COMMISSION TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON REPEAL OF OUTDATED RULE REGARDING BLACK BEAR MANAGEMENT
By angelamontana

Posted: April 16, 2021

HELENA – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing on May 10, at 1 p.m., to consider the repeal of a policy regarding the management of black bears.

The hearing will be conducted via Zoom. Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person hearing. For information on participating in the hearing, visit the Fish and Wildlife Commission page on fwp.mt.gov.

The rule regarding black bear management was adopted in 1972 and has never been updated. However, statutes pertaining to black bear management have changed since then. Specifically, the rule states that black bears are trophy animals and that only the head and hide need to be removed from the field. Presently and according to statute, black bears are classified as game, and edible portions of bear meat may not be wasted. In addition, the commission’s management of black bears and the department’s processes regarding bear conflict management have evolved since this rule was passed in 1972.

Repeal of the rule will not change the current management of black bears nor the enforcement of rules for black bear harvest and field handling.

Public comment will be accepted during the hearing. Written comment can be submitted to: Wildlife Division, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or emailed to  fwpwld@mt.gov. Written comment must be received no later than May 14.