Grizzly Bears Keep Threatened Status Until 2014

Posted May. 10th, 2012 by Daniel J. Cox

Here in Montana grizzly bears are a big deal. Yellowstone National Park is just south of my home in Bozeman and the park is one of only two consistent places in the U.S. you can still see grizzly bears. Last fall the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service attempted to remove protection for grizzlies so the management of the bears would be returned to the local states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Generally whenever the states try to retake control of a species, it’s usually due to their desire to add the animal to their hunting season roster. No different for the grizzly, it’s just a matter of time. If the bear’s threatened status continues to improve, the local states mentioned above begin allowing people to kill grizzlies again in the name of sport hunting.

Grizzly Bear (Ursus horribilis) female and her two cubs in Yellowstone National Park during the fall. Photograph taken from the safety of the road with a 600mm lens.

Just for the record, I’m no tree hugger. I grew up hunting and fishing and thrived in a family and extended family that spent as much time as possible going after things we COULD EAT! I love wild game and if a grizzly bear tasted good and there were plenty of them, I might be in favor of a hunting season. But neither of these is true. Bear meat is typically terrible; I’ve eaten black bear, and as far as grizzly numbers are concerned, how can anyone say there are enough to hunt when 98% of their original habitat is taken over by ranches, towns and modern civilization?

Good grief, give these animals a break and leave them off the hunting schedule. I’m just saying! You can read more by visiting the Greenwich Time web site. I saw this article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle but the Chronicle seems to be fearful of putting all their stories on the web since it’s not on their site. Guess that’s a way to keep people buying papers.

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