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Grizzly video screen grab

This screen grab is taken from a video, shot with a cellphone from within a truck, which was posted to Facebook on March 19 by Lane Kennedy, a ranch hand from Browning.

A Browning ranch hand who posted a video to social media of a grizzly bear being chased by a truck was fined as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. 

Lawrence Lane Kennedy entered into the plea agreement July 5 in Great Falls District Court after initially pleading not guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act. Under the terms of the agreement, Kennedy was fined $400 with a $25 processing fee for unlawfully harassing a threatened species.

Federal officials launched an investigation after Kennedy posted a video to his Facebook page on March 19 in which he drove a pickup truck as a grizzly bear ran across a stubble field on a Browning-area ranch.

When contacted by the Independent Record in March, Kennedy said the bear had come within 100 yards of a herd of cows that were calving. Chasing the grizzly was not meant to “bother” the bear but to move it away, as they felt it was an immediate danger to the livestock, he said.

The pursuit never exceeded 10 miles per hour, he said.

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Kennedy said he did not intend to upset anyone by posting the video but wanted to let people in the immediate area know that a bear was present.

According to charging documents, Kennedy told investigators the chase lasted approximately 90 seconds.

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Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 or tom.kuglin@helenair.com

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Natural Resources Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter / Assistant Editor for The Independent Record.

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