CHOTEAU – Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Montana GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte fielded calls for better management of grizzly bears during a weekend visit to Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front.
The Independent Record reports that ranchers, farmers and residents urged the pair on Saturday to consider allowing hunting because of grizzly attacks on livestock and occasionally people.
All said they supported removing grizzlies from protected status under the Endangered Species Act. Gianforte, too, urged Bernhardt to delist the bear and allow Montana to manage the species.
Last year, a federal judge in Montana restored threatened species status for about 700 bears in the three-state Yellowstone region. Opponents of delisting cite a need for allowing populations in that region and the north to converge.