‘See you in court,’ The HSUS tells feds on grizzly bear plans

By on June 30, 2017 with 13 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The HSUS, along with its affiliate the Fund for Animals, today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) over its removal of federal protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. By taking away the “threatened” status for bears under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the federal government is for all practical purposes handing over the bears to the whim of fish and game agencies hell-bent on allowing private citizens to slay these majestic animals for the thrill of the exercise. Even before the bears lost their federal protection, wildlife agencies in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have already adopted frameworks to authorize trophy hunting as early as this fall. They’ve been polishing their rifles and loading up for years, regardless of the bears’ numbers and the range of other threats that imperil their long-term viability.

Specifically, the delisting rule ignores the ongoing existential threat posed to these bears by habitat loss, disappearance of staple foods like whitebark pine and cutthroat trout, and continuing challenges associated with human-wildlife conflict. These and other factors contributed to a surge in grizzly bear deaths, including a famous 25-year old bear named Scarface who was shot three times at close range right outside Yellowstone National Park (in 2015, 61 bears were confirmed dead and in 2016, 58). And that’s before the states let loose the hunters. With trophy hunting now looming, the bears will face a full-on assault, including spring hunts in 2018 targeting female bears with infant cubs.

Indeed, the states have already divvied up the hunting allocations, with the lion’s share going to Wyoming (58 percent), followed by Montana (34 percent) and Idaho (8 percent). Grizzlies spending most of their lives in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks will be at risk, since they frequently roam across park boundaries in search of food. The states have no plans to prohibit hunting along the peripheries of these parks. The HSUS filed two lawsuits in state court challenging the hasty and illegal process Montana and Wyoming used to adopt these shortsighted hunting frameworks.

Through the official public comment process, the American public has responded in overwhelming fashion, signaling that it wants grizzly bears conserved and protected from trophy hunting and other forms of needless human violence and hazard. Federal protection has brought the bears back from the precipice, but threats continue to jeopardize their future. The federal agencies’ work is not complete, and it’s wrong for this hand-off to occur when they know—when we all know—that the states cater to trophy hunters salivating at the idea of killing one of the continent’s greatest predators.

It was trophy hunting and other malicious forms of bear killing that put the animals in a perilous condition in the first place. The philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The communities with the longest story-telling memories related to grizzly bears—Native American communities throughout North America—have been unanimous in condemning the idea of a trophy hunt.

These bears are an economic engine in the Yellowstone region—a vital draw for millions of Americans and people throughout the world. Handing their lives over to a few dozen trophy hunters—who will diminish the opportunity for millions to see these amazing animals in the wild—is morally wrong and will stifle commerce in rural communities that depend on the public’s appreciation of these icons within what is perhaps America’s most important, intact, and storied ecosystem. We can’t let that happen.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Veronica Christenson says:

    Don’t mess with Mother Nature!!!…or Grizzlies.

  2. Veronica Christenson says:

    I can’t believe we have to fight for this!!!

  3. Dorothy McKown says:

    Why do you sick morons have to kill all the beautiful defenseless animals that do you no harm??our grandchildren will have to look in books to see the animals that once lived on earth..or are you planing to burn the books too?? After all this is Trumps Nazi germany

  4. Janet Livingston says:

    Thank you, Wayne. This had to happen.

  5. Nancy Zimerowski says:

    Thank you, HSUS, for standing up for the grizzly bears. Please let your members know what we can all do to help stop this delisting.

  6. Evelyn Lennon says:

    This practice of trophy hunting is beyond me. The inhumane people who participate in these trophy huntings, tell me that they have not only infantile minds, but have low self-esteem. They need these animals to say about them “Hey, look what a big deal I am”. Killing is a demented trait of all who “go for the kill”. We must put an end to this madness, and see to it that these animals are protected. If someone near our children, posted a threat, we would protect them @ all cost. The most bizzare action is the euthinize of these bears, because they attacked someone. An adult should have the common sense to stay away. I don’t feel sorry for this man and his family, he stepped out of bounds, and he paid for it! We are their voice, and “we will be heard” They “will” be on the endangered species list and the more we feel about them not being is what makes us all the more for it.

  7. Hazel Curtis says:

    It is totally irresponsible and wrong of wild life services , to de list grizzlies that are sentient beings and part of the structure of the neccesary ecosystem of wild life national parks , leaving it open for trophy hunting of mothers and baby grizzly bears . it is appaulling and abhorent and further damaging to the eco system in the vital chain of life, as it breakes down other life , animal and plant , just to appease and support the whims of negative and destructive trophy hunters , whom couldnt give a damn and kill for the sake of it. grizzlies are more valuable alive both in icome drawn from tourism and for the benefits to the chain of life that they play a role in.

  8. Tricia Hamilton says:

    That horrible man picked a judge to help him. This judge got elected through Nuclear. He will help him f–k everything that is right in this world. I don’t want to live in Russia.

  9. Iris Davenport says:

    Pay attention, moron elect. We will be judged by how we treat the animals!

  10. Yael says:

    Thank you!

  11. Nancy Telese says:

    This is one of the reasons that I am a member and support the Humane Society of the US. I am shocked that the officials of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming want to promote the trophy hunting of grizzlies in Yellowstone and surrounding area. What a shame for our American parks, where I hope to visit, in order to view these magnificent creatures. Trophy hunting has NO place in Yellowstone. This should be banned forever. What is wrong with these hunters, who have total disregard for these magnificent animals. These animals have a difficult enough time surviving and finding proper food to eat. How can any human kill these special animals for fun ? Sick sick people

  12. Julia H says:

    Thank you for all you do.
    Many of us believe that the removal is actually driven by the extractive industry. 28 mining companies are lined up outside of YNP to start extracting. Because the area is protected from mining as long as there is an endangered species present. As soon as the species is delisted, mining can begin … And trophy hunting which is secondary.

  13. Nicola Gordon Bowe says:

    PLEASE PLEASE ensure that you instruct your many subscribers and readers
    how they can actively support you in anything you can possibly do to -re-establish desperately needed protection for grizzly bears
    and others immensely vulnerable wild animals

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