Agency officials downplay impact-

Agencies to allow for bear status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press

Judge Molloy put the Yellowstone area bears back on the threatened species list because all their food sources are jeopardized.  Brian Kelly, Fish and Wildlife Service Wyoming field supervisor was quoted in the article above, “The basic message is that federal agencies need to evaluate their actions with respect to what effect they may have on grizzly bears.” [emphasis mine]

“Jim Magagna with the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association said few changes were expected for the livestock industry.” Excuse me, but I don’t think so.  There are all kinds of conflict between grizzlies and livestock. Did Magagna already forget the sheep/grizzly/sheepherder incident in Tosi Creek and all the others in the upper Green River year after year?

Chris Servheen was quoted as defending the delisting decision. Well the judge didn’t think the defense was a good one, and so he ruled against Servheen and crew. What good is it to reassert it?

I just got back from 4 days of hiking, driving, checking on things in low swampy area between the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. During a good part of the year this is heavy grizzly country. In September the grizzlies have abandoned the meadows because they are dry, but they are down in the riparian areas and up on the Tetons where the food is. I found that many of the riparian areas were full of cows, with some allotments very close to Yellowstone Park. Where the cows didn’t tromp, bear scat full of berries was usually abundant.

If the grizzlies need more food, the solution is not more meetings and documents like Brian Kelley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Animals like livestock that eat the grass, forbs, sedges, that grizzlies eat; animals that tromp out the berry patches; livestock that eat what elk and deer could eat . . . these things have to stop. Furthermore the allowed range of the grizzly has got to increase because the area reserved for the grizzly under the delisting has become less productive due to many adverse changes.

The effects of the die-off of whitebark pine, whirling disease in trout, lake trout displacing cutthroat trout, the invasion of exotic species is not going to be solved by interagency cooperation meetings.

 
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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.

38 Responses to What will putting Yellowstone grizzlies back on "the list" mean?

  1. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    The agencies are so convinced that listing is the worst thing in the world, that you’ve got giant bureaucracies pouring millions of dollars into wiggling out of the clear intent of the law, then claiming lack of resource to implement enforcement.

    Grizzlies are relatively lucky that they’ve got the ESA coverage. You take a look at was FWS is doing with these CCAA’s for grayling, sage grouse, etc. – pooring millions of dollars into shootin’ the shit with ranchers to avoid listing, then you can just see where the listing determinations are all going “warranted but precluded” for lack of resource – “we spent all the budget on the CCAA’s.”

    With grizz, we can just hope and push – but the USFWS’s resentment for the ESA seems as strong as ever. It’s a race to the bottom.

  2. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances

  3. avatar pointswest says:

    “Animals like livestock that eat the grass, forbs, sedges, that grizzlies eat; animals that tromp out the berry patches; livestock that eat what elk and deer could eat . . . these things have to stop. Furthermore the allowed range of the grizzly has got to increase because the area reserved for the grizzly under the delisting has become less productive due to many adverse changes.”

    Without having read any good science on the topic, I do get the impression that cattle are very hard on grizzlies in competing for or destroying their food srouce as is stated above. I know from my reading that grizzlies were constant trouble for trappers in the Yellowstone area since they were often encountered in meadows, marshes and near beaver streams and got into beaver traps. I know that Stanley Basin (Idaho) once had a large population of grizzlies and several early explores remarked about the number of grizzlies grazing, digging, or hunting in Stanley Basin that is today a large cow pasture. California, that was famous for its 10,000 grizzlies and who made them the state animial and put one on the state flag, supported most of their grizzlies in the flood plains, marshers, and other riparian areas of the central valley, especially the along Sacramento and San Juaquin rivers. Bears were so numerous on the upper Sacramento and tributaries that it was dangerous to travel there and, for a time, there was a small grizzly oil industry on the upper Sacramento that killed grizzlies and boiled them down for their oil. A couple of hunters could “harvest” three or four a day and it was very dangerous work because they were so many grizzly around.

