Help wanted: Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is hiring for a Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager. That is the official job title. The pay is $79,000-$103,000. Unlike many jobs today, this is not a remote work opportunity. The individual must be within 100 miles of Missoula, Bozeman, or Kalispell, Montana. From the job description:

The Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager is responsible for coordinating grizzly bear conflict management in MT, WY, ID, and WA jointly with state agencies, tribes, and Wildlife Services (WS) according to grizzly bear recovery plan, Interagency Grizzly Bear Guidelines, and inter-agency agreements. These efforts include making final relocation and removal decisions, in consultation with Recovery Coordinator, and coordinating a ground response such as relocation, trapping operations, conflict prevention, and monitoring bears. The position will assist the Grizzly Bear Recovery Program with population assessments, recovery planning, and other Program needs. The position deals with a highly controversial species but provides the opportunity to develop innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships. Position requires a balanced perspective, significant grizzly bear handling experience, and strong communication and relationship building skills. 

From Slate:

Bears do fight with each other–like when they compete for a mate. But as a pretty solitary species, the need for a third party arbitrator is low. Instead, "grizzly bear conflict" is usually defined as scuttles between bears and property or humans. This includes livestock predation and unexpected encounters (like having one turn up in your backyard because you left the garbage out, or if you run into one while hiking).

What happens after a conflict involves a series of choices, made by the grizzly bear conflict manager. When a "grizzly conflict" is reported, and the grizzly in question is still on the lam, often that bear will be trapped. (You can read and watch a video about trapping bears for research here and here.) Sometimes the bear will simply be released, sometimes it'll be relocated (away from a ranch or place with livestock, for example). Or, if no other option is available, the bear might be euthanized. "Killing bears is the worst part of my job," recently-retired conflict specialist Tim Manley has said, according to the Flathead Beacon. "We try to avoid having to do it but when bears become very food-conditioned and start causing property damage and breaking into vehicles, trailers and cabins, those bears are removed."

image: Adam Van Spronsen/