Grizzly bear hunt could undo years of efforts to bring bear back from brink of extinction
If Wyoming approves the ill-conceived plan for a grizzly bear hunt this fall, it will lose part of something that has for so long made the state such an incredible place for wildlife watchers.
I’ve stood for hours watching grizzlies in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, surrounded by scores of other onlookers who likely traveled from far and wide for their one chance to see the beloved bears in action.
It’s true that the region’s grizzly population has grown. But even with a current population estimate of 718 bears, allowing 23 bears to be killed in Wyoming – many of which may be females carrying unborn cubs – could severely damage the recovery effort in the long-term.
Last year alone, 56 bears died in the area monitored by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Killing an additional 23 bears on top of those who die of natural causes, poaching, mistaken identity and agency killings could have devastating consequences. Such a loss would undo years of conservation efforts to bring back the grizzly from the brink of extinction.