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.