Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Matt Hart
Vital Ground Foundation 

Keeping bears and people safe

Vital Ground’s partnerships help mitigate grizzly conflicts


Daniel Oyler

Vital Ground's partnerships include several range rider programs, helping ranchers coexist with wildlife through carcass removal, predator monitoring, and bear educational outreach.

Each spring, there's a subset of grizzly bears that act like teenagers cut loose from home for the first time.

With mother bears turning their attention to mating or younger cubs, the two- or three-year old sub-adults start getting ignored and kicked out. Parentless for the first time, these young grizzlies walk into a world of stimuli that they're still learning to interpret. It can be a dangerous time.

It was two of those freewheeling subadult grizzlies that a boater recently filmed swimming across Lake Frances in central Montana, near Valier. It's a cute video, but the lessons behind it...

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