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Grizzly's Threatened Status Appealed in Federal Court !!

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Grizzly's Threatened Status Appealed in Federal Court !!

Old 03-12-2011, 10:12 AM
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Default Grizzly's Threatened Status Appealed in Federal Court !!

3/9/2011
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Dueling attorneys for a conservation group and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered starkly different opinions Monday about the future of the grizzly bear population in and around Yellowstone National Park, if the bear is taken off the threatened species list.

Three 9th Circuit Court of Appeals justices heard half-hour arguments and rebuttals from each side more than a year after the grizzlies were returned to the list by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.

The federal government is bullish on the bear's prospects, and state wildlife agencies from Montana and Wyoming have argued in briefs filed to the appellate court that officials are confident the bears won't go extinct if states are left to manage them.

Environmental groups say the bear's future is murky, and lifting protections now poses too great a risk to their survival.

Molloy's ruling, which resolved a lawsuit brought by the Montana-based Greater Yellowstone Coalition, highlighted the deaths of hundreds of thousands of whitebark pine trees over the past two decades.

The pine trees produce nuts that some grizzlies rely upon as a mainstay, and the number of trees has been falling. The reasons range from climate change to the presence of a destructive species of beetle, but the shrinking food source has pushed grizzlies to look for food in areas that increasingly bring them into contact with humans.

Allen Brabender, a U.S. Justice Department attorney, argued Monday that the bear's population has been growing from between 4 percent and 7 percent a year, and the bears will find a way to adapt without the whitebark pine seeds.

Appellate court judge Susan Graber said she saw a disconnect in the government's argument.

"You say they'll find other things to eat, so they won't starve,'' Graber said.

Brabender responded that the government didn't have to prove that the bears would find a replacement food source.

"Even in years without the whitebark pine being available, Yellowstone grizzly populations were still up,'' he said.

Tensions have been rising in the northern Rockies as the bear population increases and the animals spread into parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, where they prey on livestock, damage property and periodically attack humans.

The government agencies in favor of removing the bear from the threatened species list argue that an appellate court judge shouldn't act as a scientist in determining the whitebark pine seed issue, according to a brief filed by the state of Wyoming.

Longtime conservationist attorney Doug Honnold said the Yellowstone area is the "shining example'' of bear conservation, but areas around Yellowstone concern conservationists.

"At what point,'' asked judge Sidney R. Thomas, "does the grizzly get to where it could be delisted?''

Honnold declined to give a specific number but said the U.S. Forest Service number of 500 was too low.

Four other groups totaling about 900 grizzlies all in the Northwest have never lost their threatened status. Full grown male grizzlies can weigh 800 pounds and stand 8 feet tall. Most are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and animals.

As many as 50,000 of the animals once ranged the western half of the United States striking terror in early European settlers who routinely shot, poisoned and trapped grizzlies until they were reduced to less than 2 percent of their historic range.

The Yellowstone-area population has grown from an estimated 200 animals in 1981 to more than 600 today.

In his ruling, Molloy said the government relied too heavily on population monitoring and failed to spell out what steps would be taken if grizzly numbers started to fall.

Honnold said after the hearing that the Greater Yellowstone Coalition is similarly concerned that the government won't keep tabs effectively on the grizzly population if it were delisted.

Montana wildlife officials argued in a brief filed to the appellate court that the rules that protect the species on a state level would match those provided by the Endangered Species Act, and that no single rule can ensure the bears will live.

"There are vast factual differences between decisions to list a species that is in jeopardy and declining ... and decisions to delist recovered species such as the grizzly bears in (Yellowstone),'' the state of Montana wrote in an appellant brief.

