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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

September 15, 1999
Chris Servheen 406-243-4903
Sharon Rose 303-236-7917, x415

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO EVALUATE
HABITAT NEEDS FOR GRIZZLY BEARS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the time for the public to comment on habitat criteria for the recovery of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population in the Yellowstone ecosystem until October 30, 1999. Comments should be postmarked by the closing date and sent to the Service’s Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, University Hall, Room 309, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812 or submitted by electronic mail to: FW6_grizzly@fws.gov. Please include "Habitat Criteria" in the subject line of the message.

Included in the document are specific habitat needs in areas impacted by motorized roads and trails, development on public lands, and livestock grazing on public lands. Monitoring of the most important grizzly bear foods, nuisance bear control actions, bear-human conflicts, bear-hunter conflicts and bear livestock conflicts are just some of the parameters that are included in this document. When completed, the final habitat-based recovery criteria will be appended to the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan.

The overall objective of the grizzly bear recovery program is to assure the long-term existence of a grizzly population in all areas where a viable population can be sustained south of Canada. The available habitat for bears is largely determined by human activities. As grizzly bear recovery efforts continue, habitat criteria will be developed for each grizzly bear ecosystem to address the food, vegetation, habitat, and human activities in that specific area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.


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