BIG SANDY, Mont. (NMB) – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting a public meeting on grizzly bear awareness on Wednesday, May 5th at 6 PM at the Big Sandy Senior Center.
The event is open to the public, with area landowners encouraged to attend.
The meeting comes as grizzly bears have been expanding out of their recovery zones and to the prairies east of the Rocky Mountain Front.
In June 2020, local residents reported seeing a grizzly bear at several locations west of Big Sandy. The FWP says recently, a pair of grizzly bears were spotted 15 miles northwest of Big Sandy.
Although grizzlies are not expected to remain in the area, sightings may become more frequent due to the expanding population.
As long as grizzly bears are a federally protected species, Montana cannot establish hunting seasons or limit population numbers.
At the meeting on Wednesday, specialists will give presentation on the history of grizzly bears in Montana, how FWP manages conflict, the challenges of expansion, what people should do if they encounter a grizzly bear, and how to secure attractants to prevent bears from being drawn into agricultural operations and residences.
Seating may be limited due to COVID-19 precautions. Please do not attend if you have any flu or cold-like symptoms.
If you see a bear near your residence, contact Wesley Sarmento at 450-1097, Chad White at 788-4755, or your local FWP office.