Commission backs plan to maintain Montana grizzly population - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Commission backs plan to maintain Montana grizzly population

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Montana wildlife commissioners have endorsed a plan to manage the largest grizzly bear population in the Lower 48 states at current levels as federal officials consider lifting protections on the animals.
  
Thursday's decision sets a population objective of at least 800 bears across a 16,000-square mile (42,000-square kilometer) area of northwestern Montana.
  
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say they plan to maintain a higher number of animals - roughly 1,000 bears - to give the population a protective buffer.
  
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks will take public comments on the proposal before a final decision expected in December.
  
A population of about 700 grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park lost their protected status last year. Wyoming and Idaho plan to allow hunting of the animals this fall.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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