APPENDIX 19. EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT: "SUMMARY OF
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
This report summarizes public responses to identify
issues and to suggest management alternatives for the development
of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the reintroduction
of grizzly bears to the Bitterroot Mountains of central Idaho
and western Montana.
In 1993 an interagency task force, working with a
citizens' involvement group, drafted a chapter to the Grizzly
Bear Recovery Plan. This chapter outlines reintroduction as the
proposed method for recovery. In response to public comments
from local communities of central Idaho and western Montana, several
changes were made in the final chapter. In 1995 the Fish &
Wildlife Service continued public involvement and assembled an
interdisciplinary team to begin the EIS process. Team members
include specialists from the Fish 8 Wildlife Service, Forest Service,
Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Montana Department of Fish,
Wildlife, and Parks, and the Nez Perce Tribe.
A public Notice of Intent was published in the Federal
Register on January 9, 1995 (Vol. 60,. No. 5) on pages 2399-2400.
The notice was furnished as required by the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) to obtain input
from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues to be
addressed in the EIS. The preliminary issues identified in March
* recovery options and legal classification of grizzlies
* possible restrictions on human uses of public lands
* geographic boundaries for recovery
* location and cost of a reintroduction program
* illegal killing of grizzly bears
* participatory role of citizens in grizzly bear recovery
* concern for human safety
* control of nuisance grizzly bears
Three preliminary alternatives were also identified
and published in a Scoping of Issues and Alternatives brochure.
This brochure was sent to 1100 people and distributed at seven
open houses in July 1995. The scoping brochure detailed the EIS
process, provided background information, identified preliminary
issues and alternatives, and described the purpose and need of
the proposed action.
Seven public scoping open houses were held in Grangeville,
Orofino, and Boise in Idaho; in Missoula, Helena and Hamilton
in Montana; and in Salt Lake City, Utah in early July (July 5-11)
with a 45-day public comment period on the proposal ending July
20. Over 300 people attended these scoping sessions and offered
comments on the proposal, the preliminary issues and alternatives,
and voiced their opinions on grizzly bears and reintroduction.
On July 25, 1995 Dr. John Weaver, team leader for
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, announced a 30-day extension
of the public comment period to August 21. This extension was
requested by numerous public interests with varied opinions on
this complex topic.
Written comments on the preliminary issues and alternatives
were received from over 3,300 individuals, organizations and government
agencies. These comments arrived in over 565 letters, open house
meeting notes, six petitions, and six form letters or postcards.
This analysis of the public's responses describes
what people have said as completely and directly as possible without
assigning weights or recommendations. The system used was objective,
reliable and traceable.
All responses received by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service by the close of the extended comment period (August
21, 1995) were considered in the production of this summary.
Comments received after the close of the comment period will be
considered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the development
of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement; however, will not
be reflected in this report.
It is important to note this analysis is not based
on vote-counting. The public involvement efforts of the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are intended to gather information
and ideas from the public on the purpose and need for the proposal,
the preliminary issues & alternatives, and to identify any
new issues and alternatives for development of the Draft EIS,
not to simply count votes. While quantitative information is
gathered and is important in assessing demographic information,
that is only part of the information analyzed. It is the reasons
for people's concerns, preferences and criticisms that are sought
in this process. Therefore, one will find little mention of total
numbers in this summary, but rather more qualitative information
indicating trends in public opinion.
The analysis method used for this project provides
a means of categorizing each person's comments into separate subjects,
then grouping like subjects together so that the public's comments
can be more thoroughly examined. It displays public concerns
and support on preliminary issues and alternatives with selected
quotes to reinforce similar comments. It provides a traceable,
visible system for displaying public comments without injecting
interpretation or judgment.
Responses were received in the form of letters or
postcards, petitions, form letters, and open house meeting notes.
Each response was first given a unique identification number.
A coding system was developed to assign demographic information
to each respondent and to record opinions related specifically
to this strategy. Demographic information included identification
of who the respondent represents, the medium used for responding,
and where the respondent lives (geographically).
Respondents were classified in one of the following
categories, referred to in the coding system as 'Organization
Individual Citizens; Professional Scientific Organizations;
Organized Groups; Schools or Universities; Youth; Federal Agencies;
State Government/Agencies; County Government; Congressional/legislative
representatives; or Tribal Government.
Next, substantive comments that supported or opposed
particular provisions of the various alternatives were coded,
along with particular reasons for support of, or opposition to,
that alternative. New alternatives were also described along
with opinions from various factions on those new alternatives.
