ADDITIONAL ALTERNATIVES SUGGESTED
Several respondents suggest alternatives to be considered in addition to the four examined in detail in the DEIS. Although some of these suggestions may only be modifications of Alternatives 1 through 4, or may have already been considered in the DEIS, they are listed here as they are presented by the respondents.
A popular suggestion by many is to include a ?true@ No-Action alternative.
!?I would like to see you analyze one other alternative and that would be the true no action alternative. That would involve like tomorrow quit doing this analysis, quit trying to reintroduce the bears, and should the bears make it there or if they may already be there, just leave them alone. I know that probably won't fit the purpose and need for the analysis, but then again, I'm not really sure what the need is yet.@
A few respondents suggest returning grizzly bear management to the states:
!?One you don't mention is to return management to the state of Montana, which was doing a good job. The alternatives you do mention are all self-serving.@
!?Lets have a bill before the State and a public referendum.@
Another favorite option is to include an alternative to ?delist@ the grizzly bear:
!?The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service can recognize that the grizzly bear population within the study area is extinct and can be delisted, or that an error was made and the population should not have been listed. Delisting removes the responsibility for populating the area under ESA and the controversy is resolved.@
!?Delisting does not require modification of legislation or regulation...the ESA and associated regulations expressly provide for delisting where a species is no longer threatened. Conversely, the FWS acknowledges the No Grizzly Alternative would require substantial modifications of both federal and state law. Delisting is a reasonable primary alternative, both standing alone and in comparison to the No Grizzly Alternative. This requires the FWS to revise the DEIS to include delisting as an alternative.@
An individual testifying at the Lewiston hearing offers the following suggestions:
!?...two logical choices that should have been formed into alternatives for consideration. One would recognize the grizzly bear population in the Bitterroot Selway ecosystem as extinct...It is questionable if adequate habitat now exists. Therefore, under criteria in the ESA for delisting grizzly bear...delist grizzly bears in the Bitterroot Selway. Or the Fish & Wildlife service could simply return to its original recovery plan and delist bears when population segments with bears have been recovered.@
A couple people suggest an additional alternative with biologically defined boundaries rather than social:
!?...the boundaries of the recovery area are socially defined rather than biologically defined. If grizzly bear habitat does indeed become of higher quality as one goes further north in Idaho, then it would be logical to consider inclusion of portions of the St. Joe River drainage, and perhaps areas further north and closer to the Cabinet-Yaak recovery area. However, this was not even included in the recovery plan. With the socially defined boundaries for the northern portion of the recovery area...then it seems appropriate to consider the southern boundaries as well. I suggest the area east of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and south of the Big Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness be deleted from the recovery area. The Mattson and Merrill appraisal suggests that areas in Custer and Lemhi Counties within the FCRNRW are not especially good grizzly bear habitat. These areas are close to grazing allotments, a mining district, and intensively used recreational areas in the Stanley Basin. There is substantial opposition to grizzly bear recovery in these counties and recognition of this may alleviate some concerns.@
!?Citizen management needs to be cooperative with biologist-coordinated management. Political management should be out.@
!?The greater Selway-Bitterroot Ecosystem represents one of our last chances to save an ecosystem of significant size in the planet's temperate zones. Because the GSBE is unique..., it should probably be made a world biological preserve with a future determined strictly by biologists who are absolutely free of industrial and political pressure... The DEIS fails to consider such an alternative...@
A few feel a compensation program needs to be included in an alternative to show support to the ranching community.
!?I believe that a compensation program is essential to get the support of the ranching community for the grizzly bear recovery program.@
One individual feels an alternative to buy more public land and establish corridor linkages would be an option:
!?If there is a surplus of money to be allocated it would be more beneficial to the bears and the citizens to purchase additional public lands. Buy the corridors that will connect Canada to the Bitterroots...@
The following three suggestions are also indicative of the broad range of alternative possibilities there are:
!?The experimental/non-essential recovery area should be designed more as a @containment zone? to keep the bears contained strictly within the core recovery area inside the Selway-Bitterroot, Frank Church, and Gospel Hump Wilderness Areas. To do this, you need to give the bear @varmint status? whereby any grizzly found outside the wilderness but inside the @containment zone? could be shot and killed on sight by anybody with a valid hunting license, and with no further justification or authorization required by the USFWS. This @varmint status? would habituate most bears to remain only in the wilderness areas.@
!?Maybe the supporters of the reintroduction experiment could start a fund called Help and Aid to Victims of Aggravated Bear Encounters, Attacks and Run-ins. H.A.V.A.B.E.A.R. could cover legal fees, hospital costs and investigative activities.@
!?As you can gather from my comments I think all four of the alternatives are garbage, so I propose alternative 5.... First of all there would be no designation of a boundary around any of the land in Idaho. Second, if a grizzly bear walks under his own power (without being herded, baited, or somehow coerced) into some federal, state, or private land in Idaho, so be it. He or she can live there without being harassed or studied to death.... If the population gets to a sustainable size (to be determined by the Idaho Game Dept.) then we have a hunting season on them. If the...Game Dept. decides any bear is a nuisance or is adversely affecting other animal populations they can be killed (or moved somewhere else)...Any movement of bears must be approved by the local people and industries directly involved in the area where the bear is going to be moved to. This all sounds to me like what we have in place now, well let's leave it alone then and we'll call this alternative five, @the cheap, less regulatory, and safer alternative.?