Although a recent article in the Great Falls Tribune ("'We are in crisis mode’…” Oct. 7) emphasizes a healthy respect and love for grizzlies, it misses a key demographic: Montanans who coexist with bears and don’t want to see increased lethal “management.”

Rather than calling for increased killing, we should ask our federal agencies to focus their time and resources on protecting the connected landscapes that grizzly bears need and on implementing coexistence measures to reduce conflicts and keep people, pets, livestock — and the bears — safe.

Grizzly bears are still recovering from the hunting and other threats that brought them to brink of extinction. The protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act have allowed these bears to start bouncing back, but the combined threats of climate change, habitat fragmentation and human-caused mortality are still major roadblocks inhibiting their recovery.

Let's provide for healthy, connected bear populations, and learn to exist with living bears, rather than killing bears that roam outside of arbitrary human-created boundaries.

As Montanans, we love our wildlife; that means we need to make room for them and find ways, non-lethal ways, to share this place we are all lucky enough to call home.

Sarah McMillan,


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