2010 Glacier National Park Bear Management Plan and Guidelines Released
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406-888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials today announced that the revision of the park's Bear Management Plan and Bear Management Guidelines are complete and the final versions are now available on the park's website. These tandem documents collectively provide the ongoing basic framework for managing the park's black and grizzly bear populations with a focus on managing bear-human interactions through preventative measures such as proper food storage and garbage management and visitor education.
With more than 40 percent of the grizzly bear population of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Recovery Area living within only 20 percent of the total land area, bear management in Glacier National Park is a constant challenge. These revisions address issues raised in the Board of Review for the 2009 Oldman Lake bear removal (http://www.nps.gov/glac/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm). Changes include updates on policy and area management, clarified definitions and the incorporation of many suggestions from employees, partners, peers and the public.
The revisions address the need for better clarity and consistency within the plan. Accordingly, the plan and guidelines went through multiple revisions to address both internal and external comments. These included clarifying a paragraph in the plan that some reviewers erroneously interpreted to imply that a permit was required to film rangers engaged in management activities and that the NPS owned the film. Language was also added to address proper safety etiquette and behavior while filming bears.
Superintendent Chas Cartwright stated, “We feel that this review and subsequent revisions improve upon what we already felt were a good bear management plan and guidelines. We are grateful for the time and effort of all the people who read, reviewed and provided feedback on the plan and guidelines. These working documents contribute to the long-term conservation of this iconic species as well as provide for the benefit of park visitors, park staff and all those fortunate enough to live, work and play in the Crown of the Continent.”
The updated Bear Management Plan and Bear Management Guidelines are available on Glacier’s website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm.
Did You Know?
If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.