Roads, especially I-90, keep grizzlies from reinhabiting good grizzly habitat

Biologists seek answers to grizzly bear migration roadblocks-

Biologists seek answers to grizzly bear migration roadblocks. By Jim Robbins. New York Times (in the Seattle Times).

Interstate 90, which cuts through miles of mountainous country, is a huge barrier to the migration of all large wildlife species. I think remediation is in order.






  1. Mike Avatar

    Interesting article. I had posted this story a couple days ago but wasn’t clear on the exact area they were tallking about. This version of the article shows a map with the exact location if you click the “next” button where the picture is located.

    It’s possible that a grizzly did cross after that “hunter” shot a grizzly in the Bitterroots recently.

  2. Jeff Avatar

    I might have dream it…but I thought that bear killed in the Selway Wilderness area was from the population in the Northern Panhandle of Idaho. I felt like I saw a map at some point in time showing the possible route.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    There was a grizzly shot in Clearwater River of central Idaho area in 2007. Oddly, it didn’t come from the large Montana population. It came from the very small Idaho Selkirk Mountains population. It somehow crossed I-90 and went in the correct direction.

    I notice that this fall in central Idaho there are signs up telling hunters to be sure what kind of bear they are aiming at.

    I hadn’t heard about a recent grizzly shooting in the Bitterroots.

  4. Mike Avatar

    It was the Kelly Creek(Great Burn) grizz a couple miles from Montana in the Bitterroots:

  5. Layton Avatar

    “Kelly Creek” and “the great burn” area covers a lot of territory. But I really don’t understand this part.

    “Now that we have documentation, we’re making great efforts to ensure that people know that grizzly bears could be in the area, especially hunters,” Servheen said. “We will be widely distributing signs to make people aware that grizzly bears are here.”

    The reason that I wonder about it is that — on a motorcycle trip on Kelly Creek (no, not the roadless area) this summer, there were signs all over the place warning campers, fishermen, etc. that grizzly bears were in the area, This guy acts like he didn’t have a clue.

    We were seeing grizzlies (yep, it’s anecdotal) over the hill to the South of Kelly Creek in the 80’s — I really don’t know why this is new news.

    By the way, just FWIW, ALL bears that are taken in Idaho now have to be “inspected”. There has to be a tag put on the hide and they want to take a tooth from the skull. It’s illegal to have a “raw” bear hide in your possession unless it’s less than 10 days since you killed it and you haven’t gotten to a check station yet. I’m not sure how many years that this has been the law, but I know it’s at least 10. The guy from Friends of the Clearwater isn’t very well informed.

  6. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    A candiate for some nice wide green overpasses (green bridge)? Sure there are no funds available for such things.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Peter is correct,

    There are good opportunities for wildlife passageways on I-90, and perhaps just as important and easier, US 93, just north of Missoula, Montana.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan