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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, June 29, 2018

"On Thursday of this week, June 28, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made public the final Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan Supplement: Habitat-Based Recovery Criteria for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem"............."The final Recovery Plan provides(what the Service believes to be) objective, habitat-based criteria for the recovery of the estimated 1000 Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem grizzly bears, and builds upon the existing roadmap to grizzly bear recovery"..................."Three-quarters of the bear’s habitat is found on federal lands managed by the Forest Service and the Park Service"..................."Coordination across multiple federal, state, and tribal interests is essential for Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem grizzly bear recovery"..................."Indian Tribes have a tremendous amount of traditional ecological knowledge and scientific information to contribute to this matter"..................."The goal of the Service’s grizzly bear recovery effort is to ensure the long-term existence of a grizzly bear population in this system"..............."The habitat-based recovery criteria will also inform the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy, the guide for coordinated management of the bear after it is recovered and removed from the list of threatened and endangered species"

Conservation Strategy for 


 Bears Completed

A grizzly bear in the North Fork of the Flathead River drainage.

An interagency team of biologists, researchers and managers from State, Tribal and Federal agencies completed a Conservation Strategy for grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in northwest Montana.

Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in northwest Montana

The Conservation Strategy also identifies the goal of maintaining demographic and genetic connections with Canadian populations and providing the opportunity for demographic and/or genetic connectivity with other ecosystems (Cabinet-Yaak, Bitterroot, Greater Yellowstone).
"The key to successful management of grizzly bears is to balance multiple land uses, public safety and careful consideration of grizzly bear needs across northwest Montana, including Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and state and private lands," said Jeff Mow, superintendent of Glacier National Park and the chair of the NCDE Subcommittee.

One of the listed objectives in the Conservation Strategy is to "manage mortalities from all sources to support a 90 percent or greater estimated probability that the grizzly bear population within the DMA remains above 800 bears. Importantly, given the commitment to incorporate all forms of uncertainty into the population modeling, this objective necessitates maintaining an actual population size that is likely closer to 1,000 bears, and an even higher population size should uncertainty increase.

This Conservation Strategy is the culmination of many years of work by an interagency team that have assembled the best information available on maintaining a recovered grizzly bear population within the NCDE.  It is also the culmination of a revision process that has included multiple agency reviews, independent peer reviews and opportunities for public input.

Development of the Conservation Strategy began in 2009. In 2013, although not required to do so, the agencies agreed to release a draft of the Conservation Strategy and the USFWS opened a 60-day public comment period via a notice of availability published in the Federal Register. Over 2,400 comments and three peer reviews were received. In 2017, the NCDE Subcommittee re-assembled its team to respond to public comments and to update and revise the draft document in response to comments and to new information, as appropriate.  The latest Conservation Strategy includes an appendix with roughly 60 pages responding to public comment.

The NCDE Conservation Strategy is posted on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee website,

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the NCDE? The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) is one of six recovery zones for grizzly bears in the lower-48 States. It's situated in northwest Montana, and includes Glacier National Park, parts of the Flathead and Blackfeet Indian Reservations, parts of 5 national forests (Flathead, Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark and Lolo), Bureau of Land Management lands, and a significant amount of state and private lands. Also within this region are four wilderness areas (Bob Marshall, Mission Mountains, Great Bear and Scapegoat), one wilderness study area (Deep Creek north), and one scenic area (Ten Lakes).

How many grizzly bears are in the NCDE? Based on multi-agency population monitoring, the NCDE is believed to have the largest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states, with more than 1,000. For more information about grizzly bear population monitoring, visit 

What is the NCDE Subcommittee? The NCDE subcommittee is part of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and features members from State, Tribal and Federal agencies including Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA APHIS-Wildlife Services, US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Land Management, Blackfeet Tribe, and Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The subcommittee meets biannually to coordinate grizzly bear recovery efforts throughout the ecosystem.

 For more information about the IGBC and NCDE Subcommittee, visit

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