I was disappointed to read the Feb. 24 article, “Montana weighs asking Congress to lift grizzly protections.” The resolution in question, HJ15, would ask Montana’s congressional delegation to seek grizzlies’ removal from the endangered species list in Congress. The delisting process is already underway for Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears. USFWS is considering over 450,000 public comments submitted on the Yellowstone delisting as well as input from independent experts. HJ15 seeks to silence all of those voices and turn a deaf ear to science.
Even worse, HJ15 targets delisting of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and Cabinet-Yaak grizzly populations as well. USFWS has not yet begun delisting process for either of these populations. This means that USFWS scientists, independent experts and the public have not weighed in on the health of these populations.
Through this resolution, Montana is trying to bypass the Endangered Species Act, one of our nation’s most successful environmental laws. In the 40 years since its passage, the Act has brought countless species back from the brink of extinction, including bald eagles. It has a 99 percent success rate. Montana should not mess with a proven process and system for saving species.
Heather Meyer, Boise