MTPR

Endangered Species Act

Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area.
(PD)

Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area. Some of the groups involved include the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, The Humane Society and Earthjustice.
 
Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso says there’s been a recent spike in local grizzly bear deaths.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead (center) has spearheaded a review of species conservation and the Endangered Species Act for the Western Governors Association since 2015.
NIcky Ouellet

Western governors are calling on Congress to amend the federal Endangered Species Act, with an eye for increasing the role of state governments in the use of the law.

The Western Governors Association made recommendations Wednesday for what states and federal agencies can do to improve species conservation and recovery.

Grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.
Josh Burnham

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho officials say they won't declare open season on grizzly bears once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted for them in the Yellowstone National Park region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday announced that it plans to de-list Yellowstone Grizzlies at the end of July. That means that the three states surrounding the park will take over jurisdiction of Yellowstone-area bears. Those states have already submitted management plans that allow for limited hunting.

For the first time in more than four decades, the Yellowstone grizzly bear is set to lose its federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Citing a rebound in the bear's population, the U.S. Department of Interior announced its intention Thursday to end these protections and return oversight of the animal's status to the state level.

The agency says the rule to remove the grizzly from the endangered species list will be published "in coming days" and "will take effect 30 days after publication."

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

Livestock carcass composting site outside Wisdom, MT.
Courtesy of the Big Hole Watershed Committee

Livestock death is part of ranching. At some point, ranchers have to deal with dead animals, from things like difficult births, disease, and weather extremes. And in southwest Montana, those dead animals can also attract unwelcome visitors — wolves and black bears looking for an easy meal.

Greater sage grouse. The Department of Interior announced it's decision today not to recommend endangered species protections for the bird.
USFWS (CC-BY-2)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today he is ordering a review of federal efforts to conserve the imperiled sage grouse. Zinke says he wants to ensure that officials in 11 Western states where the bird lives are fully consulted.

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.
PD

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.

Investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks say the 4-year-old bear’s body was dumped over the Farm to Market Road bridge and into the Stillwater River sometime between May 25 and 28. It was then found downstream by recreationalists and retrieved by officials last Sunday.

Researchers To Trap Grizzly, Black Bears In Yellowstone

May 3, 2017
Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area.
(PD)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Researchers will begin trapping grizzly and black bears Sunday in Yellowstone National Park.

The trapping is an effort to gather data on the protected grizzly bears as part of long-term research required under the Endangered Species Act.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Environmental and animal welfare groups are suing the federal government over its use of two widely used predator-killing poisons. Compound 1080 and M-44s, are effective tools to kill coyotes and other native carnivores.

Bethany Cotton says that’s part of the problem; they’re too effective:

Several lawsuits were filed Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area.
(PD)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has pushed back its target date for a formal decision on whether to take Yellowstone-area grizzly bears off of the endangered species list. Last year the agency said it hoped to issue that decision by the end of 2016. Now it’s saying July is more likely.

Leaders of the state and federal agencies involved in managing grizzly bears are meeting in Missoula Tuesday and Wednesday.
(PD)

Leaders of the state and federal agencies involved in managing grizzly bears are meeting in Missoula Tuesday and Wednesday.

Members of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) convene twice a year to coordinate policy, planning, management and research in the states where grizzlies live. Their goal is to recover local populations so that eventually the bears can be moved off of the endangered species list.

Officials Move Closer To Delisting Yellowstone Grizzlies

Nov 17, 2016
Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Wildlife officials have moved one step closer to removing the Yellowstone grizzly population from the Endangered Species Act by approving a future conservation strategy.

Map of the Columbia River Basin with the Snake River highlighted in yellow and the Columbia River in blue
Kmusser derivative work: Shannon1 (CC-BY-SA-3)

Montanans can weigh in this week on how to best save the endangered Northwest salmon. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration are revising plans to protect the species.

The western glacier stonefly is one of the stonefly species proposed for ESA protection.
USGS

Melting glaciers and snowfields are bad news for two types of stoneflies found in Montana. Today federal officials proposed Endangered Species Act protections for the insects at risk of a changing climate.

