Monday, August 15, 2022

Small community loses grizzly family

by Richard Hildner and Flannery Coats
| September 9, 2021 12:00 AM

Bear No. 418, known to locals as Monica, was euthanized Saturday, Sept. 4 along with her three female yearlings, after receiving a multitude of food rewards over the past week. Due to several incidents involving improper food and garbage storage within an 8-mile radius of the Polebridge townsite the bears were ultimately deemed food-conditioned.

Monica had been a resident female grizzly bear in the North Fork Valley for 17 years.

In response, two local nonprofits, the North Fork Landowners Association ( and the North Fork Preservation Association (, will be working together, along with agency partners, to help improve food and garbage storage in the area as well as to make financial aid resources from conservation organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife and Vital Ground more readily available to residents and business owners in the North Fork.

The North Fork community deeply grieves the loss of Monica and her cubs and in the coming months will explore new avenues to further educate and assist residents and visitors in how to live and recreate in bear country in a manner safe for both bears and humans.

Richard Hildner, NFLA President; and Flannery Coats, NFPA President.

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