention; and

• Improving intergovernmental, interagency, and tribal coordination.

The council’s third meeting will be in Missoula on Dec. 4-5 with more information forthcoming.

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