To all opposed, uniformed or uncertain of what is at stake.
Your voice, effort and input is needed now more than ever! The near and long term opportunities to see or photo YST grizzlies will be seriously impaired following 2017 federal delisting and rapid 2018 onslaught of state trophy grizzly hunting. Combined, a lethal recipe for grizzly preservation and setback for decades to come. WY now leads the destructive race to support and serve up the grizzly bear to the trophy hunting industry and their special interests. My only interest resides for the preservation and no hunting of grizzly bears. If WY, MT and ID succeed as planned, losses will be well beyond the trophy killed YST grizzlies. Adverse cultural, ethical and financial repercussions will surely follow.
Briefly, the die was cast in 2017 with the new Secretary Interior "Delisted" the grizzly bear as "Recovered Species" from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA.) The federal government then transferred grizzly bear management back to the states WY, MT & ID, the only lower 48 so fortunate to have a grizzly bear population. Albeit, a very precarious population. Remember, these very same three states under their own former state regulations, protection, policies or lack thereof, resulted in near eradication of the grizzly population as late as the 1970's to approx. 150 bears or less. That period reflected the killing off grizzly policies and actions during the mid 1800's to early 1900's. Thus the feds stepped and IMO, solely prevented the taking of the last 100/150 remaining GYE grizzlies. Conjecture? No, I don't think so. How many grizzlies remain even in the remotest areas of CA or CO? NONE, not a single one! State wildlife protection policies, poachers and sportsmen alike, along with other human and natural activities, collectively eradicated the population to zero!
What did the Tri States do? Before the 2017 ink was dried removing federal protection of grizzlies by Delisting them from ESA, an elaborate TRI STATE AGREEMENT (WY, MT & ID) was already in place to promote biannual "trophy grizzly bear hunting." This TSA openly declared and stated killing of grizzlies as "TROPHY GRIZZLY BEAR HUNTING" as part of their handover state management plan. Numerous legal challenges followed and remain active, seriously questioning and debating the alleged "recovered grizzly bear population" and a host of other special interests "conclusions" in favor to end ESA protection. Consider the following. How can a population of anything or much less a species, the grizzly bear with lowest reproduction rate, high natural and human mortality rates, increasing loss of habitat, etc., ranging from only 650 to 700 total sparse population within thousands of square miles, be considered in the first place as "recovered?" Absent the strong political influences of the trophy hunting industry and their minority special interest groups, money, tax revenues and local votes, the "delisting/recovery" declaration was gleefully followed by state trophy grizzly hunting is preposterous. At a minimum, if "delisting" the grizzly from ESA survives legal challenges, state sponsored trophy grizzly bear hunting should be removed entirely from the States handover "grizzly bear management plans."
MT at least had the common sense to postpone any trophy grizzly bear hunting for 2018, but apparently WY is eager to be the first to let lead fly starting in SEPT 2018! Do you realize that TSA trophy hunting provisions allow shooters to "harvest twice a year" even valuable research collared bears! The very same bears used in long term population data and great financial/ time investment, i.e. our federal tax dollars. Furthermore, twice a year, YNP and passing through grizzlies will become "step over target bears".....what does that mean? ....... when a YNP or any other grizzly passing through YNP steps one foot over the border, WY says trophy hunters are free to trophy kill them. If that doesn't concern, bother or anger you, then no reason to continue reading.
This is not an anti hunting opinion or opposition to legal, ethical and common sense hunting supporting sportsmen rights to hunt sustainable game animals. However, the grizzly bear, evident by our past history of near elimination and tenuous highly debated "recovery" IS NOT a "game" animal to be trophy hunted.
