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Sun Aug 21, 2016, 03:57 AM

States Prove Playground Bullies in Push to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

August 19, 2016
States Prove Playground Bullies in Push to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

by Louisa Willcox

Photo by Tom Mangelsen.

State wildlife managers from Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho have recently dispelled any illusions about how they intend to treat grizzly bears after wresting management control away from the federal government. Removal of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections will probably happen later this year and, if that happens, the states have made clear that they plan to go on a blood-letting binge involving the slaughter of hundreds of bears. They are already showing their thuggish nature in dealings with the public and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). State managers, most notably those representing Wyoming, have been the proverbial playground bullies during recent public meetings and, unfortunately, the FWS is rewarding this nastiness by acquiescing to every demand.

Not only do the states intend to allow trophy hunting, they also want a free hand to kill more grizzlies without any accountability to the national public that treasures these bears… or even any accountability to the majority of state residents who don’t support hunting grizzlies. At a meeting of grizzly bear managers earlier this month, only Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk had the courage to speak out in defense of the grizzly bears that define the nation’s oldest Park (link). Wenk objected to hunting grizzly bears in lands bordering Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The state managers who were present responded by saying, basically, “bugger off.”

The battle lines are clearly drawn. On one side, the states are representing the ethos of death and violence, slaved to the interests of hunters and ranchers. On the other, the Park Service is upholding an ethos of preservation and respect, on behalf of the broader American public. The states are about guarding the franchise of a few and their exploitative pursuits, while the Park Service is about empowering the many, who tend towards more benign, even altruistic, treatment of wildlife and wildlands.

The Park Service’s philosophy reflects a broader cultural trend towards greater inclusiveness, greater tolerance, and greater respect for those who are different—increasingly including animals (Among other great books on the topic is Stephen Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature). This trend is reflected in the fact that, according to Acting FWS Recovery Coordinator Wayne Kasworm, over 99% of the 290,000 comments submitted during May of this year to the FWS in response to its proposed removal of ESA protections opposed this move, opposed trophy hunting, and supported increased protections.


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Reply States Prove Playground Bullies in Push to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 2016 OP
Delmette Aug 2016 #1
MBS Aug 2016 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Aug 21, 2016, 09:52 AM

1. This needs more exposure.

In my opinion this is the first glimpse of how state control of federal lands will proceed. The voice of a majority of the citizens will be ignored, there will be no oversight, and it is ultimately for the benefit of oil, gas and timber industries.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Aug 21, 2016, 11:44 AM

2. This is outrageous.

One more reason why we need to work as hard (or even harder) on the down-ballot races as the presidential one.

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