Substantive comments pertaining to particular issues were likewise
coded. All substantive comments, accompanied by the appropriate
codes and demographic information, were then entered into a computer
database for easier sorting and retrieval.
At all times, objectivity and fairness were stressed
in this public comment analysis. All respondents' values, perceptions
and opinions were recorded, including those based on misinformation.
The exact words of each respondent were used rather than summaries
of the person's words to insure accuracy and objectivity. All
letters were read at least three times by the 'content analysis
team.' A coder first read the entire response to gain an overall
understanding of the respondent's viewpoint, then re-read the
response, highlighting and coding substantive comments. To maintain
accuracy and consistency, a coding supervisor or another coder
would then check the coded response. If questions arose, they
would discuss the response and come to an agreement on the appropriate
Comments on technical or complex letters were coded
and included in the database, and also "red-flagged"
because of their length and detail. Copies of all the documents
have been provided separately to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service for more in-depth review.
Any respondent's substantive comments can be found
in the database; the original letters and coded copies have been
filed for reference. A cross-reference file lists each respondent
alphabetically and by a unique identification number, thus original
letters and coded copies, which are filed numerically, can be
The content analysis team consisted of 9 people.
They were employees from the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. A list of team members is in Appendix
C of the original document (project file). The analysis took
place in Missoula, Montana, and was completed in about 14 days.
This section presents demographic information of
the responses received. Information displayed includes who
responded (individuals, organizations, agencies, etc.), how
they responded (letter, hearing, etc.), and where they
responded from (in general terms).
Congressional / Legislative Elected Officials
City / municipal / local government
State Government / Agencies
Letter or Post Card
Open House Attendees
LOCAL: MT Counties of Ravalli, Mineral, Missoula;
ID Counties of Clearwater, Idaho, Lewis, Nez Perce, & Shoshone.
REGIONAL: Rest of counties in Idaho & Montana. Adjacent States of WA, OR, NV, UT & WY.
NATIONAL: Rest of U.S. and International
*This figure doesn't account for names on petitions or form letters, the people who attended open house meetings, or for those who did not give an address.
As letters were received, noticeable trends and similarities
amongst them became apparent. Six different form letters were
detected totaling 821 signatures. The individual comments on
the form letters are reflected in the issues and alternatives
chapters of this report. Four of the six form letters were against
reintroduction of the grizzly bears with human safety being a
big concern. A post-card generated by Alliance for the Wild Rockies
was received from 779 individuals (431 local; 100 regional; and
248 national). These postcards support the Conservation Biology
Alternative (as outlined by Mike Bader for the Alliance for the
Wild Rockies) and ask that it be incorporated into the Draft EIS.
This alternative would:
** Reintroduce grizzlies as an augmentation to the
existing population, with full status as a threatened species
under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.
** Expand recovery zone to include all of Frank Church-River
of No Return Wilderness and adjacent roadless lands (total of
15,800 square miles).
** Create linkage corridors of protected habitat
to ensure genetic exchange for population viability.
** Translocate bears only from unthreatened populations.
** Complete research on habitat types, quality and
distribution throughout expanded recovery area.
** Combine the reintroduction with active wildland
recovery efforts (road obliteration and revegetation) to restore
grizzly habitat and linkage areas.
** Establish habitat management standards including
limits on open and total road densities.
** Provide for full involvement of the independent
scientific community in all aspects of reintroduction.
Six different petitions were received containing
809 signatures. Most of the petitions were from local individuals;
however, two were generated in Colorado and California in support
of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies' form letter described above.
A summary of the petitions' major concern(s); area of the highest
percentage of signatures; and total number of signatures follows:
#31 - Oppose reintroduction; human / livestock safety & orchard / crops concerns.
Local; Ravalli & Missoula Counties.
#32 - Oppose reintroduction & request withdrawal from proposed rule making.
Local; Ravalli & Missoula Counties.
#33 - Oppose reintroduction; concerned with closing Magruder Corridor; cost to implement; and effects to humans and domestic animals.
Local; Ravalli County.
#34 - Support reintroduction & Conser-
vation Biology Alternative described in
Form Letter discussion above.
National; mostly Colorado.
#35 - Support reintroduction & Conser-
vation Biology Alternative described in
Form Letter discussion above.
National; generated in Pasadena, California.
#36 - Oppose reintroduction; feel it is
threat to life & property and will restrict
use of the area.
Local; Ravalli & Missoula Counties.
Open houses were held in July 1995 in seven different
communities. The issues and concerns from each of these gatherings
were very similar to those summarized in the Issues and Alternatives
section(s) of this report. Some of the open houses raised site-specific
concerns and those are identified below.
