Report on the March 2013 Rattlesnake Bear Meeting

Mar. 2013 Meeting Notes

Report on the Rattlesnake Community Bear Meeting, MonTEC, Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013, 7-9 pm

About 26 people attended the second annual RCWG-hosted “bear meeting” held at MonTEC. (Thanks, MonTEC!)

RCWG reported on the Bear Aware Apple Share Project funded last year by the City of Missoula; Jamie Jonkel of Fish Wildlife and Parks and Erin Edge of missoulabears.org talked about how wildlife in the Rattlesnake (including mountain lions and deer) fared last year; then talk opened up to the continuing problem of wildlife, foremost bears, being attracted down into the Rattlesnake valley and getting into trouble, drawn by human attractants and ending in death and relocation for bears and potential injury and death to humans. Included in Jonkel’s presentation was mapping of Grizzly activity in the Rattlesnake Wilderness north of the Rattlesnake valley. “It’s just a matter of time,” Jonkel said, until bears in the Rattlesnake include grizzlies, not just black bears.

There was good discussion and excitement about new tactics and ideas. Check out the meeting notes!

Thanks to everyone who came and shared ideas. RCWG looks forward to a new slate of activities for this year, working in concert with great partners like Fish Wildlife and Parks, missoulabears.org, Republic Services, Great Bear Foundation, Animal Control, Missoula City Council, MUD, the PEAS Farm/Garden City Harvest, and more.

Update: meeting is on Tuesday, March 19th, 7-9pm at MonTEC

In 2013 the RCWG plans to continue our efforts at understanding, managing and improving the relationship between the Rattlesnake Valley’s human residents and bears.  This will include coordinating management of apples and other fruit trees, along with other activities to reduce the incidence of unwanted human-bear interactions that put both people and bears at risk.

To succeed in this mission, we need community input, and of course we’ll welcome the help of volunteers like those of you who helped out last year (and by the way, Thanks to everyone who helped out last year!). Our first step in 2013 is a community meeting on March 19th.  It’ll run from 7-9 p.m. at MonTEC.  We’ll provide a progress report on our 2012 activities, along with updates from bear specialists like Jamie Jonkel (MT Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks) and the Great Bear Foundation.

Please check back here before March 18th for an agenda and other information about the meeting.  Meanwhile, if you’d like to provide some information to help us plan the meeting activities, please fill out the short poll below.  Thanks!

Thanks, and we hope to see you at our March meeting!

  1. Sandy Boehmler

    The alley between the 1400 block of Van Buren St. and Jackson St. is a big problem for garbage being out. Renters leave their garbage in cans out all week. Landlords appear not to have made indoor (garage, etc) places available for accumulated garbage. Trash is frequently pulled out of cans. There are many renters, some living on the alley…many who don’t seem to care about bears getting into trash.

  2. Go walk the alleys in the lower rattlesnake. The plastic garbage cans with no lids and garbage spilling out of them ALL week long are usually rentals. Why doesn’t the city require landlords to provide bear resistant garbage cans? This would sure help a lot!

  3. Thanks so much Sandy and Mary Ann for your comments. One thing discussed at the Mar. 19 meeting last month was the importance of using the missoulabears.org anonymous report form to report attractants. http://www.missoulabears.org/form.html It’s really important. It’s great too if you voice your concerns to the city. Jason Wiener and Dave Strohmaier came to the meeting and seemed willing to follow up on action items. There is also desire to reach out to landlords and property management companies. We sure could use some help if you’re interested in those areas. Thanks again.

  1. Pingback: Please don’t feed the bears | Rattlesnake Creek Watershed Group

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