"In The Northern Rockies, Grizzly Bears Are On The Move"

"As grizzlies recover, they’re no longer content to roam within the boundaries we’ve contrived for them."

"Nathan Keane is an early riser. On most mornings, he’d let the dogs out to run around the yard at around 7:30. Then he’d make a pot of coffee and enjoy a few quiet minutes to himself before the kids woke up and the farmwork began. But his routine changed one early June day in 2020. First, he forgot to put the dogs out. Then, as he waited for the coffee to brew, he glanced out the kitchen window, across the winter wheat. He did a double take. There — no more than 30 feet from the house — was a grizzly bear.

“There was no mistake about it. It had the big natural hump on the shoulder and the broad face,” he said. And, “It was eating a chicken inside our coop.”
Keane had lived on the plains 16 miles north of Loma, Montana, for 14 years. He married into the farm and he and his wife grew wheat, canola, flax and hemp. They kept chickens, but not cows. To the best of Keane’s knowledge, the closest grizzlies lived some 150 miles west in Glacier National Park — certainly not in the wide-open ranchland of north-central Montana. He reasoned that the bear followed the Marias River, which flows east from Glacier County, near the Blackfeet Reservation, and runs along the edge of the Keane farm. “I guess he happened to smell the chickens and came up out of the river bottom,” Keane said."

Gloria Dickie reports for High Country News July 10, 2023.

Source: High Country News, 07/12/2023