    Grizzlies seem to prefer marshes and/or ripairian areas along gentle streams in wet and flat country or flat bottomed valleys with meandering streams, the very same areas prefered by cattle ranchers and that cattle tromp the brush out of. It is interesting how easliy the grizzlies were wiped out of steep mountainous areas like the San Juans in Colarado or the vast mountains of central Idaho where there were hardly any people. I wonder if it was because there were never that many grizzlies in these steep mountainous areas in the first place. The grizzlies were mostly dependent on the low elevation meadows and marshes or flat bottomed valleys that ran out of these mountains…the very areas that became cow pastures.

    Maybe the nation needs more education about grizzlies, their needs, and what their prime habitat is.

  4. “Grizzlies seem to prefer marshes and/or ripairian areas along gentle streams in wet and flat country or flat bottomed valleys with meandering streams, the very same areas prefered by cattle ranchers and that cattle tromp the brush out of. It is interesting how easliy the grizzlies were wiped out of steep mountainous areas like the San Juans in Colarado or the vast mountains of central Idaho where there were hardly any people. I wonder if it was because there were never that many grizzlies in these steep mountainous areas in the first place. The grizzlies were mostly dependent on the low elevation meadows and marshes or flat bottomed valleys that ran out of these mountains…the very areas that became cow pastures.”

    This is precisely the kind of country that lies in the low spot between the NW slope of the Tetons and Bechler Meadows in the Park. Productive meadows, berry patches, vast brushfields along slow moving creeks.

    Every backcountry campsite has a bear box for storing your food. I noticed a lot of them now need repair. It also seems kind of pointless to have a bear box with cow standing next to it.

    If you look at my most recent Panorarmio, I have been putting up some photos of it. Look at the most recent ones, and more will follow. http://www.panoramio.com/user/395804

  5. avatar nabeki says:

    We need to get cattle and sheep off public land. Cattle are degrading the land. Conflicts between livestock and apex predators like girzzlies and wolves cause the predators to pay the ultimate price with their lives. Why should we subsidize these ranchers? Every blade of grass cattle eat could be food for native species.

    “If the grizzlies need more food, the solution is not more meetings and documents like Brian Kelley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Animals like livestock that eat the grass, forbs, sedges, that grizzlies eat; animals that tromp out the berry patches; livestock that eat what elk and deer could eat . . . these things have to stop.”

    Completly agree!!!!

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  6. avatar JB says:

    Cattle are going to remain on public lands until the laws governing agency management of these lands change. The “multiple-use” doctrine still guides the Forest Service and BLM, and the laws specify that livestock grazing is a legitimate use.

  7. As you know JB, part of the problem is you can’t even buy these cattle and sheep operators out even if they want to sell their lease. You probably read the long reply Brian Ertz made to Wilderness Muse about the difficulty of buying out the grazing allotments just NW of YNP.

    This system truly is socialism in the bad way. I don’t hear Beck or Limbaugh bitching about this kind of socialism.

  8. avatar mikarooni says:

    Forgive me; but, most of you seem focused on what grizzlies need in terms of food sources and habitat and whether there should be livestock in the area. Those are all important things to think about; but, the truth is that grizzlies in the GYE are clearly not, at least over the past decade, hampered by any habitat or even food problems. We keep talking about problems with pine nuts and moths and trout and now berries; but, looking at the demographics on the ground, the GYE grizzlies are clearly not hurting for food; they’re eating every other predator’s leftovers along with whatever dead they come across, are fat and happy, and the field data show they’re having no unusual trouble wintering over or reproducing, which are the indicators for food problems. We keep talking about problems with roads and the built environment; but, the field observations tell the truth; grizzlies in the GYE don’t give a hoot about roads or houses or whatever; if left alone, they just walk on around or even right through in places where the spaces between are anywhere close to a hundred yards wide. We keep talking about livestock and grass and so on and so forth and all that is something to think about; but, there are plenty of elk and deer out there and, again based on wintering over and reproduction observations, GYE grizzlies get their fill of protein.

    Yes, I understand what the relisting decision was based on; but, i also know that we need to be honest about the real drain on GYE grizzly genetics over the past couple of years. We need to have the spine to face the real problem so that we can start planning how we’re going to deal with it. The fact is that it has been hunters who have been shooting them right and left over the past couple of years. Without the hunter caused mortality, the GYE grizzly population would be growing just fine and we need to admit that fact. As I have pointed out and will continue to point out, there have been so many hunter shot grizzlies (and those are just the ones we hear about) that we need to start asking whether all of these dead grizzlies are cases of an elk hunter having to defend himself or are we actually seeing rednecks out itching to shoot grizzlies and just using an elk tag and a dead elk as bait and an excuse.

