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Hungry bears emerging from winter dens

It’s time to put the birdfeeders away for the year. Tribal wildlife biologists report that several grizzly bears have been documented in the valley this spring.

 So while it may still feel like winter, some bears have emerged from winter hibernation, and very few natural foods are available now.  

Bears are readily drawn by the scent of food items, garbage, pet foods, gardens, fruit trees, birdseed, hummingbird feeders and other attractants, often resulting in bear and human conflicts. 

Whenever someone leaves food or attractants available for bears, they create situations that invite bears to become problem bears, which could ultimately endanger someone or cause the bear’s death.  

Domestic chickens continue to be a problem for bear managers. Defenders of Wildlife is continuing its Electric Fence Incentive Program. Anyone with small livestock like chickens, pigs, goats or sheep can apply for the program. Bear managers request that anyone with small livestock or chickens install an electric fence to protect and secure attractants. For more information about the Electric Fence Incentive Program, contact Erin Edge at (406) 728-8800 or email eedge@defenders.org.   

If Allied Waste hauls your garbage, bear resistant containers are available through a joint effort between the CSKT Wildlife Management Program and Allied Waste.

If a grizzly bear is observed, please report to the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office at (406) 883-2888. Report bear conflicts or problems to tribal dispatch at (406) 675-4700. When calling regarding a bear, always tell tribal dispatch you are calling about a bear problem or conflict.  

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