It is disheartening to see the news about recent grizzly incidents.

On May 1, Spencer Smith of Cody was attacked by a grizzly bear while hunting for shed antlers in Crandall. Thankfully he survived.

Just last week a grizzly was captured and euthanized after repeatedly killing chickens at a residence in Wapiti.

In the fall of 2018, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of Montana put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. In our opinion, that was a mistake.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife is appealing his decision and three judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are currently hearing that request.

The Wyoming Game and Fish and the State of Wyoming have said the grizzly population has recovered to the point it is now sustainable in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

The grizzly encounters of the past two weeks help prove their point.

Earlier this year U.S. Senator Mike Enzi said, “It’s clear that under the Endangered Species Act, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region are fully recovered, that they should be delisted and management returned to the states.”

Andrea Santarserie of the Center for Biological Diversity doesn’t agree with Enzi. “Grizzlies in the lower 48 still face an uphill battle to recovery,” she said.

The evidence on the ground backs up Enzi’s assessment, not hers.

Enough is enough. It’s time to overturn Judge Christensen’s ruling and return management of the grizzly bear to the states.

John Malmberg

(6) comments

Publius

Malmberg makes sense.

Justine

Your logic is so flawed. The fact that grizzlies occupy less than 2% of their original range means that we who live in this ecosystem have a responsibility to do all we can to co-exist. No one wants anyone to be malled by a bear, but it is one of the risks in our backcountry. We protect our food sources, including livestock, because we live with this rare top predator. We carry bear spray and stay alert.

Having a hunt has nothing to do with less potential for a surprise attack, or a bear eating unprotected food sources. A hunt is just an opportunity to kill bears, not problem bears.

When the Grizzly was initially listed, the USF&W set a goal for delisting as stable populations in several ecosystems in the GYE and Montana. These would provide connectivity for guaranteed long term survival for the bear. That still hasn't happened and was the reason why the judge made the USF&W go back to the drawing board to make good on their initial listing goal.

I expect a more informed opinion article from the publisher of this newspaper.

Fox Blue River

It always bothers me that some people, maybe a majority see the Earth as the sole possession of humans. Like when we shoot the deer in town because a few angry old people are mad their plants are being eaten.

Like Chief Seattle said, "This we know: The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

Gunrunner Auctions

Grizzly numbers and reproductive capabilities have for years been recovered. Food sources are of course fine to sustain grizzly populations (this was a common anti-hunting assertion that heard no merit). There are way over 700 bears - grossly over-populated -in the Yellowstone area and as we see MANY times a year they have way over run their territory and are killing cattle, killing sheep, mauling/killing hunters and hikers and generally raising Cain.

To suggest that they be "relocated" to other areas" is unsound and that is NOT being considered by the leading game biologists, but rather those who steal children's lunch money for a living.

Everyone wants the grizzly delisted - hunters, ranchers, game biologists, state game & fish departments, game commissions, state governors and the general public who live in grizzly country.

The same delisting process that happened with wolves will happen with grizzlies: The case will bounce around in courts and be delayed by liberal judges and then the antis will be defeated after millions of dollars are spent.

Then we hunt and all will be well.

Right now playing "boomerang bears" and "musical bear" games is costing the taxpayers $1 million a year and is absurd. Grizzlies are being killed RIGHT NOW, but not by hunters. Rather they are being killed by the same agencies the anti-hunters wish to protect them: U.S. Fish & Wildlife and state game departments. Some are killed by hunters or hikers.

In one week here in Cody two grizzlies have been killed - one by a truck and one by game and fish. The cause? Over-population.

If grizzlies were relocated to areas without huge tracts of wilderness area, the bears will be right into sub-divisions, farms and ranches pronto. Of course.

The hunters since 1975 have contributed via license fees and hunting organizations tens of millions of dollars toward grizzly recover, so it's time to hunt.

cdeech

Spencer survived because of bear spray which is exactly what should have happened. Thank god!! Just because you feel they should be delisted doesn’t change the factual science. Science isn’t a belief it’s data and facts! Learn the ESA rules which is exactly what the judge did. ESA is a law not a feeling.

DeweyV

Everything asserted by the writer of this opinion piece, while fully reflecting local and state dogma and rhetoric about Grizzly bears, is wrong.

Without belaboring the issues , just let me say one thing: the very LAST organization you want to manage the Grizzly Bear recovery and sustainability into the future is a state game department . They say trophy game ; I say wildlife. Night and Day. Managing bears as a state game animal like deer , ducks , or trout driven by economics , not ecology , is a crime against the planet. Until Wyoming and its ilk realizes Grizzlies must be repatriated into the millions of acres of suitable but unoccupied habitat in the entire Northern Rockies and adjacent regions first and foremost, it will continue to be remanded to the lawyer's doghouse. QED.

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