Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation

Department or School/College

College Of Forestry And Conservation

Committee Chair

Alexander L. Metcalf

Committee Co-chair

Chad J. Bishop

Commitee Members

Alexander L. Metcalf, Chad J. Bishop, Michael Mitchell


Grizzly Bear Conflicts, Grizzly Bear Management, Ursus arctos horribilis, Recovery Zones, Grizzly Bear Populations, Grizzly Bear Distribution


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Animal Studies | Environmental Policy | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration


Edmo, Kenneth, M.S, Autumn 2022 Resource Conservation

Grizzly bear attractant policies in Montana: how regulations, recommendations, and resources differ among and between recovery areas

Chairperson or Co-Chairperson: Alexander L. Metcalf & Chad J. Bishop


Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are a keystone species and play an important role in their environment. After near extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented a recovery plan of six recovery zones to increase grizzly populations. Although these efforts allowed grizzly bear numbers to increase, so too have human-grizzly bear conflicts, significantly challenging agencies in charge of bear management. A concern from some agencies is the perception that inconsistent regulations on attractants (e.g., food,-garbage) across jurisdictions diminishes public compliance. To help address this issue, I conducted a policy inventory across federal, state, and local agencies that pertain to recreation, landowners, and several municipalities in Montana. I categorized agency policy information into one of three categories: requirements, recommendations, and resources available (the “3Rs”). I assessed how those policies differed across jurisdictions and made recommendations towards consistency for grizzly bear management across jurisdictions. Results showed substantial policy consistency among the 3Rs for recreation, landowners, and municipalities, but exceptions existed, especially with respect to managing recreational conflicts. Most agencies prohibit individuals from burning attractants, however, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) recommend burning attractants. I found that resources available to help people mitigate conflict were highly variable. I found evidence suggesting regulations can be easier to enforce for recreation rather than for landowners. Agencies managing human-grizzly bear conflicts may benefit from simplifying regulations and recommendations for landowners, municipalities, and recreationists. Making the 3Rs more consistent, particularly when recreating (e.g., having the same regulations and recommendations for every state or national park), could make it easier for people to know what is required and what they should do to prevent bear encounters while making enforcement easier for authorities. My work highlights opportunities to improve consistency of the 3Rs for those living and recreating in Montana.



© Copyright 2022 Kenneth J. Edmo