Federal officials are expected to release a proposal this fall that would remove federal protections for grizzly bears. Northwestern Montana is home to the largest grizzly population in the Lower 48.

About 1,000 bears occupy at least 22,000 square miles in northwestern Montana centered on Glacier National Park. Wildlife officials are trying to determine if the bears have enough habitat to shield them from extinction.

The Interior Department is in a court battle with conservationists and American Indian tribes over the lifting of protections. Wyoming and Idaho are planning some trophy hunts for the animals this fall.