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Author Topic: Idaho seeking to de-list Grizzly Bears  (Read 3785 times)

Offline gramps

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Idaho seeking to de-list Grizzly Bears
« on: November 07, 2023, 05:56:18 PM »
 
Lewiston newspaper
FEATURED
Idaho seeking to delist grizzlies
Three Western states argue that the species has recovered sufficiently; Fish and Game studying issue
By Laura Guido, for the Daily News Nov 7, 2023 Updated 9 hrs ago

Idaho is continuing its effort to delist grizzly bears in the lower 48 states from the Endangered Species Act via three avenues: administrative, legislative and judicial.

Idaho Fish and Game Director Jim Fredericks and the department’s Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Trever provided an update on these processes at a Natural Resources Committee meeting Monday.

“This is a multi-pronged front because it’s very important to the state of Idaho,” Trever said. “Grizzly bears have been used as a tool to do other things in litigation scenarios, such as deal with trying to enforce land management policies and other things related to hunting and trapping practices.”

There are four designated recovery zones for grizzlies that at least partially include Idaho, Fredericks said. Bears move frequently through these zones, making it hard to track how many are in the state, but he said a good estimate is around 200.

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming all issued separate petitions to delist the species, arguing the populations had adequately recovered to not be designated as endangered anymore. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied Idaho’s petition but said it would look closer into the other states’ proposal to delist the Greater Yellowstone bears.

In May, Idaho notified the federal agency of its intention to sue over the decision.

The agency argued that lower-48 grizzlies are not a biological species.

The federal entity is looking into an effort to delist the bears in the greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide areas, the Montana Free Press reported.

For a different grizzly effort, a court decision this year has reignited a long-stalled process to move bears into the Bitterroot conservation area. The Bitterroot Mountains, along the Idaho-Montana border, had once been populated by grizzlies, but the bears were all killed off.

In the 1990s, there was an effort to transport bears into the region and designate them as an experimental population. There’s also been an increased number of sightings and tracking data showing grizzlies are in the area, the Missoulian reported.

The management plan for bears in the region had been stalled since 2000. In March, a judge ruled that the Fish and Wildlife service had unreasonably delayed the implementation of the plan.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies Executive Director Michael Garrity told the Missoulian that “the Bitterroot ecosystem is the lynchpin to recovering and delisting grizzly bears because it is the connecting corridor between the Cabinet-Yaak, Selkirk, Northern Continental Divide and Yellowstone ecosystems grizzly populations.”

For the administrative process, in which the federal agency would make a decision on the Yellowstone conservation area’s bears, Idaho would need to enter into an agreement with the neighboring states on standardized methodologies for estimating populations and how to move bears if necessary.

Trever said she expects these decisions to come before the commissions in January. There would also need to be an inter-agency agreement with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service — both of which host the majority of the habitat in this area.

From the legislative standpoint, Idaho’s congressional delegation has introduced legislation in the House and Senate to delist the lower-48 grizzly bears. Sen. Jim Risch introduced S. 2571 and Rep. Russ Fulcher introduced parallel legislation HR 4997 in the House. According to GovTrack, neither bill has moved forward since introduction in July.

The congressional delegation also signed on as co-sponsors to legislation to delist the Greater Yellowstone bears. U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, sponsored HR 1245, which was sent to the full House for consideration on April 28.

If grizzlies are delisted, the state would allow them to be hunted as a trophy species. Idaho’s existing trophy species are moose, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Hunters may kill one of each in a lifetime if they can draw permits for those species, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

Fredericks said Idaho has an agreement with Wyoming and Montana for allowable mortality in each state if delisting occurred and states chose to open them up for hunting.

Conservation groups have expressed concerns that, if regulation and management is left up to the states, the species won’t be properly protected.

Idaho Conservation League North Idaho Director Brad Smith said in May that his group is worried that the Gem State would manage grizzlies similar to how it has managed the Rocky Mountain gray wolf — which would mean goals to reduce populations.

“We would need to see a commitment from the state of Idaho and also the surrounding states to maintain recovered populations and not just drive down populations after delisting occurs,” he said.

Guido covers Idaho politics for the Lewiston Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News and Idaho Press of Nampa. She may be contacted at lguido@idahopress.com and can be found on Twitter @EyeOnBoiseGuido.

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« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 06:23:38 PM by gramps »
It never changes, but it is always different.

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: Idaho seeking to de-list Wolves
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2023, 06:17:23 PM »
Grizzlies, not wolves as your headline says.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Offline gramps

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Re: Idaho seeking to de-list Grizzly Bears
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2023, 06:24:06 PM »
Thanks   corrected
It never changes, but it is always different.

Offline TeacherMan

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Re: Idaho seeking to de-list Grizzly Bears
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2023, 07:32:32 PM »
200 seems low, I’d say they are all around Priest Lake then 😂😝
If you shoot the first one you will never get that true trophy.

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Idaho seeking to de-list Grizzly Bears
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2023, 07:35:45 PM »
Eloquent wording OP. De list all you want, the end result of those who know, have a play in the mission, will act accordingly.
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