Idaho Weighs in on Hunting Grizzly Bears 

click to enlarge An adult grizzly bear and cubs. - ALBERT HERRING / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

Idaho Fish and Game wants the public to weigh in on the possibility of putting grizzly bears in the cross hairs.

Bears near Yellowstone are no longer listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and this week, IDFG announced it had crafted proposed rules in the event grizzlies in eastern Idaho are hunted. Hunting would be limited, though. For example, if approved, an Idaho hunter would only be allowed to kill one grizzly in his lifetime. However, wildlife advocates are pushing back.

According to a press release from the Sierra Club, Glenn Hockett, president of Gallatin Wildlife Association said during a briefing, "People and bears can, and must, co-exist for the long-term health of our region. Grizzly bears here must be allowed to roam and mate with bears from other areas, so they don't slide back toward extinction."

The proposed hunt comes at the same time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would consider removing Yellowstone grizzly bears  from the endangered species list.

Research wildlife biologist Dr. David Mattson said during the press briefing, "This is a population of grizzly bears that's in trouble. Now is not the the time to lessen protection and contemplate any increases in mortality—certainly not to accommodate the crass motivations of those who want to trophy hunt Yellowstone's grizzly bears."

Meanwhile, the Idaho Fish and Game public comment period on the proposed grizzly hunt will run through Wednesday, July 27. See the proposed rules and comment by clicking here.

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