This story is part of the Lee Enterprises series “Grizzlies and Us.” The project examines the many issues surrounding the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans in the Lower 48, which have come more into focus in recent years as the federally–protected animal pushes farther into human-occupied areas. The 10-part series, comprised of more than 20 stories, was produced by reporters and photojournalists across the Rocky Mountain West.
It was an unusual sight, about eight years ago, when 17 grizzly bears grazed on wild caraway plants in a field not far from Malou Anderson-Ramirez’s ranch home.
“When I was a child I only saw one grizzly bear my whole time being out with the sheep,” she said.
The increase in grizzly activity has prompted new technology that may rattle old ranching traditions.
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Since they were placed under federal Endangered Species Act protection in 1975, grizzly bears have been mostly a Yellowstone National Park feature in southwest Montana.
Malou Anderson feeds horses at her family’s ranch in Montana’s Tom Miner Basin.