If you care at any level, take heart, and take individual effort to stop this. In 2017 British Columbia, with grizzly bear population far in excess of GYE and decades of legal grizzly hunting, banned ALL grizzly bear hunting in B.C. How/why? Wildlife Agencies listened to overwhelming public support to end long allowed practice of grizzly bear hunting. In short, the citizens valued the resource and wanted their grizzlies to be protected. Their government listened and responded to real public outcry, not just the special interests determined to trophy hunt a valuable natural resource. At the unfortunate polar opposite, WY intends to be the leader and further reduce our diminished iconic national treasure/species grizzly population. If you research some of the intentions of involved TSA political leaders, some intend to quickly expand trophy grizzly hunting statewide, beyond the arbitrary TSA hunting boundaries where the killing could start in WY in Sept 2018. Merely five months from now! As many of you may know, each year hundreds if not more, YNP bison are legally slaughtered by shooters immediately crossing YNP boundary lines. It remains a contentious local and national matter of concern and outcry. Now in 2018, the same course and fate of many YNP/GYE grizzly bears could be in the same literal line of fire, with one big difference. The grizzly bear has a "Trophy Wanted Target" tag directly the result of 2017 Delisting/ESA and the Tri State Agreement for Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunting management provision.
Its our individual choice to be proactive and preserve the grizzly from both direct and/or collateral killing, wounding, disrupting by trophy hunters. Also consider that others may now feel somewhat enabled, with a sense of entitlement, etc., free of federal ESA consequences/penalties for killing a grizzly bear because of removal from ESA followed by immediate state sponsored trophy grizzly hunting. Do you really believe for a minute, that other grizzly bears beyond the deemed "harvestable" quota/levels/zones by the TSA States will not be killed, wounded or otherwise displaced from their natural habitat? Of course not! Therefore, once the trophy grizzly hunts goes live, the real mortality/morbidity will certainly be higher, not equal to or less than, the state kill quotas. The real "harvest" data will be inaccurate, misleading and more likely than not, indiscernible and unreliable for years thereafter. It will be subject to special interest bias and manipulation in order to validate initial delisting and enacted trophy hunting. Further danger? Bias data will advance future trophy hunting industry's thirst while appeasing minority supporters. In the meantime, the real "harvest data" versus the actual grizzly bear loss will be a compounding, rolling number as the twice a year hunts, continue lacking true and accurate population loss and bear displacement. If we were talking about a population with the law of large numbers, the effect may not be as severe. However, the grizzly population by any reasonable measure, is a very small, negligible number.As such, it's adversely effected by small variations of loss or decline, regardless of cause.
Bottom line? There will be far less opportunity by the average YNP visitor to view a grizzly bear, as there will be less bears due to trophy hunting with likely annual habitat displacements. Millions of dollars are infused into the local economies and collected state tax revenues for just an opportunity to see a grizzly bear. Wyoming is putting both the bears and local economies at peril, all to needlessly crater to the trophy hunting industry.
Register your opposition to trophy grizzly bear hunting and delisting the grizzly from the Endangered Species Act.
*Contact Gov. Matthew Mead.
*On Line Register your comment/opinion to WY Fish & Game in advance of public comment/opinion Comm. Hearing on 5-23-18 Landers, WY.
*Express your opinion and affect to the WY Dept. of Tourism.
*Contact your state and federal congressional and senate representatives.
*Contact U.S. Secretary Interior (responsible for Delisting the grizzly bear from federal ESA protection)
Wyoming............your trophy grizzly hunts are the wrong thing, at the wrong time and for all the wrong reasons! You are better than this. Yours is a great state with wonderful people that should not be nationally tarnished by what is about to take place. Please wisely consider the repercussions (ethical, preservationist and economic) that will likely follow. Yes, the small vested groups in line to reap big money for dead grizzlies will benefit. Their financial contribution will likely pale in comparison from the backlash of lost/diminishing state tax revenues. Income and survival of many WY businesses (large & small), local employment, lost wages, tips, jobs, services and products will be at real risk. All unnecessary, very unfortunate and immoral to reap large financial gain to few.Ironically, at the same time, threaten the very existence of the generating natural resource financially and environmentally contributing.....the grizzly bear.
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