Wyoming relocated 22 grizzlies in 2009

22 were moved, 4 killed, and three put in zoos-

State relocates 22 grizzlies. By Gib Mathers. Powell Tribune as reproduced in the Casper Star-Tribune





  1. Cutthroat Avatar

    This may be an indication that this ecosystem has reached its carrying capacity. It is a shame some of these excess bears can’t be used to establish a population in the Bitterroot/Selway and Frank Church Wilderness. With the USFWS decision from November of 2000 to put a plan in place for reintroducing five grizzlies per year for five years still of record, all that seems needed is some commitment (while this plan was shelved by Sec. Norton it was never rescinded). For now, there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of bears.

    Establishing this population could be important for bears if white bark pine extirpation has as big an impact on the Yellowstone population as is possible.

    Also seems it would take some pressure off this ecosystem and the surrounding publics.

  2. Devin Avatar

    Speaking of Grizzlies in the Frank Church, I’ve always wondered why they haven’t been reintroduced there. Is it because of lack of legislative funding? Lack of “need” under the ESA? It would be such a fantastic habitat!

  3. Devin Avatar

    Perhaps there was a George W. hault to the reintroduction plan?

  4. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    GW had nothing to do with a halt to reintroduction, come on we are in a new admin now and the idea of introducing bears in these areas have been floating around since before GW, actually if I remember right the one that really pitched a bitch was the governor of Idaho and a few of the reps when they ran around saying grizzlies would eat everything and everyone is sight!

  5. cc Avatar

    Governor Kempthorne was indeed the loudest objector to reintroducing grizzlies to the Selway-Bitterroots but GW had everything to do with stopping the already approved and completed plan. GW’s Interior Secretary Norton shelved the plan as her first official act. But that was then and this is now and our current regime needs to be held just as accountable for their actions (and inactions).

  6. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    All I am saying is with a swipe of the pen, we could again have grizz in these areas, I have not said I agree with past admins, but I am sure getting a bad feeling about the current one, when it comes to outdoors issues they have done exactly nothing! and in some areas regressed, which unfortunately I was afraid of..before the election, I just wish they would throw a bone or two..

  7. Devin Avatar

    Norton and Dirk make sense, under the GW administration. Thanks for clarification on the plan SB and cc. As much as I’d like to think Obama would get the plan going again, I’m afraid my “hopium” has worn off.

  8. Carl Avatar

    How do we know that the current administration is aware of this possibility? I know that Defenders of Wildlife was a lead on this in the past when it was shut down by Norton. Is Defenders or anyone else elevating this issue to the current administration?

  9. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I can assure you, the current administration knows what is going on, that does not mean they know what to do, but the do know…and despite their knowledge they are still doing nothing, it is pretty much the same story, the west is always the ugly step child when it comes to Washington DC.

  10. mikarooni Avatar

    Boy, old Save Bears really let his political cat out of the bag with this thread …complete with an attempt to cover it with a diversionary deflection about the alleged failings of this administration, as if Bush and Norton were somehow better than what we have now.

  11. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Once again, Miki has read things wrong..

    No more to say..

    But just in case, I never voted for GW and I didn’t vote for Obama, I didn’t like either one of them…I have voted for independents for over 25 years now..

    And after year of this game going on, I don’t think it is a deflection, if he was serious in change, I am sure we would have seen some change at this point in time…but currently the western landscape is still getting crapped on, it started with the appointment of the current head of the interior..and just keeps rolling on..

    So piss off Miki

  12. Carl Avatar

    Thanks SB. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be doing anything at all when it comes to conservation or environmental issues.

  13. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    No problem, just be sure to remind Mikirooni, that there is nothing being done!

  14. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Ladies and Gentlemen – what we are living under is a Kakistocracy – a government by the least principled, incompetent and worst this country has to offer.

  15. Carl Avatar

    I had great hopes for the new administration doing things right for our natural resources but I haven’t seen a thing yet. So many good things could have been done for the benefit of the resource with the stimulus money. Friends of mine here in the midwest who work for USF&WS and USFS have told me that they haven’t seen a cent for wildlife habitat restoration from the stimulus monies.