  9. avatar JB says:

    Ralph,

    Yes, I saw Brian’s reply and sympathize with the frustration felt by those who would like to buy out leases. Even if you succeed in buying out leases your still stuck buying up one lease at a time. Seems a more effective method would be to lobby hard for legislative reform–given the right Congress, of course.

  10. avatar pointswest says:

    “The fact is that it has been hunters who have been shooting them right and left over the past couple of years.”

    Hunters did not shoot any grizzlies inside of Yellowstone Park where it is illegal to even have a gun. Further, if grizzlies are well fed and healthy, they can have up to three cubs…that is, they reproduce faster. I do not a small number of accidentlal killings as a very serious problem as long as the remaining bears are well fed.

    The published statistics are, of the 600 bears the GYE, there were 71 deaths, 48 killed by humans. Of the 48 deaths by humans (i.e. cars, game managers, ranchers) 20 were accidentally killed by hunters. While I think these statisics can and should be improved, I do not see the hunters as a big problem.

  11. avatar pointswest says:

    “This is precisely the kind of country that lies in the low spot between the NW slope of the Tetons and Bechler Meadows in the Park. Productive meadows, berry patches, vast brushfields along slow moving creeks.”

    Yes…I grew up near the Bechler area and have been in there several times. There were numerous grizzlies there even back in the 70’s before they were listed. I had a few close encounters with grizzlies…saw my horse almost pull his own head off when one big one came patrolling near our camp one night.

  12. avatar pointswest says:

    I said: “There were numerous grizzlies there even back in the 70’s before they were listed.”

    I mean I know the area is good habitat. The density of bears dropped of quickly as soon as you were outside of the Park where there were cattle and ranchers with guns.

  13. avatar pointswest says:

    Another area, I remember, where there were lots of grizzlies prior to protection was the east side of Henry’s Lake flats. I knew the ranching family that owned most of the land there. They would kill two or three grizzlies every summer. This was back in the mid to late 60’s when it was perfectly legal. I can remember there old log garage with about half a dozen grizzly hides in it. They liked keeping a few grizzly hides hanging around the ranch house since it kept the cattle from haning around this area of high human traffic and so kept the cowpies away. The would also split the hides and hang them near gates. They could then leave the gates wide open and the cattle would not come near those grizzly hides…the hides acted like a natural cattle gruard.

    There are several springs and meandering streams along the eastern edge of Henry’s Lake Flats. I always assumed the grizzlies were on the eastern side of the Flats because it was close to the Park boundary but I’ll bet it had more to do with the many springs, small streams, and meadows. There are a lot there. It is not too far from Big Springs and is the same geology.

  14. pointswest,

    Yes, in the 1970s there were a lot of sheep allotments very close to the Park in this area. Their attacks on sheep were the cause of a lot of SSS. As you know, the allotments were slowly phased out, and that kind of mortality of bears in the area dropped off a lot.

    There weren’t a lot of grizzly bears in the 1970s though. That’s why they were listed. It was just that the bears that there were found eating sheep on the borders of the Park a lot like eating pop corn (that term not original to me). They hadn’t learned to eat elk and a lot of other natural foods because of the garbage dumps.

    The last 30 years has been a learning experience for bears about what there is to eat. They do keep finding new sources, but it’s very hard to find anything to replace whitebark pine nuts, cutthroat trout and maybe elk if their numbers are truly declining.

  15. avatar Tom Page says:

    While we can’t always buy out (or otherwise affect management of) grazing permits or leases directly, we can buy the base properties with attached leases as they become available…not cheap, but neither are attorneys.

  16. avatar pointswest says:

    Yes…I think by the 70’s, there were not many grizzlies on the east side of the Flats. There were still plenty of grizzlies in the Bechler Meadows and Robison Creek areas in the 70’s, however. I think that area was always a stronghold, probably because it is such good habitat. I can remember at least two maulings in Bechler Meadows in the 70’s and I had a couple of encounters in the 70’s. I remember hearing of other who saw or had grizzly encounters in the 70’s. In fact, I can never remember a time when there wern’t grizzlies in or near Bechler.

