Grizzly Bear Essays

The only year when more bears were captured in response to conflicts was during 2010, when 65 bears were trapped.For Wyoming’s grizzlies, there was absolutely nothing normal about 2018.

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Not apparently deterred by inconsistency, Debolt went on to make the opposite point, claiming that bears are causing intolerable problems because they are expanding beyond the Demographic Monitoring Area (DMA) where they are less “socially acceptable.” But the map shows that almost all the captures — maybe 52 out of 59 – occurred inside the DMA, where you expect most bears to be. A resolution and separate bill seek to strip federal endangered species protections from grizzlies and reinstate a hunt.

So, which is it Brian, a “normal” or “out of control” situation? Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout concedes that, if his bill actually required WGF to initiate a hunt, officials could be imprisoned for a felony crime so he made the language more permissive — filled with “mays,” not “shalls.” A third proposal that sought to create a fund to compensate victims of bear attacks was killed last week in committee.

State wildlife agencies are, in turn, cowed by the political, ideological, and financial masters they serve.

Most potently, they are financed largely by sales of hunting licenses and taxes derived from sales of arms and ammunition.

In the current climate, it doesn’t seem to matter that there are reasons for the conflicts, proven techniques to avoid them, and federal laws that supersede state authority. But to Wyoming’s elites in the ranching and outfitting industries who profit from the public domain, delisting bears is an ideological issue, but also yet another opportunity to make money at public expense. Certainly, outfitting grizzly bear trophy hunts would be big bucks, with one hunt going for $10,000 or more.

I would have thought that the boundaries of federal and state authority were definitively settled in the 1860s—after the Civil War. And it would be the outfitters who profit most from a hunt, not any of the state wildlife management agencies that would be charging a relative pittance for grizzly bear hunting licenses.Anti-bear fever has again gripped Wyoming politicians in the wake of Judge Christensen’s restoration of endangered species protections for Yellowstone grizzlies.Last week’s press was peppered with hostile rhetoric from people in high places.They see themselves not as regulators as much as bros.Given all of these corrupting influences, it is no wonder that WGF officials lie and prevaricate in service of promoting removal of ESA protections and instituting a trophy hunt.In this regime there is no place for the broader public interest, or even Judges who are often called upon to defend it.The Changing Face of Grizzly Conflicts Nonetheless, reports periodically produced by state wildlife managers include some good information on grizzly-human conflicts.Before getting into why this is happening, it’s worth first unpacking some facts, starting with Debolt and the 2018 Wyoming Game & Fish (WGF) report on grizzly bear conflicts.Never have Wyoming wildlife managers killed so many grizzly bears in one year: 32, all outside National Park boundaries, almost all associated with conflicts over livestock.Industry has long benefited by wresting power from the federal government.Local officials are easier to intimidate, manipulate, and seduce.


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