Here’s a pretty good overview of Wyoming’s recently approved grizzly bear hunt . . .
A debate over whether the Yellowstone ecosystem’s grizzly bear population can thrive while being hunted will be put to the test this fall after Wyoming officials on Wednesday approved the state’s first grizzly hunt in 44 years.
The hunt, approved 7-0 by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, could allow as many as 22 grizzlies to be killed in a wide area east and south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Hunt proponents and opponents made last-minute pleas before the commission, which held several public meetings on the hunt around the state and tweaked the hunt rules in response to some previous comments.
Native American tribes want Wyoming to transplant excess bears to reservations rather than hunting them. Kudos to Bill Fordyce for spotting this one . . .
Wyoming might consider Native American tribes’ request that grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem be transplanted to reservations rather than hunted, a top official said last week.
Even though it has adopted framework regulations for grizzly hunting, Wyoming Game and Fish won’t dismiss the transplant idea, Wyoming’s Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik said. His remarks followed a call by a tribal coalition that grizzlies be transplanted instead of hunted if managers seek to reduce their numbers in the ecosystem.
“Instead of trophy hunting the grizzly, Tribal Nations wish to see grizzlies transplanted from the GYE to sovereign tribal lands in the grizzly’s historic range where biologically suitable habitat exists,” coalition co-founder R. Bear Stands Last wrote Game and Fish director Scott Talbott on June 29. “The same quota of grizzlies that would be hunted per season could easily be trapped and relocated, removing any possible rationalization for re-instituting trophy hunts.”
Yet another challenge to Wyoming’s grizzly delisting plans . . .
Groups are challenging the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission over its recently adopted grizzly bear management rules.
The Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity and Jackson, Wyoming-based filmmaker James Laybourn filed a lawsuit against the commission Friday in state court in Cheyenne.
The lawsuit claims the commission failed to follow public notice and comment requirements before adopting grizzly management rules earlier this year.
Here’s a pretty good discussion of the issues grizzly bears could face in parts of Wyoming after delisting goes into effect. Kudos to Bill Fordyce for spotting this one . . .
Wyoming will “discourage” grizzly bears — likely by hunting — from thousands of square miles they currently occupy in the Yellowstone ecosystem, state officials said recently while describing pending plans.
Grizzly bears can’t easily live without conflict in 3,236 square miles they now occupy on the fringes of the Yellowstone ecosystem, Wyoming wildlife authorities say, and the federal government agrees. Consequently, grizzlies now living on some of the ecosystem edges won’t be counted in official censuses and will be moved off, killed or hunted, sometimes even before they conflict with human activities, pending state and federal plans say.
Nevertheless, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removes the Yellowstone-area grizzly from the list of threatened species — a process that could be completed by the end of this year — the agency will continue to monitor grizzly populations in the core of the ecosystem. Area managers will strive for a population of 674 bears in the 19,270 square-mile central zone known as Demographic Monitoring Area. If that population is well distributed and fecund with breeding females, there’s enough habitat and regulations to make federal wildlife managers confident grizzlies will persist.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is making plans for grizzly bear delisting . . .
The state of Wyoming is moving to take over management of grizzly bears as environmental groups increasingly scrutinize whether the bear population in the Greater Yellowstone region could sustain hunting.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission held its first public hearing Wednesday outlining how the state will manage grizzly bears when they come off of the federal endangered species list. It plans other meetings around the state.
The federal government announced in early March that it intends to lift threatened-species protections for grizzlies in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.