Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
On Thursday, April 16, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted comments to the Montana Grizzly Bear Advisory Council (GBAC) in support of regulated hunting as a management tool.
As grizzly bear populations continue to expand in Montana, increased human-wildlife conflict is inevitable. Grizzlies are moving into areas that they have not occupied for decades and more people are living, working and recreating in bear country, prompting a need for management solutions in a timely manner. In April 2019, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Montana Governor Steve Bullock called for a GBAC to address these challenges and to help set a long-term vision for bear management and conservation in Montana. Governor Bullock determined that a diverse citizen council was the best approach to develop balanced grizzly bear management recommendations. More than 150 individuals applied to be on the GBAC, however 18 people were appointed to serve as a volunteer council member, representing a wide array of viewpoints.
The GBAC was tasked with considering broad strategic objectives, such as:
During the April 2020 meetings, the role of hunting in grizzly bear management and the issues surrounding social acceptance came under discussion. CSF, along with other sportsmen’s groups, took this opportunity to highlight the need for state-based management and the benefits of using hunting as a management tool to ensure the long-term viability of grizzly populations, increase funding through the American System of Conservation Funding, as well as addressing human-wildlife conflict and public safety concerns.
Individuals who wish to comment on grizzly bear management in Montana are encouraged to submit comments through the GBAC online forum.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?