Join 3,495 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Yellowstone Grizzlies To Be Delisted?
November 15, 2005 3:07 PM   Subscribe

The US Fed wants the Yellowstone Grizzly Bears taken off the list of threatened species. (No, not those Grizzlies, heh.) Through very serious recovery efforts the Grizzly bear population in the area around Yellowstone National Park is being considered "recovered", such that they can be removed from the protection of the endangered species act. Some fear that this move doesn't address the issue of where the bears actually live, though it needs to be pointed out that hunting and killing bears in the Park is prohibited. Some are celebrating this as a great move by the DoI. Some of America's friends overseas don't appear to be any too happy about this. The proposal only covers those bears in and around Yellowstone, but the Grizzly recovery in other areas remains slowed by illegal killing, and stupidity. Can we call this a success for the Endangered Species Act? Or is the ESA itself endangered? Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without the headcase who blames environmentalists for keeping him from baiting the bears.
posted by Wulfgar! (27 comments total)

 
The New Jersey governor has okayed a 2005 black bear hunt because of their increasing contact with humans.
posted by swift at 3:13 PM on November 15, 2005


The "stupidity" link isn't working for me...
posted by mathowie at 3:23 PM on November 15, 2005


The US Fed wants the Yellowstone Grizzly Bears taken off the list of threatened species.

At first I thought this was about the Federal Reserve. "US Fed" is an ambiguous way to refer to the federal government.
posted by grobstein at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2005


I have very mixed feelings here. I spent much of my 20s sleeping under the stars in various western wilderness areas. I worked five summer seasons for the National Park Service. I think of myself as a pretty hardcore environmentalist. But damn those grizzlies scare me.

I like to enjoy the wilderness up-close-and-personal. Camping in the open, sometimes cooking over a environmentally-correct fire, maybe feasting on a nice can of sardines in mustard sauce and wiping my hands on my shirt. In grizzly country, such behaviour could get me killed. Hiking in grizzly country involves all kinds of fussy precautions--making noise while you hike so as not to startle he bears (they don't like that), cooking away from camp, hanging food far away, carrying pepper spray, even stashing sweaty clothes in an odor proof pouch at the end of the day. The wilderness goes from a place of comfort to a place of danger. I selfishly don't like that.

Yes, the grizzlies need a place too. That place is Alaska. I may visit them sometime, once I have had my fill of sardines.
posted by LarryC at 3:36 PM on November 15, 2005


Stupidity works for me, Matt (I mean the link)
posted by keijo at 3:42 PM on November 15, 2005


Matt, the link works for me.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:47 PM on November 15, 2005


If any of you clowns cared to do some serious research you'd know what a sensible idea this is.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:55 PM on November 15, 2005


Nice One! uncanny! ;-)
posted by wavespy at 4:00 PM on November 15, 2005


LarryC, nature's job is to kill you, period. "How" is always open to question, but nature will succeed. The only real question is what will you kill along the way to your death?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2005


LarryC, I was going to go apeshit on you, then I read your post a second time. (sound of palm smacking forehead) Very witty! You can come camping down here in Colorado. We killed off all the nasty things (2 legs and 4) years ago.
posted by wavespy at 4:13 PM on November 15, 2005


I'm torn - I think that the argument "hunters make good conservationists and will support grizzly habitat and conservation if they are allowed to hunt them" has some validity. However, 600 grizz is not a huge number to begin with and I think hunting would have to be very limited at the start. It seems like this might be coming down the pipeline a bit early (and be politically motivated) but I'm not a wildlife biologist. I'd hate to see numbers decline drastically anywhere.
posted by Staggering Jack at 4:15 PM on November 15, 2005


Good links. Thanks for posting this, Wulfgar!
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2005


Wulfgar!: No, the open question is when will nature kill me? Along the way I try to kill as little as possible. Except mosquitoes.
posted by LarryC at 4:25 PM on November 15, 2005


600 grizz is not a huge number to begin with

Grizzlies need a lot of room to roam around, and the Yellowstone area can only support so many. This link says each bear has a range of 100-300 square miles and Yellowstone is about 3500 square miles, so they're packed in there pretty tightly. My guess is that the Yellowstone area has already passed the limit on bears it can sustainably support -- and if they haven't, they will soon. The FPP article says the population is growing at 4-7% per year.

Something has to limit the population, and there's only one predator out there that will kill a grizzly...
posted by event at 5:54 PM on November 15, 2005


mansquito?
posted by iron chef morimoto at 7:37 PM on November 15, 2005


Yellowstone is about 3500 square miles

Actually, according to the CSM article in the third link in the FPP, the area of the Yellowstone grizzly habitat (which also counts areas outside of the park) is 9,500 square miles, but even at this expanded definition, they are at the carrying capacity for the region. So the two main choices (I believe) are to either expand the habitat or to unleash the mansquitos. A third option, and one that seems to be a concern, would be to unleash the hunters while decreasing the amount of habitat through development and grazing lands expansion.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:22 PM on November 15, 2005


The Grizzly menace will be at our door anytime now. They have no fear. They should, but that's not their fault.


[ Wulfgar!....! ]
posted by troutfishing at 8:31 PM on November 15, 2005


Lewis and Clark meet the grizzlies.
posted by LarryC at 9:02 PM on November 15, 2005


I will DIE for these bears, I will DIE for these bears, I will DIE for these bears.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:53 PM on November 15, 2005


Ha ha. I Googled for "I will DIE for these bears" and found just what I suspected I'd find. Love your work, Sticherbeast!

That fella was one of the first things I thought of, but I'd forgotten his name and didn't realise he had a catch phrase to speak of. I've only seen some shorts of that doco - he reminded me a bit of Carson Kressley.

Not that there's anything wrong with that…

posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:15 PM on November 15, 2005


I've heard Griizly Man spent more fruitful time bonding with foxes. True? (I love foxes.)
posted by homunculus at 11:40 PM on November 15, 2005


Bears are godless killing machines, and they must be stopped.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:57 PM on November 15, 2005


They're only godless because no one has ever introduced them to the Gospel.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 9:54 AM on November 16, 2005


*rubs hands with glee at thought of people attempting to convert heathen bears.*
posted by longbaugh at 10:44 AM on November 16, 2005


Montana Sen. Max Baucus said that's a good thing. “I welcome this announcement because delisting the grizzly will put management control back into the hands of Montanans – the folks on the ground who know best how to manage our natural resources,"

Now, would these be the same folks who nearly made the bears extinct in the first place?
posted by caddis at 11:16 AM on November 16, 2005


No, caddis. Those folks lived about a hundred years ago.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:40 PM on November 16, 2005


Unbearable
posted by homunculus at 9:13 PM on November 22, 2005


« Older Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price,...  |  The Radiant Vista... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments