Southwest Montana Bear Education

Preventing conflicts through education and technology as grizzlies expand west from Greater Yellowstone.


A boy demonstrates bear spray on a mechanical "bear." Photo by Southwest Montana Bear Education Working Group.

Gravelly and Madison mountain ranges

Photo by Jeremy Roberts

Southwest Montana Bear Education
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Southwest Montana Bear Education PROJECT BRIEF

Southwest Montana is particularly vital ground in the effort to link the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzlies with other subpopulations. With roughly 700 grizzlies calling the ecosystem home, a key landscape-level recovery goal remains the establishment and protection of travel corridors between Yellowstone and the Bitterroot, Cabinet-Yaak and other ecosystems.

But as bears continue to recover in Greater Yellowstone and more grizzlies expand their range beyond the national park, their risk of human conflict escalates. That’s why Wildlife Management Institute has partnered with Red Rocks Lakes National Wildlife Refuge on a two-year effort to develop programs that will reduce bear-human conflicts west of Yellowstone in southwest Montana. From educating the next generation of bear conservationists to installing bear-proof containers in campgrounds, we’re behind this effort every step of the way.

Southwest Montana Bear Education at a Glance

  • Community working group formed by Wildlife Management Institute and Red Rocks Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  • Efforts include community bear-aware educational events and distributing bear-proof garbage containers
  • Working area includes critical grizzly connectivity habitat between Greater Yellowstone and Bitterroot ecosystems
  • Potential delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies' endangered species protection increases urgency of community education