According to a recent poll, the majority of Americans oppose the proposal to delist grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act and also, by a strong majority, oppose opening a trophy-hunting season on them. Yet, our Fish and Game Commission is set to do just that by adopting the Tri-state Memorandum of Agreement on Grizzly Bears.
The Tri-state Memorandum does not advance conservation of our wild bears but instead divvies up trophy hunting rights among Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. It will not assure a future with grizzly bears in Idaho because both its terms and the funding to implement them are voluntary.
Allowing the trophy hunting of grizzly bears will create a snowball effect of increased mortalities. When dominant males are killed for a trophy, new males will move into their former territories. Additional mortality and population-wide harm result, since the new animals will kill the dominant male’s cubs. Trophy hunting weakens the overall genetic health of the population by removing the fittest males from the gene pool.
Please tell the Commission not to adopt the Tri-state Memorandum by attending their meeting Monday evening in Coeur d’Alene or submitting written comments between July 7 and 27 on their website.
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Lisa Kauffman, Idaho state director, The Humane Society of the United States