Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Letters to the editor Feb. 12

| February 12, 2024 12:00 AM

Historic range

I must respond to the recent letters to the editor regarding grizzly bears. Matthew Ragon (from Ohio) states that grizzlies and wolves are “the most persecuted animals in North America.” He stated that we have squeezed them into a minuscule portion of their historic range. 

This is a ridiculous statement.  

Historic range is meaningless as humans now occupy most of their “historic range.” Should we leave so the bears can live here? There is plenty of space for a reasonable number of them to live. 

 In Montana alone we have the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex, which is nearly 2 million acres. Glacier National Park is 1 million acres and Yellowstone Park comprises 3,500 square miles.  This is hardly minuscule.  

We the people occupy a good portion of the land outside the wilderness areas. The historical facts clearly show that grizzly bears and wolves do not co-exist well with people. Its not a good situation for the bears, wolves or humans. Grizzlies are expanding their population and distribution, that’s a fact.  

It’s complete ignorance to think that man should not be involved in the management of our wildlife, including wolves and grizzlies. We have reached our carrying capacity for these apex predators and now our rural communities, farmers and ranchers must deal with the consequences.  

The management decisions should not be made in Washington D.C., they should be made here in Montana. 

And to the “Don’t cry about it” author, its easy to criticize Montana folks from your safe space in California, where the closest you’ll get to nature is a Disney movie. Those of us that live here and put our boots on the ground see whats happening around us.  

As far as I am concerned, those of you from out of state have no right to tell Montana folks how we should manage our wildlife.  Maybe your time and energy is best spent trying to relocate the wolves and bears to your home state, you know, their historic range.

— Rich Birdsell, Kalispell

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