Phoenix News Desk

The Gift Of Knowing About The Grizzly Bear In 2017

The Gift Of Knowing About The Grizzly Bear In 2017

What bear? The Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is also known as the Yellowstone Brown Bear. The Yellowstone Grizzly is an iconic animal that is not recovered from when it was placed onto the Federal Endangered Species Protection (FESP) list in 1975.  The Grizzly needs large areas of healthy wild lands to live and search for food to survive. Currently, the Brown Bear lives in 2% of the historic range prior to European settlers coming to the United States.  

During the Republican President Nixon years of presidency when the Clean Air, Clean Water Acts became laws, the Yellowstone Grizzly was placed onto the FESP list when state mis-management of the large carnivore was quickly leading the few remaining Grizzly Bear populations outside of Alaska to be hunted to extinction. I assert that the Federal government agency known as The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, like many other Federal agencies, has become corrupt by the big money of special interest groups.  These special interest groups are now dictating their political agenda in collusion with the Federal agency. In this case, trophy hunters, land developers, and certain cattle ranchers would all stand to benefit once the isolated population of Yellowstone Grizzlies is eradicated outside Yellowstone Park. State leaders have already announced the wrong-headed move to immediately re-instate trophy hunting in the states surrounding the Yellowstone Park, as well as other measures to kill Brown Bears in areas outside Yellowstone Park.  

The convoluted bad science being used to justify this Federal Endangered Species Protection list removal is based on an outdated population model to maintain a population number of 500 bears. Although grizzlies number perhaps 700 animals at the moment, the Yellowstone population is almost certainly in decline and it won’t take many years before it dips below 500. Given the biological needs of the Yellowstone Grizzly population and the current threats in the Greater Yellowstone region, that number has a very limited relevance. Bear reproduction is the slowest of any North American mammal and the most important population segment is the actual number of reproductive age females.

Grizzly Bears are omnivores. They are eating machines that can eat almost anything. But they have long depended on basically four foods for most of their calories: cutthroat trout, whitebark pine seeds, elk and buffalo, and army cutworm moths.  However, in recent years, there have been massive changes within their ecosystem and the loss of 2 of their major food sources – the whitebark pine and trout due to climate changes and invasive species.  

It is known that Grizzly Bears have had to compensate for these losses by eating more meat in recent years. This dietary change has made survival a lot more dangerous for a female mother bear having to hunt for meat with her cubs in tow. Study of this aspect has obviously not been addressed within The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) camp that holds the opinion that all is good for de-listing the Yellowstone Grizzly. Their position is clear. After spending millions of dollars reviving and trying to gain insight about the Yellowstone Grizzly, FWS maintains that the period of oversight is officially over and in fact once again really no longer required. The responsibility will now be reverted back to the surrounding states which have already announced their plans to increase the killing of the bear again.

Where is the mainstream media on this issue?  The real question is: besides major environmental groups that have exhibited a solid track record reporting about the Yellowstone Grizzly story, how do Americans and world people get their information on this subject in the U. S. in recent years? The current Yellowstone Grizzly narrative being floated in the U.S. mainstream media is a typical modern day smoke and mirrors propaganda piece that is then re-printed in different newspapers across the nation.  Americans and world people who read newspapers or receive the mainstream media message online only need to know that there are plenty of bears and trophy hunters killing bears will keep this population in check.  

Also, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service talks up their bad science implying their quote scientific methodology for arriving to its magic de-listing number of 700 is too complicated for regular folks to understand. The American People just needs to TRUST THEM. Then reading on into the same typical stylized puff piece, comes a quote from someone who is a bear biologist or expert involved with studying the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear species. This person is against de-listing BUT there is little to no context explaining their understanding of the complexity of what we currently know about their situation. This is immediately followed by the conclusive story narrative that reads: now “WE” can celebrate with The Fish and Wildlife Service on a job well done by removing the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear’s protection. From The Fish and Wildlife Service open comment periods that led up to previous attempts to take away the Federal protection of the Yellowstone Grizz, it was discovered that most people who commented would rather shoot a Yellowstone Bear with a camera than a high powered rifle, and were furthermore overwhelmingly against removing the animal’s FESP status.  

The Yellowstone Brown Bear population has been isolated for over 100 years and there is evidence to support that the bear has been suffering the effects of inbreeding. There is a corridor of wild lands known as the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) that can connect the Yellowstone Brown Bear population up to the Glacier National Park Bears and then on up through to the Grizzlies that live in the Yukon in Canada. Other roaming animals would benefit from the Y2Y as well and when the Grizzly is healthy in an area of forest, ALL other animals are healthy too. Once de-listed, land interests and developments, in addition to a decline of the Yellowstone Brown Bear population would likely destroy the possibility of connecting the remaining population of Brown Bears with this route. Instead of eliminating the inbreeding problem by connecting the remaining Grizzly Bear populations in the wild, The Fish and Wildlife Service’s wrong-headed solution to maintain genetic diversity is to fly in male bears from other places to mate within the Yellowstone population.  

Forget about bear biologists, nature lovers, and bear enthusiasts that care about the Yellowstone Grizzly. Politics with the big money agenda of a few and their mainstream media control of information about this issue is officially calling the shots now. You want to know about the best available science and gain access to information about people who care about the fate of the un-recovered Yellowstone Bear? Then go to www.grizzlytimes.org

What do Native American tribes who have revered and honored the Grizzly in their tribal rituals as a family member dating back prior to the arrival of European settlers think about the proposed de-listing? Many tribal leaders have come together representing their people to voice their dissent against the Federal Endangered Species Protection de-listing of the un-recovered Yellowstone Grizzly Bear.  

Since that area has been experiencing a rapid human population growth, with too many human – Brown Bear conflicts ending in the fatality of the bear, it would be much wiser for the Fish and Wildlife Service to instead double their budget to help educate the local population about how to co-exist with the Great Bear in Grizzly Country to help reduce the bear fatalities.  

In 2016, an alarming number of 55 Brown Bears were known to have died in the Yellowstone area, almost all from conflicts with people. The federal government data shows that a total of 80 plus grizzlies died (including an estimate of unreported deaths) — over 12% of the total population.  At this time, the Yellowstone Bear is still facing serious un-addressed problems and will hopefully not lose their FESP status to a media mis-information campaign and a big money deal with a few special interest groups.

Written by Jack Locker

Media Contact
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Contact Person: Terrance Schemansky
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Phone: (586) 480-3000
Address:P.O. Box 285
City: Fenton
State: MI
Country: United States
Website: http://www.grizzlytimes.org