Neighborhood NewsRocky Mountain Front


Fairfield hosts 'Bear Aware' workshop

Grizzly Bears
Posted at 9:44 AM, May 20, 2024

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and Sun River Watershed collaborated to bring a Bear Aware workshop to Fairfield several days ago.

The event was well-attended, as there have been increased sightings of both grizzly and black bears along the Rocky Mountain front.

“People seem to be most primarily concerned with with human safety. You know, everyone’s nervous that, you know, their kids could get hurt by a bear,” says FWP Bear Management Specialist Chad White.

Bears are solitary creatures, and fiercely territorial. Many are moving from the mountains to find space of their own, following waterways through the Rocky Mountain front.

In early April, a grizzly bear was sighted in the Bear Paw mountains, just south of the Rocky Boy Reservation and more than 100 miles from usual habitat.

In mid-March a male grizzly bear was euthanized by FWP near Simms, just south of Fairfield.

Here are some precautions to help residents, recreationists, and people who work outdoors avoid negative bear encounters:

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.
  • Make noise to alert bears to your presence and travel in groups.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.
  • Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas.
  • Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.

For more information on living, working and recreating in Montana’s bear country, visit the FWP Bear Aware website.