Mines Management, Inc. (NYSE Amex:MGN) (TSX:MGT) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce completion of a study to monitor the grizzly bear in the Montanore project area, which is located in a portion of the Cabinet/Yaak Ecosystem recovery area. The study utilized technologically advanced sampling methods that included DNA analysis, and seeks to assist with monitoring and mitigation efforts to understand and support the health of the grizzly bear population.
During the summer of 2009, scientists from the University of Washington and Kline Environmental Research were contracted by the Company to conduct a study in and around the Montanore Project area to assess the current condition of the grizzly bear population using DNA analysis of grizzly bear scat.
From the results of the study, a number of conclusions were reached, including the following:
- There are very likely significantly more grizzly bears in the Cabinet Mountains than has been previously reported.
- Either through augmentation or transient bears, the region may be at a stable condition and at its natural carrying capacity for grizzly bears.
- Current grizzly bear management activities in the recovery area should be reviewed due to recent grizzly mortalities and the increase of bears leaving the recovery area.
- DNA studies can identify individual grizzly bears from collected scat samples, which can be used to assess habitat and numbers of bears in the study area. The method proved to be an effective, non-intrusive method for monitoring grizzly bears, as compared to radio collars or hair sampling.
As part of its environmental review process and its extensive efforts to minimize the Montanore project’s impact to the environment, the Company has proposed measures to protect and monitor local threatened species, including the grizzly bear.