May 31, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Local Grizzly Bear Effort Growing
Each year Northwest Connections collects reports of grizzly bear observations from local residents.
These reports are part of a larger effort to map and monitor the presence and distribution of bears in the rural lands adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Last year the group documented 21 sets of grizzly bear tracks (representing at least 7 bears) and 16 grizzly bear observations in the Swan Valley.
This information, generated completely by local residents, is used to help monitor the species' progress towards recovery, to assess the accuracy of the grizzly bear linkage zones and to prioritize land conservation projects.
This year, the effort is being expanded to include the areas around Seeley Lake, Placid Lake and the area north of Ovando.
Rob and Raeann Henrekin of Kozy Korner have begun work as the local contacts for grizzly bear reports in this region. They will be working closely with Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist James Jonkel to follow up on grizzly bear sightings and to help new residents understand how to live in grizzly country and avoid human-bear conflicts.
If you see a grizzly bear, or think you find tracks, scat or other sign of these resident bruins, please call Northwest Connections at 754-3185.
If you have a bear to report in the Clearwater or Blackfoot valleys you can call the Henrekins directly at 677-3502.
Anyone interested in learning more about grizzly bears in general can join Tom and Melanie Parker for an interpretive hike along Napa Ridge on July 14th.
The focus of the day will be on learning to identify the plants that sustain grizzly bears at high elevation in the summer.
For more information on this and other Northwest Connections activities send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.