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Is It Time To Remove the Grizzly From the Endangered Species List?

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November 29, 2011

Is It Time To Remove the Grizzly From the Endangered Species List?

By Chad Love

With a record number of nuisance grizzly bears being trapped in Montana, some are asking if it's time to remove the grizzly from its listing under the Endangered Species Act.

From this story in The Missoulian:

The number of grizzly bears captured in Montana's Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem set records this year, prompting discussions among state wildlife officials about a new era in grizzly bear management.

Conflicts between bears and humans soared during the 2011 season and kept grizzly bear managers extremely busy, particularly in northwestern Montana. In the past 10 days alone, six additional bears were removed from the wild, according to John Fraley, spokesman for Region 1 of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The recent captures bring the grand total to 44 bears that were trapped in 2011, according to bear conflict specialists with FWP. Since 1993, the agency reports an annual average of 17 grizzly bear captures in the same management area.

"...According to FWP grizzly bear researcher Rick Mace, about 1,000 grizzlies now populate the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, or NCDE. The population continues to grow at about 2 percent to 3 percent every year, he said. "Although the recent removals of adult females with cubs are regrettable, these mortalities are well within sustainable mortality limits," Mace said.

FWP Region 1 Wildlife Program Manager Jim Williams said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that oversees grizzly bear recovery under the Endangered Species Act, agreed that removing the grizzlies was necessary. "We are entering a new era in grizzly bear management," Williams said. "With a functionally recovered population of grizzly bears we will continue to experience increased conflicts between bears and humans. As the NCDE grizzly bear population continues to grow, FWP can be more aggressive with removing those females and males that continue to conflict with humans."

Thoughts? Is the grizzly ready to be de-listed? Do you think we'll ever see the return of a limited grizzly hunt in the lower 48?

Comments (12)

Top Rated
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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

At some point, yes, there will be a grizzly hunt in some limited fashion. Society will decide when there are "enough" bears that we don't want any more and that's when it'll be ok to kill them in a hunt again. Seeing as how I'm not a wildlife biologist, I have no idea if we're ready for a hunt. Yes, there is more conflict, but is that because of human activity encroaching in the bear habitat or because of too many bears? What is the carrying capacity for the area we want the bears to occupy? Are the bears becoming too accustomed to human activity thereby acclimating themselves to environs where we don't want bears? I'm sure there are other questions that need answered as well, but soon enough there'll be a grizzly bear hunt that won't require you to cross the border or go to Alaska.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

It sounds like there is a huntable population of grizzlies already - not only can hunting keep the population from growing excessive, it would also be extremely useful in teaching the remaining bears that humans are to be feared - something that might be just as helpful as limiting the population when it comes to reducing conflicts between people and bears

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Of course, the grizzly bear should be delisted, and limited permit hunting seasons should be established by the states of Wyoming and Montana. However, the 9th Circuit has just ruled that grizzly bear populations haven't reached the point to where the species should be delisted, which is nonsense. And some groups, like the Great Yellowstone Coalition and the Natural Resources Defense Council are dedicated to keeping the grizzly on the Endangered Species list. The thought of a grizzly bear hunting season in the Lower 48 states drives these groups crazy!

I wish I could share jakenbake's optimism, but I don't see the grizzly bear getting delisted any time soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Either way- keep your head on a swivel & your bear spray ready!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkreit wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I live close to Yellowstone and I can tell you there are more bears and there will continue to be conflicts until we get to manage them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I just can't think of anyone more qualified to make those sorts of decisions than the US F+W and the Idaho/Montana/Wyoming Fish and Game Departments. Why do we have all these experts with all of their education and study if not to decide these sorts of things.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Long Sit wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i think that the ministries are rather good at managing the populations of grizzlies and any wildlife. They are most likely very aware of the issue and i personally think that if done properly their is no reason what the grizzly couldn't be removed from the list. and managed with a raffle system allowing individuals to hunt them if they so choose.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

rock rat: The reason is that state agencies have a convoluted system where they take "public comment" on everything from building a new outhouse in a state park, to setting big game seasons. So your average taxicab driver and warehouse clerk, and ten thousand other members of the public, have a say in what the agency does. Throw in the environmental groups, whose very reason for being is to promote their own agendas, and you have a political mess. I worked for three states over the course of about 22 years, and it was the same in each state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

SHOOT THEM AS NEEDED.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Shepard wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I have offerred the Montana FWP $10,000.00 to get a grizzly license..especially after the same bio, jim Williams as our last CAC meeting/..(Citizens Advisory Council)...announced to us, it is his estimate we now have 1000 grizzlies in MT Region 1 ONLY>>>>not counting the rest of the state...way over what the enviros could ever imagine....we could easily harvest 25 to 50 a year via hunting and help sustain biologists and habitat too, as a GAME animal..not some damn environmental fund raising animal, like their friend the wolf..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

If one wants to shoot a grizzly, one can always go looking for trouble during hunting season for another species.

