Grizzly Bears - Past, Present & Future

Big Fin

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The theme of podcasts this year has mostly been to take science that impacts all of us and try to make it digestible for us non-scientists. Grizzly Bears, the ESA, delisting, and the future of grizzly bears relies on a lot of science.

My guest in this podcast is Chris Servheen, PhD. Chris ran the grizzly bear recovery program for 35 years, prior to retiring a few years ago. I first met Chris when I volunteered to be one of five Montanans on the Grizzly Bear Roundtable, a committee that served for three years advising the USFWS and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee come up with the recommendations for the conservation strategy upon delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly population.

In those three years it became very apparent to me where the true knowledge on grizzly bears existed. The best minds on the topic are in the IGBC. The litigators and their hired guns are bush league, compared to what knowledge exists within the IGB Study Team. Chris was the person leading that team and working with all state, provincial, and Federal agencies.

An ironic part of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear history is that Chris' team twice petitioned for delisting of the Grizzly Bears of Yellowstone. Obviously, petitioning to delist grizzlies in Yellowstone is going to get you sued, which happened both times. The few areas where the judge agreed more science was needed, the IGB Study Team was able to disprove the concern. Chris has since retired and now the grizzly bear program is being led by Hilary Cooley, PhD.

This is a long podcast. The topic deserves a deep discussion and I hope we provided it here. Toward the end, we get on the topic of the future of grizzly bears and the likelihood of delisting. I find it concerning that the person who twice stuck his neck out to delist grizzlies, a process that requires confidence that the states have the framework to takeover management, is now doubtful the states can do that with the amount of political meddling by elected officials. If we think the recent actions of the Montana Legislature and Governor are helping our cause as it relates to managing threatened and endangered species, we might want to rethink that. To lose the confidence of a person who has invested so much in the cause of grizzlies is not a good reflection on the likelihood of Montana ever gaining management authority over grizzly bears.

Link below. Hope you enjoy it.


 
Grizzly Bears, the ESA, delisting, and the future of grizzly bears relies on a lot of science.
I hate to disagree but lawyers/courts not science will determine future of grizzlies. Your all-star cast are true experts but not one of them are a federal judge. Sorry but i have just become bitter over this with delisting Grizzlies topic but thanks for sharing the science side. The only solution i see is blowing up the entire ESA program while this will hurt many species the program has outlived its usefulness.
 
I hate to disagree but lawyers/courts not science will determine future of grizzlies. Your all-star cast are true experts but not one of them are a federal judge. Sorry but i have just become bitter over this with delisting Grizzlies topic but thanks for sharing the science side. The only solution i see is blowing up the entire ESA program while this will hurt many species the program has outlived its usefulness.
I don't think we disagree. Those judges have the final say. Just part of a system where anyone who can prove "standing" is allowed to litigate their grievances. Given that framework of American society, I think we would agree that without the science being well understood, vetted, and objective, the chance of delisting is zero. With good science that is well understood, vetted, and objective, the odds of delisting are above zero.

Blowing up the ESA is not the solution. Changing the other mechanisms the litigators use to gum up the mix is where progress can be made. The ESA has huge support among the American public, even if other Federal laws and process allow abuse. Thinking we will blow up the ESA is a pipe dream. We need to focus on change to the mechanisms outside of the ESA that allows these litigators to have disproportionate influence over the outcomes.
 
I hate to disagree but lawyers/courts not science will determine future of grizzlies. Your all-star cast are true experts but not one of them are a federal judge. Sorry but i have just become bitter over this with delisting Grizzlies topic but thanks for sharing the science side. The only solution i see is blowing up the entire ESA program while this will hurt many species the program has outlived its usefulness.
Disagree.

The challenge is to get the judges to understand the science.

The challenge is to get your elected officials to understand the science and drop the rhetoric.

For example, WY GOV Mark Gordon can't even put 2 and 2 together on a land purchase, you think he understands any kind of grizzly science?

Not hardly.
 
I hate to disagree but lawyers/courts not science will determine future of grizzlies. Your all-star cast are true experts but not one of them are a federal judge. Sorry but i have just become bitter over this with delisting Grizzlies topic but thanks for sharing the science side. The only solution i see is blowing up the entire ESA program while this will hurt many species the program has outlived its usefulness.
Lawyers need the science in order to ensure the win in court. Overwhelming science makes political hack decisions tougher albeit maybe not impossible but we got to get back to science in this society while there is any chance whatsoever.
 
