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“The agency will identify several actions to consider.”

“The agency will identify several actions to consider.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making plans to help endangered grizzly bears thrive again in the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains of Montana and Idaho, according to Outdoor Life.

It’s an exciting step toward restoring a healthy population of these majestic animals to one of their original homes.

The Bitterroot Mountains are one of six major grizzly bear recovery zones in the Lower 48 states. But while some grizzly bears have moved into the area on their own in recent years, there is still no sustainable breeding population there.

That’s where the new federal plan comes into play. By November 2026, the Fish and Wildlife Service will complete an environmental review and make an official decision on reintroducing more grizzly bears to the region.

Bringing grizzlies back to the Bitterroots would be a major victory for both the bears and the ecosystem as a whole. Grizzlies play a crucial role in keeping natural areas healthy and balanced.

At the same time, the recovery plan will take steps to ensure that people and bears can coexist safely. Strategies such as bear-proof garbage containers and safety education help communities avoid conflict as grizzly populations expand into more of their historic range.

The reintroduction plan has been a long time coming; the Bitterroots were first identified as a grizzly bear recovery area in 1993. In 2022, a court ruled that the government had unreasonably delayed taking action.

Restoring grizzly bears to the Bitterroot Ecosystem, where they have lived for thousands of years, is an important part of returning the landscape to a thriving, natural state. The new federal plan marks an important step in realizing that vision.

“The EIS for Grizzly Bear Recovery in the Bitterroot Ecosystem will analyze alternatives to recovery by examining potential impacts to the human environment, addressing management approaches for bear-human conflicts, assessing considerations for grizzly bear connectivity between recovery zones, and other include relevant impact information,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a news release.

“As part of this process, the agency will identify several actions to consider, including a no-action alternative.”

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