State sets traps for Bitterroot grizzlies

Wildlife managers are trying to capture and relocate two grizzly bears in the northern Bitterroot Valley before the bears get into conflict with humans. 

The grizzlies, a pair of subadults that arrived in the area between Lolo and Florence sometime in mid-August, haven’t come into conflict with humans, but “the bears have been continuing to hang in areas where there are quite a few attractants,” according to Vivaca Crowser, the information and education program manager for Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2. 

Three culvert traps were set Wednesday at two locations on the west side of the valley just north of Florence, she said, just outside of the Bitterroot Recovery Zone for the protected species. In 2021, the Montana Legislature passed Senate Bill 337, prohibiting FWP from relocating grizzly bears that are outside of recovery zones and have been in conflict with humans. Since these bears have yet to get into conflict with humans, FWP can relocate them if they’re captured.

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still has the final say over where the bears go, Crowser said, and if the bears were being captured due

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