July 5, 1995 Grangeville, Idaho
July 5, 1995 Orofino, Idaho
1. Wait until ESA changed before proceeding further with reintroduction efforts.
2. Broad support for coalition's "citizen management committee" alternative.
3. Why was Salt Lake City chosen as a regional city for these meetings, and not Spokane or Portland?
July 6, 1995 Hamilton, Montana
1. Noxious weeds - bears transporting weeds/seeds in fur.
2. Ravalli County Commissioners are opposed to reintroduction.
3. Who is responsible if someone is killed or maimed?
4. Irrigation users maintaining wilderness dams are concerned with danger of working near bears.
5. Was economic stability of this area considered?
6. Effects to outfitters/guides businesses? + and -
7. Why was the River of No Return deleted from the recovery area?
8. Fire suppression & its role in vegetation & therefore food for the bear hasn't been addressed.
9. Don't like this format for a meeting; should break into small groups & then report back.
10. Provide rental service for bear food containers.
11. There is no compensation fund for "registered livestock".
July 6, 1995 Missoula, Montana
1. Extend the comment period to allow for extensive public participation.
2. EIS must evaluate a habitat protection plan.
3. Concerned with conflicts with landowners in lowland spring habitat. Protect bears during spring migration to lowland creeks.
July 10, 1995 Boise, Idaho
July 10, 1995 Helena, Montana
1. How many bears do we need in North Continental Divide, Yellowstone & Selway-Bitterroot Area for declassification?
2. Linkage zones between 3 areas? Do they work?
3. Is there enough food available in Selway to support healthy grizzly population?
4. Have science committee make recommendations to an Advisory Committee who advises the lead agency responsible for management.
July 11, 1995 Salt Lake City, Utah
1. People who are outdoor enthusiasts and supporters elsewhere are generally not in favor of reintroduction of grizzly into Selway-Bitterroots. Want one area in the Region without grizzlies.
CHAPTER 2 - COMMENTS ON THE ISSUES
INTRODUCTION: This section addresses each
of the issues identified in the analysis of public comments.
The issues are presented in order of the codes displayed in Appendix
A, Content Analysis Code Lists, in the original report (in
project file). The code numbers were assigned during the
analysis process as a tool for the content analysis team to categorize
comments. Selected quotes from respondents are used to provide
a flavor for the comments received on a particular issue.
100/101/102/103 - GENERAL COMMENTS ON STAGE OF PROCESS (PUBLIC
INVOLVEMENT/NEPA PROCESS/RULEMAKING, ETC.)
100 - Stage of Process.
Several respondents comment on this stage of the process as if
it was a draft environmental impact statement rather than scoping
for issues and alternatives. The comments reflect an overall
concern with the limited number of alternatives and their narrow
range, that the issues were not developed fully in the informational
brochure, and a "need"
is not clearly defined. Others note vague and contradictory facts
and information including the meaning of "experimental
how long this program will continue, numbers of bears, a missing
report and, most notably, what happens if this entire effort is
"It would be nice to have more than one viable option."
making the Draft EIS please be less vague in the information provided
so that a citizen may make informed comments. I would like to
know more about what it means to be an experimental population,
what is concerned and what will be done with the population should
this introduction be deemed a failure. I also wondered if this
program will be carried out longer than 5 years."
"In the Need and Purpose section of the Proposed Action they want to introduce 20-30 grizzly bears over a five year period, but in the alternatives their numbers are different, which ones are correct?"
pamphlet distributed by the Bitterroot EIS Team, The History of
Grizzly Bear Recovery in the BE, states that in 1986 a 'status
report concludes that a resident population of grizzly bears was
eliminated from the Selway-Bitterroot area 50 years ago'. In
my extensive research of materials relating to the Bitterroot
Grizzly I have not come across this status report.
Two new alternatives, which are discussed later in
this report, were submitted during the comment period. They are:
1. The Citizen Management Committee Alternative submitted
by a coalition of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Intermountain
Forest Industry Association (IFIA), Defenders of Wildlife (DOF),
and the Resource Organization on Timber Supply (ROOTS).
2. The Conservation Biology Alternative submitted
by Alliance for the Wild Rockies.
The Conservation Biology Alternative has already gained many supporters.
"I wholeheartedly support the plan from the 'Alliance for the Wild Rockies'."
a Conservation Biology Alternative for inclusion in the Environmental
writing in support of the conservation biology alternative in
the environmental impact statement."