    I watched part 1 of the Ken Burn series on the National Parks tonight. I believe they mentioned efforts to expand Yellowsone at least three times. It will be interesting to see what kind of conclusions are drawn at the end of this series.

    I think Island Park and the areas between Yellowstone and Teton Parks should definitly be annexed into the Park.

  17. Tom Page,

    Brian Ertz has described how hard it is to close a public grazing allotment when an organization tries to buy it out, but it can be done.

    Your suggestion is just the opposite, and it can work too, but has the same drawbacks. As you know, you buy the base property and run no livestock or “too few” animals and the grazing permit might get reassigned to some other base property who are happy to run a lot more than they were formerly entitled to.

    This inability to apply market principles is one reason I alternate between calling western public lands grazing, “socialism” or “feudalism.” I can’t decide which.

  18. avatar pointswest says:

    “While we can’t always buy out (or otherwise affect management of) grazing permits or leases directly, we can buy the base properties with attached leases as they become available…not cheap, but neither are attorneys.”

    This one is for sale, and I think they dropped the price for the resession. It is only $15 million now.

    http://www.altarealty.com/listings/index.php?id=38&action=more_details

  19. avatar Tom Page says:

    Ralph-

    Yes, there is that concern, but I’ll take my chances that way versus trying to get a retirement. BLM leases are harder to manage for land health given the current incentive structure, but I think it can be accomplished – at least I hope so.

    Do you know of any examples where conservation buyers were not able to retain control of the permits for reasons other than ignorance? I’m familiar with the USFS 10 year non-use clause. I think it’s a much better situation where you have a landowner who is not pressed by the need to put as much stock out as possible, even if you may have to run some stock in order to keep the BLM off your butt. My personal idea is to manage for “land health” as determined by qualified range scientists and work towards that goal, whether it involves stock use in some form or not.

    pointswest – not all federal leases are attached to such expensive properties. One huge lease in Big Creek (salmon spawning, bighorn sheep, wilderness values) in the Frank is/was? attached to a 120 parcel in the Pahsimeroi Valley.

  20. avatar Tom Page says:

    pointswest – Looking at the link again, it doesn’t appear that this property has any federal or state leases attached. Am I missing something?

  21. Tom Page,

    The Greenfire Preserve, which was purchased by Western Watersheds Project, has had an ongoing battle with the Salmon-Challis National Forest for failure to graze the former ranch’s grazing allotments. So far, however, the Forest Service has been held at bay.

    They have also been under attack by Custer County, where many of the local officials don’t like seeing all this wildlife on the base property in the cattle-trashed East Fork of the Salmon. It certainly makes the “working ranches” look bad.

  22. avatar pointswest says:

    “pointswest – Looking at the link again, it doesn’t appear that this property has any federal or state leases attached. Am I missing something?”

    No, probably not. My point was that land in the Yellowstone/Teton area has become too valuable to buy.

    I do not know how grazing rights work. I used to know several framer/ranchers who had them but I do not know how they got them, paid for them, kept them, transferred, etc.

    If anyone could point me in the direction of some good reading material, I would appreciate it.

  23. avatar dave smith says:

    The key lesson to be learned from the farce of delisting grizzlies is that we have all the scientific data and research we need to make the right decisions, it’s just that U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen ignored it. Give bears the habitat they need–Servheen’s “Primary Conservation” Area ain’t good enough. Develop a realistic plan to reduce grizzly bear mortality.

    It took Servheen and the FWS more than 30 years and $20 million to write a plan Judge Malloy rejected. The Obama administration should demand a realistic plan within 30 days. No problem given the wonders of email. Just need to “think outside the box.”

  24. avatar SAP says:

    Ralph – isn’t feudalism just a subset of socialism, based on family lineage instead of being open to all?

    As an interdisciplinary person, I am intrigued by some of the responses to the relisting. Specifically, the notion that Judge Malloy was in the wrong because he ruled “on science rather than the word of law” (Cody Enterprise 23 Sept 09).

    Around the blogosphere, I see similar assertions: the judge is not a biologist, so how come he doesn’t just accept what the (pro-delisting) agency biologists tell him?

