Proposed Grizzly Hunt Rules Open To Public Comment During Boise Meeting

Oct 10, 2016

Wildlife managers say grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (not in the park) have made a significant recovery since being listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in 1975.
Credit Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed lifting endangered species status for grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park. But before that happens, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana each need to come up with plans for how they would manage the population – including rules for hunting the predators.

A public meeting will be held this week in Boise on the potential for a grizzly bear hunting season in Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler says although that agency hasn't officially proposed a grizzly season, the public comment period is essential to the process.

“Hunting is the primary tool for management of all species," Keckler says. "And in this particular case, this grizzly bear population has grown at a very health rate and it has basically reached a point where it is overrunning available habitat.”

The state Fish and Game Commission has created a framework around grizzly hunting, including things like limiting bear harvests to one per lifetime and requiring that hunters report within 24 hours of killing a bear. Keckler says any rules made by the agency need to be approved by the legislature.

The hearing starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Washington Group Main Auditorium in east Boise. Fish and Game will accept written comments from people who can't attend the meeting through Oct. 26. Send your comments to: P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID, 83707.

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