Being aware of Bears can help keep family safe

What are we truly asking for when we demand Grizzly bears be removed from the Endangered Species List?   Even if delisted grizzly bears will not just go away, so what do we want?  We want safety for our family and friends.  We want to know they can go to do their ranch/farm work and not get eaten by a Grizzly bear.   We want our kids to walk to school or go to play at a friends’ house and not have to worry about them meeting a Grizzly bear on the way to or from.

Ben Hofer, Rockport Colony, said it best, “There are programs to keep our livestock safe and build fences but how do we keep our children safe?”

Chuck and boys
Chuck Bartlebaugh, Be Bear Aware,  show boys information at Homesteader Days in Valier, 2013.


Marias River Livestock Association will be organizing education on living with bears. While we support Grizzly bear delisting and strong management to prevent human/bear or livestock/ bear conflicts, we also realize bears are here now. In the last 10 years Grizzly bears have continued to increase in population and spread farther from the core recovery area.  There are now more bears in areas where people have never had to be concerned about running into one.  They are along the Marias, Tiber/Lake Elwell, in the Sweetgrass Hills and thick as fleas on the Rocky Mountain Front.

We do not want to read about some child being injured or killed but it is a real concern, therefore this summer as communities hold their summer celebrations MRLA hopes to have resources at as many events as possible to reach as many people as possible; to educate them on the proper actions when they come face to face with a bear.

Little hesitant about getting toooo close
Mounted Bear display at the Marias Fair, 2013.  Kids are taught to look at the differences in the Grizzly and black bears heads, ears and body shape.


Trina Jo Bradley and Paul Turner are working with Chuck Bartlebaugh , Be Bear Aware, coordinator and Lauri Wolf, MFWP, Education coordinator to bring education and fun to the communities summer celebration events such as Whoop-up Days in Conrad which is coming right up.  Of course we hope to be at the Marias Fair for a couple days also.   Please watch for us this summer and participate in the bear education.  Let’s do our best to keep our kids and family safe.

Thank you to  Ben Taylor’s Inc. and Dick Irvin Trucking for stepping up and helping to fund these events.

June 4th Whoop Up Days in Conrad

June 25th  & 26th  Homesteader Days in Valier

July 2nd  Gala Days in Sunburst

July 18th   Summer Fair in Chester

July 21st– 24th Marias Fair in Shelby

July 28th – 31st Lewis  and Clark Days in  Cut Bank

August 6th Grizzly Days in Dupuyer

August 25th Summer Fair in Chester


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