    Take this reasoning to its extreme, and “experts” could just run wild: “The judge didn’t go to medical school, so how can he question what the doctor did in this malpractice case?”

    “The President never saw combat/served in the military so how can he be Commander-in-Chief?”

    “Glen Beck was a Top-40 radio DJ with serious drug problems, so how is he qualified to hold forth on matters of political philosophy and history?” 😉

    Anyway, where does this kind of thinking come from? Judge Malloy didn’t just wake up last Monday, look out the window, and decide that he knew better about whether GYE grizzlies still needed ESA protection. He weighed the arguments from both sides, looked at the evidence in light of what the law requires and how the law was applied in other cases, and made a decision. He had to weigh competing claims from similarly-credentialed scientists.

    If Judge Malloy was just some rogue greenie, would he have ruled in favor of USFWS on questions of artificial management of genetics, or population size? Probably not.

    I see this kind of thinking as evidence of some serious deficiencies in science education. Typically, when people talk about the need for more & better science education, they’re talking about teaching students more facts, more techniques, better skills that would allow them to work as scientists.

    The deficiency here, though, is understanding how we use science, and how science interfaces with the rest of society. How we deal with value-laden questions like dealing with risk and uncertainty. Most people AREN’T going to be scientists, formally, but they will, as citizens, participate in decisions that have significant scientific aspects. When we have educated adults running around complaining that a judge ruled on matters of biology, it points up some serious shortcomings.

  25. avatar dave smith says:

    The attacks on Judge Malloy as an “activist judge” would be tragic if they weren’t so absurd and didn’t represent such a profound misunderstanding of our legal system. From the Greater Yellowstone Coalition to Joe Six-Pack to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, you work through the administrative system until there’s no alternative except the judicial system. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition had to turn to Judge Malloy,because during the administrative process, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ignored any and all reasonable suggestions/appeals for facts, logic or science based decisions.

    Judge Malloy rejected the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Chris Servheen’s long-term grizzly bear “Conservation Strategy” because it was fact-free, illogical, and not based on science.

  26. avatar dave smith says:

    “The fact is that it has been hunters who have been shooting [grizzly bears] right and left over the past couple of years.”

    What’s the alternative for big game hunters who startle a grizzly at close range and get charged? It’s my understanding these are catagorized as bears killed in defense of life or property; what’s mickarooni’s plan b for hunters?

  27. avatar SAP says:

    Just “defense of life,” Dave, not property. They have “DLP” kills in Alaska, but not down here.

  28. avatar pointswest says:

    I hope everyone is watching the Ken Burns series on the National Parks. It is pretty interesting and I’m sure its ratings will be high (no one can afford to do anything else). It is airing over and over again on KECT here in Los Angeles and is probably doing the same elsewhere. Most TV viewers in the country will probably see, at least, some of it. I am thinking it will enlighten people to the long struggles of preservation and will be a great boost to conservation efforts in this country.

    I’m sure most politicians are watching.

    A lot of it, so far in the first two parts, has been about Yellowstone and the national struggles to save it from greed, ignorance, and short sightedness. It does tend to pit high minded national figures, such as John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, against greedy and selfish locals that can profit from ravaging the county’s natural beauty. The series will eventually cover history to 1980 so it should include grizzlies becoming endangered and the problems of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. It is likely to be beneficial to conservation efforts in the GYE. If the rest of the series is as interesting as the first two parts, we may start seeing many more national news stories and documentaries about current GYE issues.

  29. avatar pointswest says:

    I wonder if the Ken Burns series will cover proposals to build dams in Yellowstone. For example, a dam was nearly built on Fall River that would have flooded Bechler Meadows.

  30. avatar dave smith says:

    Putting yellowstone grizzlies back on the list means, no legal grizzly hunts. The plan, the official grizzly bear conservation strategy, was to shoot bears back to the boundary of the Primary Conservation Area (PCA). Feds claim the PCA will support 500 grizzlies for the long term. That claim is based on two dubious assumptions. One, the PCA could have supported 500 grizzlies back in 1998. Two, since the PCA could have supported 500 grizzlies in 1998, it can support 500 grizzlies today. Road densities in the PCA have not increased, park visitation is essentially static, same # of rooms at the Old Faithful Inn, etc.

