It’s a tale of two wildlife management scenarios. One good. One bad.
On the one hand, the capricious decision by Missoula Judge Dana Christensen which halted the delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly bear and returned it to the protection of the Endangered Species Act has thrown the competently planned and orchestrated management of the grizzly into disarray.
On the other hand, the coordinated efforts by the federal government and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to keep the invasive species zebra mussels and quagga mussels out of Wyoming’s fresh waters is working. So far.
Judge Christensen said he decided to return the grizzly to the Endangered Species Act status, because the “best available science” was not used by the Fish and Wildlife agency.
We readily admit we are not scientists. But then neither is Judge Christensen.
Also not agreeing with the decision are U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barasso, Wyoming’s U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department among many others. Also showing evidence is the number of conflicts between humans and grizzly bears.
It is our opinion Judge Christensen completely bungled the management of the grizzly and G&F has shown itself competent to manage species from grizzlies to mussels in cooperation with the federal government.
The cooperation between federal agencies, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Wyoming Game and Fish to prevent the invasion of zebra and quagga mussels is a good sign.
To date, their efforts have been successful.
We hope a maverick judge somewhere does not use the “best available science” to hurt those efforts.