20 June 2024
Grizzly Delisting in Idaho: Bears Could Return

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Grizzly delisting in Idaho: Federal proposal could bring back bears. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have moved forward with plans to consider restoring grizzly bear populations to a part of Idaho where they haven’t been seen regularly in decades, all while Idaho’s governor and congressional delegation continue to try to remove endangered species protections for the bears.

Grizzly Delisting in Idaho: A Delicate Balance



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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering delisting grizzly bears in Idaho, where they haven’t been seen regularly in decades. This proposal has sparked controversy, with Idaho’s governor and congressional delegation pushing to remove endangered species protections for the bears.

Grizzly Delisting: A Complex Process

The USFWS’s proposal is part of a broader effort to recover grizzly bear populations in the contiguous United States. Grizzly bears were once found in much of the western United States, but their numbers declined significantly due to habitat loss, hunting, and other human activities. In the 1990s, the USFWS identified six grizzly recovery zones, including the Bitterroot ecosystem in Idaho and Montana.

The Bitterroot ecosystem is a vast and rugged area that provides suitable habitat for grizzly bears. However, the bears have not been seen regularly in the area since the 1930s and ’40s. The USFWS believes that delisting grizzlies in Idaho would help to restore the ecosystem’s balance and provide a more sustainable population of the bears.

Opposition from Idaho Officials

Idaho’s governor and congressional delegation have been outspoken opponents of the USFWS’s proposal. They argue that grizzly bears pose a threat to livestock and human safety and that they compete with other wildlife species for resources. They also believe that the USFWS has not adequately addressed the concerns of local communities.

In 2023, Idaho Republican elected officials introduced a bill to force the delisting of grizzly bears in the state. The bill did not pass, but it reflects the strong opposition to grizzly bear recovery efforts among some Idahoans.

Public Input and Next Steps

The USFWS is currently seeking public input on its proposal to delist grizzly bears in Idaho. The agency has hosted several information sessions and is accepting public comments until March 18, 2024.

After the public comment period ends, the USFWS will review the comments and make a final decision on whether to proceed with the delisting plan. If the agency decides to move forward, it will develop a detailed plan for capturing and transporting grizzly bears to the Bitterroot ecosystem.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

The decision to delist grizzly bears in Idaho is a complex one. There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue.

Those who support delisting argue that grizzly bears are an important part of the ecosystem and that their presence would help to restore the area’s natural balance. They also point out that grizzly bears are a popular tourist attraction and that their presence could boost the local economy.

Those who oppose delisting argue that grizzly bears pose a threat to livestock and human safety. They also believe that the bears compete with other wildlife species for resources and that their presence could harm the local ecosystem.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to delist grizzly bears in Idaho is a difficult one. The USFWS must weigh the potential benefits of delisting against the potential risks. The agency must also consider the concerns of local communities and ensure that any delisting plan is carefully planned and implemented.

Wrapping Up

The USFWS’s proposal to delist grizzly bear populations in Idaho is a controversial one. The agency is currently seeking public input on the proposal and will make a final decision later this year. The decision of whether or not to delist grizzly bears in Idaho is a complex one, with valid arguments on both sides of the issue. The USFWS must carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of delisting before making a final decision.

FAQ’s

1. What is the USFWS’s proposal regarding grizzly bears in Idaho?

The USFWS is considering restoring grizzly bear populations to a part of Idaho where they haven’t been seen regularly in decades, as part of a broader effort to recover grizzly bear populations in the contiguous United States.

2. Why is the USFWS proposing to reintroduce grizzly bears to Idaho?

The USFWS believes that reintroducing grizzlies to the Bitterroot ecosystem would help to restore the ecosystem’s balance and provide a more sustainable population of the bears.

3. What are the arguments against reintroducing grizzly bears to Idaho?

Idaho’s governor and congressional delegation have been outspoken opponents of the USFWS’s proposal, arguing that grizzly bears pose a threat to livestock and human safety and that they compete with other wildlife species for resources.

4. What is the current status of the USFWS’s proposal?

The USFWS is currently seeking public input on its proposal and will make a final decision later this year.

5. What are the potential benefits and risks of reintroducing grizzly bears to Idaho?

Those who support reintroduction argue that grizzly bears are an important part of the ecosystem and that their presence would help to restore the area’s natural balance. Those who oppose reintroduction argue that grizzly bears pose a threat to livestock and human safety.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.fws.gov/ 2. https://www.idaho.gov/ 3. https://www.congress.gov/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Grizzly bear conservation, Bitterroot ecosystem, Endangered species protections

Grizzly bear
The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), also known as the North American brown bear or simply grizzly, is a population or subspecies of the brown bear inhabiting North America. In addition to the mainland grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis), other morphological forms of brown bear in North America are sometimes identified...
Read more: Grizzly bear

Bitterroot National Forest
Bitterroot National Forest comprises 1.587 million acres (6,423 km2) in west-central Montana and eastern Idaho of the United States. It is located primarily in Ravalli County, Montana (70.26% of the forest), but also has acreage in Idaho County, Idaho (29.24%), and Missoula County, Montana (0.49%).Founded in 1898, the forest is...
Read more: Bitterroot National Forest

Endangered species
An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction. Endangered species may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching, and invasive species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)...
Read more: Endangered species

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