A billboard spotted in Cody, WY on June 26, 2016 says "Yellowstone's grizzlies are not trophies."
Eric Whitney

A second public comment period on the proposal to remove Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list is now open.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission approved hunting guidelines for grizzly bears Wednesday in Helena.

Flathead National Forest to update forest plan, seeks public input
Nicky Ouellet

The forest in the Flathead is about to see some big changes – or not. It all depends on how proposed changes to the Flathead’s National Forest Plan shake out.

Excerpt From GRIZZLY WEST, By Michael J. Dax

Jun 10, 2016
University of Nebraska Press

The meeting room was crowded and restless when Bitterroot Valley resident Dennis Palmer rose from his seat and declared, “We don’t want the doggone bears.”  This bold declaration, while representing the sentiments of many attending the public meeting in small, conservative Hamilton, Montana, was more measured than others.  Long-time resident Robert Norton confidently stated, “Women and children are going to be killed and maimed.”  During a similar meeting held in Hamilton two years later, an opponent of grizzly reintroduction read aloud the pathology report of a woman who had been mauled by a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park and displayed a picture of the mangled body for everyone to see. Another positively asserted that people “would rather reintroduce rattlesnakes and water moccasins than grizzly bears.”  Histrionics reached an apex when one local resident lifted his young daughter above his head in the middle of the meeting room.  Everyone’s eyes turned toward the young girl as her father announced to the room that she would be bear bait if the federal government reintroduced grizzlies.  In High Country News, a reporter summed up the frenetic atmosphere of a meeting in rural Salmon, Idaho, which was similar to the other six meetings held across Montana and Idaho in October, 1997, by wryly observing, “Big, stout fully grown men displayed the kind of hostility and fear bordering on panic that, when voiced by women, is usually dismissed as hysteria.”

Public Invited to Learn More About Grizzlies

May 12, 2016

A public discussion is scheduled Saturday, May 14, 2016, in Billings to discuss the fate of grizzly bears that live in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Journalist Todd Wilkinson from Bozeman and grizzly bear biologist Dr. David Mattson will present a slide show and talk about the grizzly in the environment.

Wilkinson is the author of the book on one of the most famous grizzly sows of the Greater Yellowstone, 399.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday unanimously approved draft grizzly bear hunting regulations. Dan Vermillion, chair of the Commission, says it’s a very preliminary step.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

The controversy over the federal government’s proposal to remove grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is pushing thousands to speak out.

Rules Drafted For ProposeDraft map showing grizzly bear management units in Montana.d Grizzly Hunting Season
Courtesy Montana FWP

Draft rules for hunting grizzly bears in Montana were released Wednesday.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Spokesman Ron Aasheim says the proposed rules are part of the bigger-picture effort to take Yellowstone area grizzlies off of the federal endangered species list.

Grizzly Bear advocate Doug Peacock penned the letter asking President Obama to retain endangered species protections for Yellowstone-area grizzlies.
Eric Whitney

Jane Goodall and other prominent wildlife biologists have signed onto a letter asking President Obama to retain endangered species act protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears.

David Mattson is just inside the Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness north of YNP, holding a limber pine, one of several pine species threatened by climate change which grizzlies use as a food source.
Eric Whitney

On Monday we aired an interview with Dan Ashe, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That agency has proposed removing Yellowstone area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. Today we’ll hear from David Mattson, a retired bear biologist and prominent critic who thinks that’s a bad idea.

Critics Raise Concerns Over GYE Grizzly Delisting Proposal
Allen Harris (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

At a two-day meeting in West Yellowstone that wraps up today, representatives of state, federal and tribal agencies raised several concerns about the proposed removal of the Yellowstone area grizzly bear from the endangered species list.

Chuck Jonkel, Pioneering Bear Researcher, Dies At 85
Great Bear Foundation

Chuck Jonkel almost died once. He was flying in a helicopter in the Arctic doing research on polar bears for the Canadian Wildlife Service. It was 1972.

A chart on display at the public meeting on grizzly delisting in Bozeman Tuesday.
Eric Whitney

In Bozeman Tuesday, more than 200 people came to a public hearing and information session on delisting Yellowstone area grizzly bears.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe joins us to explain why his agency believes Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzlies are ready to come off the endangered species list.

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