    There’s just one problem–food. Whitebark pine and whitebark pine nuts were abundant in 1998. No more. Spawning cutthroat trout were readily available in 1998. No more. As a result, the PCA can’t support as many bears today as it did in 1998. That fact does not compute for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

    WY, MT, and ID all intend to use legal grizzly bear hunting as a “management tool” to kill every grizzly that sets foot outside the PCA. Can’t do it all at once due to yearly “mortality limits” imposed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, but, over time, hunters will get them all. In particular, Wyoming’s goal is no grizzly bears outside the PCA.

    And people here rant about requiring hunters to carry . . . and know how to use it.

  31. avatar pointswest says:

    “Putting yellowstone grizzlies back on the list means […]”

    I think it was a good decision. Global warming is looking to be much worse than even the gloomiest predictions. It will be a long wait to see what happens with the whitebark pines. When will we know what the fate of these trees are…50 years?

    In the mean time, I hope lawsuits start appearing to protect trout streams and other good grizzly habbitat near the PCA or Park from cattle…keep turning the screws.

  32. Thank you, Dave Smith.

    That is clarifying.

    Once again, the notion of restricting wild animals as with bison had gotten official sanction. Wyoming wants to do that with every large animal that might cause an inconvenience to ranchers — wolves, bison, grizzly bears, and in the winter, elk too. For elk it is informal restriction to state run feed lots.

    Wyoming especially has the notion that part of the state is a combination large zoo and shooting preserve. In the past there has even been Wyoming support for putting a fence around Yellowstone Park so that none of that “wild stuff” leaks out the way it keeps doing at the present time.

  33. avatar pointswest says:

    Ralph,

    What are the arguments against a “fence”? I could understand the problems with a fence around the current boundaries but what if the boundaries were extended out to more natural boundaries…to the edge of cultivation, for example. What problems are associated with a fence?

  34. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    In particular, Wyoming’s goal is no grizzly bears outside the PCA.

    I remember reading this when grizzlies were delisted.

    Ralph, do you have any information on a fence? I have not come across that.

  35. avatar dave smith says:

    p.16, Wyoming Grizzly Bear Management Plan 2002/2005 “When delisting occurs the overall population goal in Wyoming will have been met. With delisting, mortality thresholds will be adopted to allow Wyoming to stabilize its segment of the population.”

    Translation: 500 grizzlies within the PCA satisfies the bare minimum legal requirements, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service claims the PCA can support 500 grizzlies. After that, we don’t need no stinking grizzlies. We’re going to “stabilize” the population at 500 bears with an open season on grizzlies outside the PCA.

    But that’s not all.

    p.15 “Management strategies within the PCA (Primary Conservation Area) will be designed to retain optimum densities of grizzly bears. This does not equate to a hands off policy. Public take will be allowed, but generally at lower levels compared to areas outside the PCA.”

    Translation: “Public take” means legal grizzly hunting will be allowed within the PCA in Wyoming. But don’t worry because the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will place sensible limits on the number of bears hunters are allowed to kill.

    p.16. “Mortality thresholds for the Yellowstone grizzly bear population will ensure the maintenance of the Conservation Strategy population objective of a minimum of 500 bears.”

  36. avatar dave smith says:

    Linda Hunter says, “there is a mental problem that becomes apparent in looking at something too intensely and that is called “locked in vision” or looking at something so intently that you miss everything else in your field of vision. Your chances of learning anything new becomes impossible as long as you are locked in on one facet of the view . . say a speck of white. While you are staring at it a tree could fall on you that you should have noticed was leaning dangerously. Being mentally healthy includes the ability to learn and when you have lost that . . . well it doesn’t matter. The pepper spray debate which comes up like that white speck needs to be unlocked someway. We all can learn something from this. I have been trying to figure out what it was that happened to lock dave smith in on his pepper spray cult . . Dave if you are reading this, I mean no disrespect but what is it exactly you want?”

    Linda, I want the _ _ cult to stop focusing on the white speck and pay attention to serious grizzly bear conservation issues. Seven years wasted that should have been spent battling for more bear habitat to support more than 500 bears.

  37. avatar JB says:

    Dave,

    As far as I can tell, you’re the one that keeps bringing the “white speck” up. Most of us would like nothing more than to talk about something else.

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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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