U.S. Fish and Wildlife has recently decided to consider “delisting” the grizzly bear. Unfortunately our state Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 5-2 to support the effort. A part of the proposal would have the Idaho Fish and Game Department “manage” the bears after the delisting. What a horrible idea.
There are many problems with delisting. No one really knows what the true population is. The numbers used by agencies are outdated and flimsy to begin with. They don’t know how many breeding-capable females there are or what the cub mortality rate is. Fifty-eight grizzlies were confirmed killed (in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) in 2016, including 13 “human caused, under investigation” (United State Geological Survey data).
The most disturbing element to the idea that Fish and Game would “manage” the bears is that they would issue licenses for trophy hunting. They are even considering allowing aerial hunting and trapping. The only management tool Fish and Game knows how to use is through the barrel of a gun. Again Idaho will appear as a state that doesn’t give a damn about protecting our natural treasures.
Don’t dismiss this as coming from an anti-gun, anti-hunting liberal. That’s not me.
Nick Bishop, Boise