Unless they reverse the delisting of the greater Yellowstone grizzly population, 8 conservation groups have told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service they will be sued.

Although the grizzly bear population of the area has no doubt doubled since they were “listed” as “threatened’ in the 1970s soon after the Endangered Species Act was passed, the grizzly population increase was mostly done by “picking low-hanging fruit.” The things needed for real grizzly bear conservation, such as securing enough future habitat and the failure to recognize that every future trend points downward, has prompted this 60-day notice to sue.

Here is the story by Matthew Brown of the Associated Press.  Groups plan grizzly lawsuit

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

9 Responses to Conservation groups send USFWS 60-day notice to sue over Yellowstone grizzly delisting

  1. avatar JEFF E says:

    It should be pointed out that while lawsuits against the present fascist regime in power are a necessary evil, the reality is that that is how government governs in today’s world. What I mean is that the government, as an entity, has a primary purpose of justifying it’s existence. The three primary methods of that are:
    1. Passing laws that only the
    government can enforce.

    2. Continuously litigating, sometimes
    for decades, until there is a favorable
    ruling, and then building on any
    such finding as the basis for the next
    round of litigation. (they don’t care
    about cost because it’s all paid for by
    the taxpaying public.) They don’t care
    if they lose, they will just start all
    over and keep chipping away.

    3. Creating a threat, weather real but
    enhanced or entirely fabricated, that
    only the government, whether it be
    local, state, or national, will be able
    to address.
    The real threat to the country is that while government entities will use the above methods, it was usually with the overall public welfare in mind. With the present fascist regime that is no longer the case, but it is who or what lines the money belt(way) with the most cash that dictates public policy and the public be damned.

  2. avatar elkhunter says:

    I dont think that delisting grizzly bears would mean the end of their existence. It is really hard to please activists, if things are going well and populations are rising, the program is great, and activists talk about how great the grizzly population is doing.

    Regarding the grizzly bear, this isn’t so. Grizzly activists have been warning about the problem of declining habitat for at least six years now. They have never said the program is going great. They have talked and talk about the whirling disease in the trout, the dieoff of whitebark pine, etc., So this is not a last minute second guess. From at least the 1980s, they have said that an increase in bear numbers, even a big increase, is not representative of recovery. It’s the food sources for the bears that matter. The government hasn’t taken action, so the arguments in the lawsuit could have been written years ago.

    The population of the bears is completely unlike the wolf. It’s misleading to talk about grizzly bear population size and recovery. They are just as insecure in the greater Yellowstone without good habitat protection if their population is 400, 600, or 800. It doesn’t matter.

    Josh, you haven’t been following the grizzly bear news releases very well, I’m afraid. Ralph Maughan

    As soon as they reach the goals that were set and delisting starts to occur, it hits the fan, and they start to sue and that cost taxpayers alot of money for all this litigation. Its the same thing with the wolves, there were supposed to be like 1200 in the three states. Over 700 in ID alone, and as soon as you mention delisting, everyone starts freaking out, I just dont think that anyone, regardless of IDFG or any other state agency, could ever do anything right that would please acivists. Cause I dont think they are capable of being pleased. They just keep suing.

  3. avatar matt bullard says:

    Well, if you accept what Jeff E said about about the nature of government, then I guess the same could be said of activists and their capability of being pleased. I just don’t buy Jeff’s hypothesis on the motivation of government, period, nor do I think that most activists are incapable of being pleased.

    I’d warn people from making sweeping generalizations about anyone else based on the posts to this or any blog. I think you tend to get the extremists of each group posting, much like how the extremists of the major parties control the primary election process thus getting people like Bill Sali elected to Congress…

  4. avatar Denise Johnson says:

    Ralph, You have put it out there point-by-point. All hit the core of the plight of the grizzly and for all species.
    “The things needed for real grizzly bear conservation, such as securing enough future habitat and the failure to recognize that every future trend points downward,”
    “They are just as insecure in the greater Yellowstone without good habitat protection if their population is 400, 600, or 800.”
    I would add; that the numbers, verses habitat, equal saturation. Would you agree that recovery is at critical mass? Great timeing for delisting!
    When species are confined to a particular habitat and the habitat doesn’t grow with the species, common sense tells us that????

  5. avatar elkhunter says:

    Then Denise keep the population at a level that the habitat can support. That would work I would think? Would it not? If the Elk in UT were overpopulating, we would then cull the herd down to the amount that the habitat could support. So why not do the same with bears?

  6. avatar Jeff says:

    The reason it is premature to hunt is because bears reproductive rates are ridiculously slow not to mention there is an huge chuck of core uninhabited wilderness area in Idaho that is prime for the return of bears. Gov Kempthorne and political chronies railroaded a citizen plan to do this several years ago. It makes since to saturate as you say, all core habitats and then have a hunt, but due to the slow reproductive rate by the time extra bears from the GYE and the Northern Continental Ecosystems are relocated to the Selway-Bitteroot and Frank Church Wildernesses to reestablish bears there a hunt could be feasible in 25-30 years when the lower 48 grizzly bear population gets above 3,000 animals. That’s my reason not to hunt or delist just yet. That said I am a hunter and do live and hunt elk in grizzly country annualy here in western Wyoming.

  7. avatar Denise Johnson says:

    Elkhunter, I agree with Jeff. However there is one key point you are overlooking that I would like to add. Elk are not an endangered species. Grizz are.

  8. avatar chris says:

    Two noteworthy conservation groups not suing are Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation. These two groups have arguably done more for the grizzly bear than any others. NWF has come out in support of delisting. So the notion that all “activist” or conservation groups are against delisting is mistaken.

  9. That’s true, as Chris indicates. The National Wildlife Federation believes that the delisting process should be seen through, to show that a big controversial animal can be delisted and properly managed by the states. They believe that conservationists will get political credit for this.

    I wish it were so, and in the less partisan politics of 20 to 40 years ago, they would be correct; but the Dept. of Interior is inhabited today by rabid thinkers out of the 1920s, and an Administration that has no respect for the laws or the Constitution.

    Anyone who suspects that they harbor any good will is just asking for it. I say that after working in Idaho conservation politics since the 1970s, not as a newcomer with a purist agenda.

    There are times for splitting the differences, there are times for dealmaking, and there are times for all out defense or offense. We are in the latter.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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