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The Case for Managed Grizzly Bear Hunts—and Why They Reduce Human-Bear Conflicts

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Here at The Resurgent, we’ve been on top of all the latest happenings involving wildlife—especially grizzly bears.

The House Natural Resources Committee—now chaired by anti-hunter Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)—pushed a very bad bill earlier in the spring. I covered that here and here.

Last fall, I discussed the federal judge’s ruling in Montana that put a kibosh on the planned managed grizzly bear hunt in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) last September—in which he, an Obama administration-era judge, claimed wildlife biologists misled the public about the bear’s recovery. Much to the judge’s chagrin, the grizzly bear population in GYE far exceeds carrying capacity and should have been delisted.

By court order, USFWS re-listed the regional grizzly bear, despite great evidence from wildlife biologists that they’ve exceeded their carrying capacity. Even Obama’s USFWS director, Dan Ashe, recommended delisting this grizzly bear population in 2016.

Most recently, there were four back-to-back attacks by grizzly bears on humans in Montana in recent weeks. What explains this?

To get some answers on this, I spoke to Joe Kondelis of Western Bear Foundation—a conservation organization made up of bear hunters who work to reduce human-bear conflicts through both lethal and non-lethal means—up on my podcast, District of Conservation, this week.

He gave listeners an update on what’s happening out West and the implications of relisting the fully recovered GYE grizzly bear in portions of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

“Unless we uproot entire communities [of humans], the [grizzly] bear is never going to live in historic ranges…It’s irresponsible to put a bear in an area,” said Kondelis.

He added, “There has to be some give and take both ways, I get it. Grizzly bears are going to be on the landscape but what’s in place for them for protections for human life and property? Is human life devalued over a grizzly bear’s? I love bears. I don’t what you do, a human life is more important than an animal.”

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