If you were to run into an aggressive grizzly and have to shoot it in self defense, well, a human has the right to defend himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i have always dreamed of a grizzlie bowhunt in kodiak island, alaska. even if there were tags for a hunt in montana the simbolic meaning wouldn't be the same.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jakenbake wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

At some point, yes, there will be a grizzly hunt in some limited fashion. Society will decide when there are "enough" bears that we don't want any more and that's when it'll be ok to kill them in a hunt again. Seeing as how I'm not a wildlife biologist, I have no idea if we're ready for a hunt. Yes, there is more conflict, but is that because of human activity encroaching in the bear habitat or because of too many bears? What is the carrying capacity for the area we want the bears to occupy? Are the bears becoming too accustomed to human activity thereby acclimating themselves to environs where we don't want bears? I'm sure there are other questions that need answered as well, but soon enough there'll be a grizzly bear hunt that won't require you to cross the border or go to Alaska.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

It sounds like there is a huntable population of grizzlies already - not only can hunting keep the population from growing excessive, it would also be extremely useful in teaching the remaining bears that humans are to be feared - something that might be just as helpful as limiting the population when it comes to reducing conflicts between people and bears

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkreit wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I live close to Yellowstone and I can tell you there are more bears and there will continue to be conflicts until we get to manage them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

rock rat: The reason is that state agencies have a convoluted system where they take "public comment" on everything from building a new outhouse in a state park, to setting big game seasons. So your average taxicab driver and warehouse clerk, and ten thousand other members of the public, have a say in what the agency does. Throw in the environmental groups, whose very reason for being is to promote their own agendas, and you have a political mess. I worked for three states over the course of about 22 years, and it was the same in each state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i have always dreamed of a grizzlie bowhunt in kodiak island, alaska. even if there were tags for a hunt in montana the simbolic meaning wouldn't be the same.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Of course, the grizzly bear should be delisted, and limited permit hunting seasons should be established by the states of Wyoming and Montana. However, the 9th Circuit has just ruled that grizzly bear populations haven't reached the point to where the species should be delisted, which is nonsense. And some groups, like the Great Yellowstone Coalition and the Natural Resources Defense Council are dedicated to keeping the grizzly on the Endangered Species list. The thought of a grizzly bear hunting season in the Lower 48 states drives these groups crazy!

I wish I could share jakenbake's optimism, but I don't see the grizzly bear getting delisted any time soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Either way- keep your head on a swivel & your bear spray ready!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I just can't think of anyone more qualified to make those sorts of decisions than the US F+W and the Idaho/Montana/Wyoming Fish and Game Departments. Why do we have all these experts with all of their education and study if not to decide these sorts of things.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Long Sit wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

i think that the ministries are rather good at managing the populations of grizzlies and any wildlife. They are most likely very aware of the issue and i personally think that if done properly their is no reason what the grizzly couldn't be removed from the list. and managed with a raffle system allowing individuals to hunt them if they so choose.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

SHOOT THEM AS NEEDED.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Shepard wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

I have offerred the Montana FWP $10,000.00 to get a grizzly license..especially after the same bio, jim Williams as our last CAC meeting/..(Citizens Advisory Council)...announced to us, it is his estimate we now have 1000 grizzlies in MT Region 1 ONLY>>>>not counting the rest of the state...way over what the enviros could ever imagine....we could easily harvest 25 to 50 a year via hunting and help sustain biologists and habitat too, as a GAME animal..not some damn environmental fund raising animal, like their friend the wolf..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

If one wants to shoot a grizzly, one can always go looking for trouble during hunting season for another species.

If you were to run into an aggressive grizzly and have to shoot it in self defense, well, a human has the right to defend himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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