Montana’s Governor Steve Bullock announced Tuesday that he will establish a Grizzly Bear Advisory Council to help initiate a statewide discussion on grizzly bear management, conservation and recovery. Montana is home, in whole or in part, to four grizzly bear recovery zones designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem, and the Bitterroot Ecosystem. Bullock’s council will be selected through an application process that ends April 12th. Bullock says the recovery of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems is a great conservation success, but there still has not been an official federal delisting. Says Bullock: “Legal uncertainty has created a void requiring our leadership.” Bullock admits that while grizzly bear numbers have surpassed recovery objectives in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide Ecosystems, they have yet to reach recovery levels in the Cabinet-Yaak and Bitterroot. The Montana governor is looking for a broad cross-section of interests to serve on the Council, including livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts, conservation groups, hunters, community leaders, Tribal Nation representatives and outdoor industry professionals.
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