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Closing arguments today in NY Trump trial; KY education activists campaign against public funds for private schools; FL expert stresses vigilance, and compassion this hurricane season; and working to create connections, age-friendly communities in Mississippi.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial, while both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Grizzlies Could Have Protections Removed Under Bill in Congress

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Monday, August 21, 2023   

Members of Idaho's Congressional delegation want to remove endangered species protections for grizzly bears.

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has introduced a bill to take grizzlies off the endangered species list in the lower 48 states. Risch said it's "clear grizzly populations have rebounded."

Nick Gevock, field organizer of Northern Rockies wildlands and wildlife for the Sierra Club, is not so sure. He said if states are left in charge of management, it likely will halt recovery of the species.

"The states have made clear -- all three states that are essential for this, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho -- that they want to manage for absolute bare minimum numbers of grizzly bears in isolated populations," Gevock pointed out.

Before their decline, there were an estimated 50,000 grizzlies in the West. When they went on the endangered species list in 1975, there were about 700-800. Current estimates put the number around 1,900. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, who also supports delisting, said the species would be better managed at the local level.

Gevock noted the two major populations of grizzlies in the lower 48 are in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and in and around Yellowstone National Park.

"That Yellowstone population is genetically isolated from other grizzly bear populations," Gevock explained. "Getting those two major populations connected is essential if we're serious about long term grizzly bear conservation and management."

Gevock added the species is emblematic of the region.

"Grizzly bears are really the essence of the Northern Rockies and I think they deserve continued protection so that we can fully reach true grizzly bear recovery," Gevock urged.

Disclosure: The Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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