"Once a species is delisted, there is no single regulatory mechanism that will assure its survival,'' it said.
the Montana-based Greater Yellowstone Coalition says they are worried the grizzlies will have reduced food supply and they want to keep increasing the numbers?...talk about idiots!!!!!
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:50 AM
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Well it seems to me they are concerned about the mortality rate of bears, after the bug destroys these trees.They want to keep population growing now, cause eventually it will stabilize at the same number when this major food source is gone.If you don't increase bear numbers now by keeping them on the list, the bug will kill off the trees before the bears have a chance to consume, get fat and have offspring and actually populate in it's numbers they are currently growing at.There is a direct result to number of offspring that a sow has every year and it coorripsonds to the nutrition value as to what the bear eats. A healthy bear may have up to 3 cubs and an unhealthy one, may not produce at all. Count in the mortality rate of the cubs per year and the number of bears that that die off of old age and the number that makes it through at the moment and the population is rising.Take away this food source and the population may just decline.Yep I agree bears are ominvours and can survive on both plants and animals. But that doesn't mean that the nutritional value is there in these other plants and animals to keep breeding a stable bear population.It may it may not. It's inconclusive at the moment. So why take the chance?At the moment Bears count on this food source for one thing, to get fat and spend the winter months sleeping and bearing young while still in their den. They need nutrition to do it. Bears aren't cougars or wolves.They don't take advantage of big game
animals in the winter.They are sleeping. Yeah they do kill big game and livestock but they aren't the major factor in it.They may attck the odd person,but hey, it's a dangerous game animal a species that deserves to live on, its the virtually the only big
game animal that a human can hunt or be the hunted. It deserves to have that much respect.Not only that, it brings in a substancial amount of money, just in tourism alone.Take away that bear, Yellowstone will be nothing. Take away the cougar and wolf and nobody would really notice. They go there for the bear..If one goes to the park, one has to be smarter than the bear.Of the Grizzley the cougar and wolf, the Grizzley is
deserving to live on in numbers.Hunt, or see them while your hunting, and most will reallize just how awsome these creatures are in the wild.They are pretty cool,
and it's cool to know there is something that can hunt you down.It's competition, I like it myself. I don't see it as a big deal to keep them around in a bigger number. But I already live and hunt amongst them.They aren't as bad to Ranching, Farming, Game , People Populations as people are led to believe.They have a relatively small impact when you compared to the wolf or cougar. A relatively Small impact.Intact I'll go out and say unsafe hunters tresspassers and poachers do more of an impact to the Ranching Farming Big game Hunting and fishing industry in these areas that these bears cougars and wolves roam combined, ever do.They are like sharks of the land. Pretty cool stuff.But the Grizzly Bear is nothing compared to the cougar and wolf and poacher,tresspasser and unsafe hunter.These three latter really impact cause more damage to wildlife, livestock and injuries to others than any of the 3 former animals especially the Grizzley, around some of these National Parklands.

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Ovington View Post
Not only that, it brings in a substancial amount of money, just in tourism alone.Take away that bear, Yellowstone will be nothing. They go there for the bear..If one goes to the park, one has to be smarter than the bear.Of the Grizzley the cougar and wolf, the Grizzley is
deserving to live on in numbers.
and if people don't go to yelowstone for fear of the hungry bear then the efforts of the tree huggers has just blown up in their face

treehuggers are everywhere...some on this forum maybe^
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by farmdude01 View Post
and if people don't go to yelowstone for fear of the hungry bear then the efforts of the tree huggers has just blown up in their face

treehuggers are everywhere...some on this forum maybe^
What does this quote have to do with Conservation and Outdoor Recreation.Hunting is is all about Consevervation and Recreation. If you want to consider them extinct now, and end all bear hunting forever the smart way. and consider someone who disagrees with this method to continue the enjoyment of hunting them forever by letting the few left have a stable population just plain dumb. You are lost, and have np idea what tree hugging is about at all.Making money is smart, throwing it away is foolish.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Ovington View Post
What does this quote have to do with Conservation and Outdoor Recreation.Hunting is is all about Consevervation and Recreation. If you want to consider them extinct now, and end all bear hunting forever the smart way. and consider someone who disagrees with this method to continue the enjoyment of hunting them forever by letting the few left have a stable population just plain dumb. You are lost, and have np idea what tree hugging is about at all.Making money is smart, throwing it away is foolish.
best ya can do?
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:15 AM
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I have a few thoughts on this topic...

It mostly sounds like the Federal Government is passing the buck to the State Governments. As it was for the Federal Gov, it is in the State's best interest to maintain Grizzly bear numbers. As has been mentioned by others, without the grizzly's, Yellowstone is just a campground. Yeah, I'll go see the geysers if I'm passing through, but I'm not going to make a destination vacation of it.

Also, do not forget that should grizzly populations should fall back below an expected species survivability limit, the Federal Gov will step back in and re-establish the "threatened" status, and re-instate federal species population controls.

So, essentially, the Fed decided they'd save themselves some money during these trying time and pass the expenses for managing the grizzly population down to the states... Kind of a punk move in my opinion, since state budgets are suffering more than the fed lately, but justifiably so. The states will need to work out a deal among themselves as to who pays what portion of the management processes (I'd assume a proportionate system, based on the proportion of which state pays for vs benefits from the park)

To be honest, I'm really doubting that this means they're going to vastly change the management practices. The only real change is who's paying the bills.
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