Lawyers need the science in order to ensure the win in court. Overwhelming science makes political hack decisions tougher albeit maybe not impossible but we got to get back to science in this society while there is any chance whatsoever.
Disagree.

The challenge is to get the judges to understand the science.

The challenge is to get your elected officials to understand the science and drop the rhetoric.

For example, WY GOV Mark Gordon can't even put 2 and 2 together on a land purchase, you think he understands any kind of grizzly science?

Not hardly.


I think we just lived through 2 years of "overwhelming science" and elected officials "understanding the science", forgive me if I don't hold my breath on them coming around to the facts on grizzly bears in the near future... :ROFLMAO:


Like @Big Fin said above, the challenge will be finding a way to hamstring the litigators who constantly churn profits off of these types of lawsuits.
 
If we think the recent actions of the Montana Legislature and Governor are helping our cause as it relates to managing threatened and endangered species, we might want to rethink that.

Excuse my ignorance but what exactly has been done by Montana that might not help the delisting cause?

I see the petition but am unsure how that hurts things.
 
I think we just lived through 2 years of "overwhelming science" and elected officials "understanding the science", forgive me if I don't hold my breath on them coming around to the facts on grizzly bears in the near future... :ROFLMAO:


Like @Big Fin said above, the challenge will be finding a way to hamstring the litigators who constantly churn profits off of these types of lawsuits.
What’s the alternative than? Get your facts from Facebook? Let the politicians define the facts? 2 years ain’t crap in the slow grind of public process. That’s ok because whiplash will snap your head off with enough g’s
 
I find it concerning that the person who twice stuck his neck out to delist grizzlies, a process that requires confidence that the states have the framework to takeover management, is now doubtful the states can do that with the amount of political meddling by elected officials.
Agree. This extreme political pendulum will hopefully slow it's momentum to cooler heads and bipartisanship... Otherwise, it's either going to maintain this right extreme or swing the other direction.
Conservation is one single (though significant in our minds) aspect of the trenches dug. If it was merely conservation, well it's not, nor ever will be.

I look forward to the day we find some quality give/take between red and blue. Until then...
 
My 2 cents is that the ESA won't be blown up, and those other policies won't be "fixed". It will get worse and more political. I wouldn't be surprised if MT/ID/WY had an announcement encouraging poaching of G bears. "ShOOT,,,, SHOVLE,,,,,and SHUT UPP!" that they won't prosecute infractions regarding grizzly bears. I mean I've seen the damage and confusion a county Sheriff can do when he says he's not enforcing X laws anymore. Can you imagine that on a state level?
 
I will listen to the podcast later today.

I think the western state politicians have made it quite easy for the attorneys bringing law suits challenging the delisting of grizzly bears. I thought that when it came up the first time that Montana's FWP etc charted a good path. But there are other states involved in the delisting and they were more militant concerning how they wanted to manage the bear.

The recent changes in Montana's wolf policy are a gift to litigators wanting to prove that a state can't be trusted to manage animals removed from a endangered list.

There was a time I thought that there would be a day that Montana would once again have a hunting season for grizzly bears. I actually hoped I might have that chance. At 71 years of age, I now realize that it is very unlikely that a season will ever occur during my lifetime. It does not help that BC recently suspended hunting of grizzly bears.
 
“Your Mountain” podcast has a couple good ESA podcasts and touches on grizzly bear delisting some. I have found these podcasts very informative.
 
I think we just lived through 2 years of "overwhelming science" and elected officials "understanding the science", forgive me if I don't hold my breath on them coming around to the facts on grizzly bears in the near future... :ROFLMAO:


Like @Big Fin said above, the challenge will be finding a way to hamstring the litigators who constantly churn profits off of these types of lawsuits.
Science has nothing to do with the delisting. “They” don’t want “you” hunting grizzly bears for trophies. Period.
 
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Until you have lawyers and judges pull their head out of their A....This will never get resolved. It's sad it's taken this long. Lawyers make no money if you take their bread and butter work away from them....You can tell I'm not a huge fan of lawyers in certain decision making :)
 
forgive me and sure maybe i need more educating.

but this is an arena in which i have little hope.
 
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