Scientists and wildlife advocates meet Tuesday, 10/17 to discuss whether grizzly bears in northwest Montana are ready to lose Endangered Species Act protections.
Wildlife officials say they are, and want grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem de-listed by 2020.
But Michael Jarnevic, says that’s way too soon:
"We’re greatly concerned that if grizzly bears are removed from threatened species status, that the state of Montana will, in fact, return to a hunting season on grizzly bears which they had, I believe, up until 1992."
Jarnevic is spokesman for Tuesday's Crossroads or Crosshairs: Grizzly Bear Recovery Conference. It’s sponsored by a coalition of conservation and wildlife advocacy organizations called the “Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force."
But Jarnevic says a variety of perspectives will be represented. For example, Chris Servheen, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator who supports de-listing, will be a panelist. So will de-isting-opponent Mike Bader.