Agency officials downplay impact-
Agencies to allow for bear status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press
Judge Molloy put the Yellowstone area bears back on the threatened species list because all their food sources are jeopardized. Brian Kelly, Fish and Wildlife Service Wyoming field supervisor was quoted in the article above, “The basic message is that federal agencies need to evaluate their actions with respect to what effect they may have on grizzly bears.” [emphasis mine]
“Jim Magagna with the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association said few changes were expected for the livestock industry.” Excuse me, but I don’t think so. There are all kinds of conflict between grizzlies and livestock. Did Magagna already forget the sheep/grizzly/sheepherder incident in Tosi Creek and all the others in the upper Green River year after year?
Chris Servheen was quoted as defending the delisting decision. Well the judge didn’t think the defense was a good one, and so he ruled against Servheen and crew. What good is it to reassert it?
I just got back from 4 days of hiking, driving, checking on things in low swampy area between the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. During a good part of the year this is heavy grizzly country. In September the grizzlies have abandoned the meadows because they are dry, but they are down in the riparian areas and up on the Tetons where the food is. I found that many of the riparian areas were full of cows, with some allotments very close to Yellowstone Park. Where the cows didn’t tromp, bear scat full of berries was usually abundant.
If the grizzlies need more food, the solution is not more meetings and documents like Brian Kelley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Animals like livestock that eat the grass, forbs, sedges, that grizzlies eat; animals that tromp out the berry patches; livestock that eat what elk and deer could eat . . . these things have to stop. Furthermore the allowed range of the grizzly has got to increase because the area reserved for the grizzly under the delisting has become less productive due to many adverse changes.
The effects of the die-off of whitebark pine, whirling disease in trout, lake trout displacing cutthroat trout, the invasion of exotic species is not going to be solved by interagency cooperation meetings.