Several respondents are concerned that this process
will severely restrict their traditional uses of the forest. They
feel they are receiving mixed messages on whether restrictions
will come with the bears.
"We [Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen] are skeptical when told that grizzly bears can be introduced in a manner that will not shut down the traditional uses of the forest...at a recent presentation to our club by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative, we were told that we should all be able to work together to prevent closures and other restrictions, even in problem areas. But in the bulletin...'Grizzly Bear Recovery in the Bitterroot Ecosystem - Answers to Citizens Questions', quoting a sentence on page 15, '...some road closures and/or seasonal restrictions may be necessary for grizzly bear security'."
101 - Public Involvement.
Several people commented that the public did not receive adequate
notice of the open houses, particularly "starting
time and the location."
A few commented that the open house format hindered input and
that the facilitator was biased and did not allow equal time for
notice was provided for this important hearing. Our office, and
many other interested industry groups received no written notice."
knowledge concerning your plans to reintroduce grizzly bears (at
this time) is limited to the "Missoulian"
newspaper article, titled "Return
of the Grizzly."
first public input meetings articles in the paper did not give
the time or place. A lot of working people didn't know about
it until evening when they read their paper, then it was too late
facilitator] allowed several anti-bear advocates to speak up to
four times while pro-bear advocates were waiting to speak. Dividing
the room tit-for-tat along ideological lines is not a democratic
process...People divided into small groups, limited to brief time
periods, and an agenda might have arrived at some modified assumptions
Many respondents commented that there was a need
to extend the public comment period. After the decision was made
to extend the public comment period, several respondents thanked
the agency for doing so.
note that the press release notifying the public of your plans
gives a very narrow window of response time. I suggest that you
extend that response time so that news of your proposed project
can reach more interested parties and give them time to respond."
would like to request that the comment period be extended for
30 days in order to fully research this complex issue and to contact
grizzly bear experts for their input."
The newspaper article in the Missoulian on July 7
quoting an official of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as
saying that most people who attend public hearings are "extremists".
This generated a flurry of comments from those people attending
the Hamilton open house as well as others who had read the alleged
comment in the newspaper.
when is it extreme to voice one's opinion?"
hope you will listen to the public and not assume that because
we don't share your views we are "extremists",
nor that those who don't voice opinions must share your ideas."
so-called expert....is talking through his hat when he claims
the objectors are "extremists"
and not representative of the people's voice. We haven't talked
to a single person in favor...I know you will pay no attention
to what the local residents want...and will go ahead with your
plans, but it will further lower your reputation among the residents
if you do."
A few people stated that they felt the decision for
grizzly recovery is already made and the comment period is merely
a mandatory step in the EIS process.
feel expressing my views to you folks is a waste of time. I sincerely
believe the biologists who are putting this together have already
made a decision and are merely playing more of their silly games
with the taxpayer, taxpayer dollars and federal lands. ..."
confusion exists regarding the place of public involvement in
the decision process. Do the residents really have a vote on
the final decision?"
Several local respondents feel their concerns should
have more weight than comments made by people in other parts of
the country. These local citizens feel they will be directly
impacted by reintroduction of the grizzlies into the area because
live here, our children live here, and our animals live here."
Several respondents in the Salmon, Idaho and Challis, Idaho area
felt their newspapers did not receive adequate notification for
this project. Some of these folks also felt an open house should
have been held in Salmon/Challis area rather than in Salt Lake
"To those in the urban sites...the bears are being recovered into the Wilderness, when in fact they are being introduced into our backyard."
populations and bureaucrats should not be dictating what we Western
folks have to contend with on a regular basis.
bulk of the residents are opposed but feel the decision is already
made, so why comment? Eastern money and pressure will get it done."
do you propose to introduce the grizzly into Central Idaho without
putting any information in the local papers in Lemhi or Custer
Counties in Idaho?"
A few people commented that they support involvement
of the public and would like to create a citizen's oversight committee
to review and monitor the grizzly bear plan.
plans must accommodate both the needs of the bears and human concerns.
It is important that local people are not only involved in the
current planning process but a local advisory committee should
be formed to work with State and Federal agencies."
for and elicit the full involvement of the independent scientific
community in all aspects of reintroduction."
Several respondents in favor of reintroduction do
not want the location of the reintroduced grizzly bears made available
to the public or the press. Most feel this would not only jeopardize
the bears' security and safety, but the press as well. Some local
respondents wanted the location published in order to "stay
away from those areas."
102 - Compliance with NEPA Process.
