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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Public commentary on whether Grizzlies should be delisted in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem is running heavily in favor of not delisting the bears..............The Indian Tribes in the region also vote NO to delisting..............And independent biologists like former Interagency Grizzly Study Team member David Mattson have put forth compelling data showing how restoration of the species is far from complete with pockets of the bears disconnected from each other--If not corrected, this would lead to eventual birth defects and plummeting populations............Accordingly, the USFW folks are going to take another 6 months to review all the data before making a decision to delist or not

USFWS Delaying Yellowstone Grizzly Decision

Mid-December 2016, we reported that a decision was months away, since the USFWS had to review approximately 650,000 public comments on the decision. We also noted that, when the final rule was issued, it would likely face legal challenges.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, USFWS Assistant Regional Director Michael Thabault said it could take another six months to review all the comments. The Tribune notes that over 100 Yellowstone-area grizzly bears have been killed in the past two years—evidence (some say) that the agency is seeking delisting prematurely. Thabault contended that death rate was sustainable for the population.
The USFWS has attracted criticism from many quarters over its decision to pursue delisting.
Conservation groups and Native American tribes, for instance, have been quite vocal about their opposition to the rule, which could potentially reestablish grizzly hunting in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Indeed, a number of tribes (all of whom have seats on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee-Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee) signed a treaty opposing the delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies.
In Yellowstone National Park, Superintendent Dan Wenk has expressed reservations over the prospect of delisting Yellowstone-area grizzlies.
Meanwhile, some are questioning the counting method (Chao 2) used by the USFWS to calculate Yellowstone’s grizzly population. One researcher from the University of Montana, using the modeler RAMAS—software used by the USDA and EPA, among other agencies, and private companies such as Down Chemical and Pfizer—predicted that the Chao 2 model underestimated the impact hunting would have on the bear population.
Others, such as former Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team research David Mattson, say delisting would be detrimental to Yellowstone-area grizzlies and their potential to someday reconnect with grizzlies in other parts of the Rocky Mountain, like the population around Glacier National Park. Such connectivity, Mattson contends, is essential for both populations, given that they’re living in ecological “islands.”

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