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I recently reviewed my notes taken at meetings of grizzly bear managers during the last 30 years and was reminded that Wyoming’s aggressive promotion of delisting and demeaning comments about adversaries go back decades.It is probably no coincidence that Wyoming’s wildlife managers are pretty much all men.
They see themselves not as regulators as much as bros.
Given all of these corrupting influences, it is no wonder that WGF officials lie and prevaricate in service of promoting removal of ESA protections and instituting a trophy hunt.
Not apparently deterred by inconsistency, Debolt went on to make the opposite point, claiming that bears are causing intolerable problems because they are expanding beyond the Demographic Monitoring Area (DMA) where they are less “socially acceptable.” But the map shows that almost all the captures — maybe 52 out of 59 – occurred inside the DMA, where you expect most bears to be. A resolution and separate bill seek to strip federal endangered species protections from grizzlies and reinstate a hunt.
So, which is it Brian, a “normal” or “out of control” situation? Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout concedes that, if his bill actually required WGF to initiate a hunt, officials could be imprisoned for a felony crime so he made the language more permissive — filled with “mays,” not “shalls.” A third proposal that sought to create a fund to compensate victims of bear attacks was killed last week in committee.
Until the 1990s, attraction to human food and garbage was the leading cause of human-bear conflicts and resulting bear deaths.
Managers routinely killed bears that had become hooked on human foods and, because of that, more aggressive.
Before getting into why this is happening, it’s worth first unpacking some facts, starting with Debolt and the 2018 Wyoming Game & Fish (WGF) report on grizzly bear conflicts.
Never have Wyoming wildlife managers killed so many grizzly bears in one year: 32, all outside National Park boundaries, almost all associated with conflicts over livestock.
The bill was a direct link to the tragic fatal mauling of hunting guide Mark Uptain last fall.
While a recently released final investigation report by WGF on Uptain’s death made it clear that bear spray, if properly deployed, could have saved his life (more on that in an upcoming essay), regressive politicians are using the tragedy to fuel anti-bear furor.