Missoula, MT —
Montana’s federal district court approved and adopted a settlement agreement today between conservationists and state officials that ensures long-term protection for more than 22,000 acres of important grizzly bear habitat on state forest lands near Whitefish, Montana.
The settlement represents an agreement between the conservation groups Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana Environmental Information Center, and Natural Resources Defense Council, represented by Earthjustice, with officials from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (“DNRC”) concerning management of grizzly bear habitat on the 90,500-acre Stillwater and Coal Creek state forests in northwest Montana. The settlement resolves a lawsuit that the conservation groups filed in March 2013 to challenge a government proposal to reduce grizzly bear habitat protections on the state forest lands.
Under the settlement, DNRC will designate seven grizzly bear security zones encompassing 22,007 acres within which:
• Motorized activities will be prohibited…
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