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Conservation group says Montana trail runs present bear risk

June 18, 2019

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A conservation group is opposing planned races on Montana trails, saying the events would put runners and grizzly bears at risk.

The Missoulian reported Monday that the U.S. Forest Service has granted a special use permit for a 31-mile (50-kilometer) ultramarathon in October from Whitefish to the top of Whitefish Mountain and back.

The agency is considering a permit for the Foy’s to Blacktail Marathon in September. The trail course sends runner from the Blacktail Mountain ski area to Herron Park.

The Swan View Coalition has asked the agency to rescind the permit for the ultramarathon and deny one for the marathon.

Coalition chair Keith Hammer says granting the permits would promote risky behavior in bear habitat.

Montana Trail Crew co-founder Jimmy Grant says the risks are “very minimal.”

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

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