  16. Percy Avatar

    At least Obama rescinded a lot of the last-minute rules that Bush put in place that would have greatly weakened the Endangered Species Act. I’d give this administration a little more time since they do have ongoing war in two countries, health reform, and the worst economic crisis since the depression to deal with 😉 I have been disappointed too, but we certainly haven’t had better with Republicans lately. I think WE have to elevate the issues if we think they are important. The American public is not putting environmental or “western” land issues anywhere near their top 10 priorities. We can’t just blame the government.

    Being out here on the Puget Sound, I had just assumed there WERE grizzlies in those wilderness areas! That’s just crazy that there aren’t. Can’t y’all just catch a few cubs and do it on the sly?

  17. mikarooni Avatar

    Percy, don’t waste your time trying to reason with them. Those other guys are playing a little psychological warfare game designed to sow confusion, weaken resolve, and perhaps even eventually turn an opposing group’s beliefs in your direction. It’s an old tactic, essentially just a propaganda version of the double agent; but, it still works with people who aren’t watching for it. First, you come in espousing sympathy, concern, and agreement with the opposing group’s opinions and feelings, even though your own beliefs may be directly the opposite. You use this technique to befriend your target and gain their trust. You mix in a good dose of defending the other side, but characterize it as only as your sincere effort to be “fair and balanced” and objective. It’s a nice touch towards developing a facade of credibility for yourself. Then, you share their impatience with the progress being made by their leadership or with the choices made in strategy or with the individuals chosen for this position or another; you essentially find whatever opening you can to widen disaffection within the group. You do this to sow confusion, weaken the strength of the group, and prepare it for potential further splintering. Finally, when you have members of the group properly disheartened, you work to peel them away, which is the most complete method of weakening the group. As I said, it’s an old tactic, formally taught by governments and political parties around the world. Save Bears and others use it here; but, it’s common on blogs all across the web.

  18. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Contrary to what you believe Mikirooni,

    I had no agenda when I expressed disappointment in the current administration, was just calling as I saw it based on what has been accomplished for wildlife and wildlands in not only the last year, but the last decade..

  19. Ryan Avatar


    So you are saying with a straight face that the current adminstration has done more for wildlife and wild places than the last? All I have seen is more of the same, same salmon policies, same wild places policies, yep.. We got a real change this time. I know your towing the party line, but tell me how Im wrong.

  20. Carl Avatar

    Percy, I agree with you we do need to elevate the issues to the politicians and we need to educate the public. Unfortunately in these times people are more concerned about the things you mention. I think that the Bush years were the worst that we have seen for wildlife and the environment. As I mentioned earlier I was hoping we would see a big improvement from Obama but he is basically ignoring the issues. I will give him credit for at least recognizing global warming.

    Mik, I hope you weren’t judging me with your little note, since you don’t know how I vote or the organizations I belong to or the volunteer work that I do for improving wildlife habitat. But just to help you out in your Pre-judgement I think SB makes alot of sense the majority of the time. I think that the fact that he worked for the state of Montana as a Biologist gives him many insights into issues that the rest of us don’t have unless we also had this experience.

  21. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Mik – please wake up. Help yourself and all Americans by paying attention to what is actually going on in this country. The governments own numbers showed today that 85,000 more jobs were lost in December and over 600,000 more people stopped looking for work and are therefore no longer even counted in the unemployment rate. Please stop listening to the “Sunshine Pumpers” and pay attention to what is actually going on with your neighbors and in your community. The course the current political class is taking is making the situation that all of us have to live in worse.

  22. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Talks with bears . . that is funny! 85,000 jobs are always lost right after the Christmas season in winter. . and 600,000 people probably retired this year. The news if you listen to it will give you ulcers and stress will give you cancer. Take a break .. Obama inherited a country that had been fleeced, flumoxed and held hostage by big business . . he is up to his ass in alligators and on top of that there are people trying to get us to hate him on non-specific things just because he is. . . I believe we are making some headway in fixing the GW use it up for wealth policies, although slowly. The sad thing is watching people get so worked up over things they can’t do anything about and don’t know all of anyway. Each of us, everyday has an opportunity to show by word and example better ways to treat the earth and animals. Life the life walk the talk and get busy. We can make a difference.

  23. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Linda – what color is the kool aid?

