Marias River Livestock Association has two meet and greet sessions planned for Monday, April 12, to help introduce the community to the newest members of this area’s grizzly bear and predator management team.

The first meet and greet will be held at the Whitlash Hall in Whitlash at 1 p.m. The second will be held at the Moose Hall in Conrad at 6 p.m. While the meetings are geared toward livestock owners, all members of the community are welcome.

The year 2020 was a year of change for the Rocky Mountain Front grizzly bear management team. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks grizzly bear specialist Mike Madel of Choteau left the employment of FWP. Charles “Chad” White is the replacement for Madel as the Region 4 grizzly bear specialist. The following information was supplied by Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

Long time USDA Wildlife Services employee Mike Hoggan of Valier retired in December of 2020. His well-known friendly smile will be missed in this area. Another friendly face will be filling his shoes; Curt “Skippy” Sims is the new specialist for Pondera, Toole, and Liberty counties.

Glenn Hall, who was hired in 2019, is the Wildlife Services specialist for the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier County. Glacier County has a large amount of wolf and grizzly bear activity and livestock depredation. Having a Wildlife Services specialist living in the area helps with response time and knowledge of the landscape and ranchers.

Dymond Running Crane is again serving as a seasonal worker for Wildlife Services to help with preventative action such as building electric fencing.

Marias River Livestock Association hopes area ranchers and homeowners will come out and introduce themselves to these men.

Kraig Glazier, Western District supervisor with USDA Wildlife Services, and Wesley Sarmento, FWP grizzly bear specialist from Conrad, will also be there and full of information. These two will give short recaps of the past year’s depredations and actions in this area for each agency.

For more information, please call Maggie Nutter at 406-937-2751.