April 06, 2016

Daryl L. Hunter - Talking about Grizzlies

Daryl L. Hunter talking about Grizzly Bears.

protective firewall for grizzlies

delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should
celebrate (‘’’’dancing’’’’). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must
insure the grizzlies’recovery is permanent.  To insure “continuity of achievement,” the grizzlies need a
firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.

Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) was formed in 1983 to help ensure
recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48
states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management and
research. Many people have been working on this recovery for decades, for some;
it has been most of their career. 
I can understand why the delisting of the grizzly before their
retirement is their goal. A metaphorical gold watch if you will.

will argue differently, but I believe that our “isolated” population of
grizzlies has recovered; albeit tenuously, and I don’t have a problem with the
delisting.  The problem is, as the
delisting of the wolves demonstrated; a hunting season for grizzlies will soon
follow. I believe a hunting season is a freight train coming at us we can’t
stop! Managing grizzly bears for the Game and Fish departments is expensive,
and they desire to recoup some expense with grizzly bear hunting tags, but
their real savings will be the killing of bears. All we can do is hope to
mitigate the outcome by providing a firewall, a fall back zone where the
grizzlies will never be hunted, an incubator of sorts. 

tolerance” is the term used by grizzly managers when considering the human
factor intersect.  Social
acceptance is a tough sell for those who fear predators might hurt their
children along the wildland-urban interface; grizzly advocates must understand
this as we move forward with our mitigative efforts to insure a long-term
grizzly recovery. If the residents on the outskirts of our towns and ranchers
along the periphery of your National Forests can protect their property, social
acceptance for grizzlies in our wild areas will grow.  If people keep getting attacked outside Livingston, and
grizzlies are harvesting apples in St. Anthony, or trying to den in garages in
Driggs, social tolerance will shrink. We need to cultivate social tolerance,
not risk it.

social tolerance for grizzlies is high because I have one of the 155+ easily
discernable jobs created by grizzly bear tourism. Because of my familiarity, I
understand bears aren’t out to get us. 
I consider them “Revenue Bears,” Game and Fish doesn’t. Every hotel and
restaurant of the Greater Yellowstone communities are beneficiaries of “Revenue
Bear” tourism. 

I wish we wouldn’t have a hunt, but as a pragmatist, I don’t
have a problem with a limited hunting season for the grizzly bears.   What is good for the wilderness
isn’t necessarily good for the outskirts of Cody Wyoming, Bozeman Montana, and
St Anthony Idaho. Although hunting will kill some bears outside the wilderness,
I believe it will encourage bears who learn to fear humans to stay in the wild
areas. In the wild areas they will be out of people’s back yards, and away from
ranches. We have many black bears where I live in Swan Valley Idaho, but I
never see them because they are hunted. 
I see their tracks; I hear them busting through the woods and across the
creeks when they hear me in the area. 
Because they are hunted, they avoid people.

Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Game and Fish departments who are also part of the
IGBC, will argue that Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks are the safety zone
firewall that will protect the grizzlies. I counter point; if Yellowstone and
Grand Teton Parks could protect them, why did the population crash to start
with? That is why the alphabet soup of agencies of the IGBC in 1993 created the
more logical and demonstrably effective 
“Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone”; known today as the  “Primary Conservation Area (PCA).”

PCA has fostered the glacial pace yet successful recovery we enjoy today. This
Primary Conservation Area is 9,210 square miles equaling 5,893,760 acres. This
original  “Grizzly Bear Recovery
Zone” has to be the firewall “no hunting zone” to insure the  “continuity of achievement” of the
Grizzly Bear Recovery effort.

Game and Fish thinks 7,229 square miles equaling 4,626,560 acres is
adequate.  “I’m sure Montana and
Idaho Game and Fish agree. Clearly that would infringe on the range the Grizzly
Recovery efforts deemed important essential recovery habitat.

IGBC Recovery Plan states; The PCA contains “The Minimum ” seasonal habitat
components needed to support the recovered grizzly bear population, as defined
in the Recovery Plan. “A recovered population is one having a high probability
of existence into the foreseeable future (greater than 100 years).” (Note) This
statement in the recovery plan was drafted before the crash of the essential
food sources, white bark pine and the Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also
part of the IGBC,
whose mission statement says; “ Work with
others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their
habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” However upon
grizzly delisting
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is

inclined to capitulate to “states rights” putting the future of grizzlies in
the hands of those who find them a nuisance and expensive; hence, rendering
their mission statement meaningless.

hold these grizzly truths to be self-evident; hence, for the Interagency
Grizzly Bear Study Team’s, team members, the Wyoming Game and Fish, Montana
Game and fish and Idaho Game and Fish to institute a hunting season within the
boundaries of the “Primary Conservation Area,” not only would be reckless, it
would be ludicrous!

Let’s not let this happen!

L Hunter is a writer, photographer, speaker and tour guide that works out of
Jackson Wyoming who once wrote a conservative column for JH Weekly called “And
Rightly So”.

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