  24. Mike Avatar


    So you are saying with a straight face that the current adminstration has done more for wildlife and wild places than the last? ++

    Of couirse they have. Read the news. Just yesterday the EPA announced new smog rules which repudiated the Bush admin.

    Also, they are turnign back the weakening of NREPA.

  25. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Linda – it is called a Kakistocracy – and people like you perpetuate it.

  26. Mike Avatar

    talks with Bears – Sorry, but I see things improving slowly since the Bush years. I am not happy about the unemployment, but that is what happens wehn you have an incompetent administration that was only pro-active concerning the military for 8 years.

  27. Percy Avatar

    I have never received the impression that Obama or his wife were interested in, or knowledgeable about the environmental issues discussed here. Like many people who grew up in urban areas, “environmental issues” = water quality standards, “pollution,” air quality, asbestos, lead paint, and now climate change rather than habitat conservation, movement corridors, landscape ecology, and biodiversity. I mean, come on, they had never even had a dog. The appointment of Salazar was aimed at finding some balance between environmentalism and development because every time the Dems do something positive for the environment, they are accused of destroying jobs, raising taxes, violating private property rights, or growing Big Government. In this environment of paranoia regarding the economy, that doesn’t go over well with Joe the Plumber. Look at how conservatives screamed yesterday about the new air quality rules. I don’t like Salazar (anyone that shows up in a cowboy hat for a formal White House affair…), but his decisions to date indicate to me that the Administration is trying to walk a fine line so as not to piss off the majority of voters so that the Dems don’t suffer in the next election. Isn’t that how it always is? Those of us who want to protect natural habitat or reintroduce top carnivores to public land are seen as complete loony toon ecoterrorists by a lot of the working class. To them, we are standing in the way of progress, preventing people from making a living, endangering children, and we “care more about animals than people.” Even just 40 years ago, it was not so important that the public understand the issues because there was a whole lot more wild land left. Now, there is not, and ever more people are growing up in urban areas and living their lives on the internet. “Environmentalism” has become a dirty word. In 2005, it was determined that “ecoterrorists” were the number one domestic terrorist threat. Not because it threatens human lives, but because it threatens corporate profits. That is what we are up against, not Obama and the administration. Back before he was a household name, he fought against the movement to demonize environmental groups.

    If the public cared about environmental issues, they would vote accordingly, but the polls have shown only decreasing interest. Right now they care about jobs and money, so anything that might threaten jobs (or be accused of doing so by Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck) is going to be unpopular to people who have a superficial understanding of the issues.

    my 3 cents 😉

    (As a salmon biologist, I do think the appointment of Dr. Lubchenco as head of NOAA was a huge improvement.)

  28. gline Avatar

    Mikarooni – that persuasion tactic is a 2 way street!!!

  29. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Talks with Bears . . what color are you?

  30. gline Avatar

    That is quite the interesting question, Linda!:)

  31. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I agree, these bears could be a great source population for other wilderness areas throughout the west.

  32. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    mikarooni has his tin foil hat on again.

  33. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Linda – thought of you this morning. There is an article by Matthew Yglesias – An Unseen Economic Albatross. It is concise regarding labor/employment. Have a great day.

  34. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Linda – Same color as the day I was born.

  35. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Talks with Bears: yes that is a good article on the economy. That was true as well when I was working as a welfare worker in San Diego county in the 1970’s. You can worry about that and I will have a nice day as I have a date to take someone tracking in the desert today and hopefully we will see what the animals around here do to survive among the free range cows and goats and press of people. What I can do is slow people down and show them what I know, one person (or one tracking class) at a time, so they can appreciate living with wildlife and why we shouldn’t feed wild animals and then call someone whenever we see a bear. If everyone who is concerned about bears/wolves/bobcats etc. worked to re-connect the people around us with nature, eventually it would make a difference you could see in taking care of our wildlife and wild lands. Yes it is basic and simplistic, but everyone I know who teaches tracking finds that their students become wildlife advocates and habitat aware. Swelling those groups of people can only be a good thing.

  36. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Linda – do not fret too much about me. Like you, as work has slowed down I too have spent more time outdoors – seems more important now than ever. Snowshoeing today was a big family hit – warmer weather was nice.


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.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan