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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

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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