Grizzlies Coming Home

Northwestern Montana grizzly bears are moving east, back to their historic range, the plains. Grizzlies were recently sighted in Brady, Montana, north of Great Falls. The Great Bears finally made it back to the Missouri River, where they were first sighted by Lewis and Clark.

Follow the red line. Grizzlies are coming out of the mountains and moving east to the plains. 

They are returning home.


Groundbreaking grizzlies make it to Missouri

By KARL PUCKETT • Tribune Staff Writer • June 10, 2010

Two young grizzly bears spotted Tuesday evening near Floweree between Great Falls and Fort Benton probably are the first grizzlies in several decades to make it to the Missouri River, where the bears historically lived, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Diane Walker, who ranches near Floweree, witnessed the groundbreaking grizzlies.

“They just stopped and looked at us,” said Walker, who was with family when she saw the bears. “They didn’t seem to be frightened or anything.”

The bears were acting playful with each other, she added.

Mike Martin, a FWP game warden captain, said the bears haven’t attacked any livestock or caused other problems.

“But we want people out recreating or living in the area to be observant,” he said.

As of Wednesday evening, the bears still were in the area, according to authorities.

Mike Madel, a FWP grizzly bear management specialist, said the agency is monitoring the bears’ movements but will not take any action unless the bears kill livestock.

“They are in a relatively remote stretch of the Missouri between Great Falls and Fort Benton,” he said. “It’s possible they swim the river and get into the Highwood Mountains.”

It also is possible the grizzlies could reach the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which is located on the Missouri River in northcentral Montana.

Last year, a young grizzly traveled 100 miles along the Teton River from the Rocky Mountain Front to Loma, just 1 1/2 miles from the Missouri. But before it reached the big river, it was captured and relocated because it killed sheep.

The grizzlies spotted Tuesday evening at Floweree also traveled the Teton east from the Rocky Mountain Front, Madel said.

Later, the pair was observed traveling in Black Coulee toward the Missouri River. Madel said “it’s very likely” the bears made it to the Missouri, where grizzlies once were common.

That would make them the first grizzlies on the Missouri in recent history, Madel said. When explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through the area in 1804, grizzlies were common on the Missouri River in what is now Great Falls.

Click here to read the rest of the story.


Grizzlies On the Move, Back to the Wide-Open Prairie

Increasing grizzly activity raises questions about just what constitutes potential bear habitat in Montana.

By Jason D.B. Kauffman, Guest Writer, 11-19-09 v


The First Grizzlies
Timeline: Prehistory


Photos: Courtesy

Posted in: Grizzly bear

Tags: grizzlies returning home, Missouri River, historic range, grizzlies on the plains

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 1:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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