Public invited to Polebridge Bear Fair
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News from MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks and North Fork Preservation Assoc.
POLEBRIDGE — The Polebridge Bear Fair is planned for Saturday, July 30, from noon– 4:30 p.m. at the Home Ranch Bottoms, 8950 North Fork Road in Polebridge. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public, providing educational opportunities and fun ways to learn about co-existing with bears in northwest Montana. Hosted by the North Fork Preservation Association with partners Polebridge Bear Smart and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the fair will feature exhibits, speakers, and kid’s activities to promote awareness and stewardship specific to grizzly bears, black bears, and people sharing the diverse landscape of Northwestern Montana.
Exhibitors from the Montana Land Reliance, Be Bear Aware, Gallagher Electric (bear) Fencing, Glacier National Park, US Forest Service, Glacier Institute, and Bear Aware Bear Spray Rentals will provide educational resources. Presenters from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the North Fork Preservation Association will address the subjects of “Conservation and Native Traditions,” “Backpacking Safely in Bear Country,” “People and Bears, Vision for Coexistence,” as well as live music and a “Bear Dance,” at the outdoor event.
Justine Vallieres, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Conflict Management Specialist will explain the importance of education, “Education is important for public safety and the conservation of bears. ”
The North Fork of the Flathead valley, along the western flank of Glacier National Park, is a jewel in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. The North Fork River defines the region as a federally-designated Wild and Scenic River, flowing 58 miles south from British Columbia, Canada to the confluence of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River at Blankenship Bridge. This unique and pristine international watershed features glaciated mountain peaks, wildflowers, open grasslands, a wide river valley, diverse wetlands and clear, clean water. A rich complement of indigenous species still exists, including grizzly and black bear, moose, gray wolf, mountain lion, lynx, wolverine, and the endangered bull trout.
The increased presence of humans on this delicate ecosystem presents the need for sound stewardship, land planning and wildlife education.
The mission of the North Fork Preservation Association is: To champion the exceptional biodiversity and wildness of the North Fork.
For more information go to their web site: www.gravel.org. Note, participants do not need a Glacier National Park vehicle reservation to access the free event.