Grizzlies Could Have Protections Removed Under Bill in Congress
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.
get more stories like this via email
California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …
A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…
By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …
It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …
Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…
Health and Wellness
A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …
Health and Wellness
A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …
Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …