Grizzlies in the Yellowstone area to lose ESA protection on Tuesday
On May 1, the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone will lose their status as a “threatened species” protected by the Endangered Species Act.
They were one of the first animals listed — way back in 1975. Conservation groups have already given the USFWS a 60-day notice that they will be sued if they delist.
Story in the Casper Star Tribune. Grizzlies lose ‘threatened’ status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.
Much progress has been made in recovering the grizzly, but all habitat trends (food and space to roam) have turned negative. I won’t recount these threats again here. I have done it so many times already.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
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These same “negative” trends in habitat quantity/quality apply across the board to a whole range of species and entire classes of species, like forest-interior songbirds in the East, bog turtles in the East, native fish in the Rio Grande, pronghorn in southeastern New Mexico, pygmy owls in Arizona, brook trout in Pennsylvania and New York …
And this proposal to take out barred owls that have moved into spotted owl habitat in the Pacific Northwest — habitat fragmented by logging — is an especially telling indicator that a lot of things have been badly messed up. It was the logging and subsequent fragmentation that made conditions right for barred owl range expansion.
One thing that has to be taken into account is the massive increase of illegal ORV trails on national forest and BLM lands. This can’t bode well for a sustained grizzly recovery into roadless areas of it’s former range.