Several respondents believe the decision
has already been made, and outside of complying with the NEPA
process (National Environmental Policy Act) they see little value
in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement.
only is your plan substantively flawed, but the fact that you
essentially already have a plan in place but are only now starting
the NEPA process suggests that you're just fulfilling the letter
of the (NEPA) law, without any intention of taking public comment
103 - Rulemaking for Experimental Population
to be presented as Part of draft EIS.
No one commented on rulemaking in particular.
However, most of the comments pertaining to an experimental population
are covered in code 209.
200 - MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Management strategies were outlined briefly in the
description of the alternatives provided in the scoping brochure
for this project and the Question & Answer pamphlet. Most
respondents see a "gap"
manage the reintroduction as presented. Several specific suggestions
are covered in the sub-category writeups for this subject (codes
201-211). The comments reflected below are more general in nature.
Some new alternatives were generated from various
coalitions with numerous individuals rallying to support their
they want incorporated and analyzed in the Draft Environmental
Impact Statement. Those alternatives are described in the New
Alternatives section of the report and attached as Exhibits (see
original report in project file) so the reader can fully grasp
the intricacies of each. Overall, there was more support for
these new alternatives and their management strategies than for
those described in the scoping brochure and pamphlet.
1. Citizen Management Committee Alternative: See Exhibit 1, Letter #719 (in project file). This alternative was submitted by a coalition of the National Wildlife Federation, Intermountain Forest Industry Association (IFIA), Defenders of Wildlife, and the Resource Organization on Timber Supply (ROOTS). This proposal contains four key elements:
(A) Reintroduction of a nonessential experimental population;
(B) Citizen management (through a Citizen Management Committee);
(C) Focus on the designated wilderness areas as the core for recovery; and
(D) Minimal social and economic impacts.
2. Conservation Biology Alternative: See Exhibit 2, Letter 714 (in project file). This alternative was submitted by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. The letter points out several problems with the proposed alternative and introduces their new Conservation Biology Alternative:
(A) The "Experimental, Non-essential" Designation is not a legal alternative;
(B) Grizzly Bears would receive less protection of their habitat;
(C) The Recovery Zone is artificially small;
(D) The population recovery goal is too small;
(E) Source Bears may not be available;
(F) More alternatives need to be developed;
(G) Need a Conservation Biology Alternative.
Several people commented on what they see as appropriate
number of bears to bring in initially. Comments ranged from "ten
bears per year to 'jump start' recovery"
bears because I don't support reintroduction..."
Some people favoring the Conservation Biology Alternative question
whether the source bears would even be available from southern
B.C. due to effects on grizzlies from hunting in the area. Several
people believe a remnant population already exists in the Bitterroot
Ecosystem and this proposal would simply "augment
that remnant population".
taken from an area such as Canada, where there is an abundant
food supply, both vegetation and fish, will not survive in an
arid climate as the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area and the
Bitterroot mountains where there is a decline in the available
forage for Grizzly."
Some considerations for the draft E.I.S. were raised
with the most frequent comment being a need for more alternatives.
Still others feel habitat quality must be quantified.
was a reasonable presentation of the accepted history of the griz
in the area, but no mention of current scientific thought. The
recognized needs of a viable population were not discussed. The
known parameters of individual bears in the given variance of
habitat was not mentioned."
map the vegetation of the recovery zone including the specific
release site; and undertake the translocation project as a rigorous
scientific experiment...A system for mapping vegetation should
include vegetation classification based on plant succession...quantitative
detailed ground truthing...a standardized color code for vegetation
and terrain features...the "supervised"
approach to computerized vegetation analysis."
The major concern voiced by respondents is to translocate
bears from unthreatened populations only, as documented by scientific
data. Some were also concerned with the humane handling of bears,
with many commenting "the
bears are happy where they are so why move them!"
Some commented that contact with humans during transportation
should be minimized; only the team transporting the bears should
be allowed in contact; and media footage should be limited to
trained personnel only. Several feel the same team should accompany
the bears on their entire journey. A few commented on where the
bears should come from that will be released; most of these individuals
do not support the bears coming from Canada, but rather prefer
other areas such as Alaska.
[reintroduction] unfair to the bears. They are drugged and removed
from a familiar environment containing sufficient food sources
and transported to an unfamiliar place containing food sources
of questionable adequacy."
seems a cruel twist of fate for a program undertaken in response
to the Endangered Species Act to result in actions that capture
perfectly happy Grizzly bears, haul them to an unfamiliar area,
hang a radio collar on them, and turn them loose to see if they
can 'make it'. The bears are pawns in a social conflict and as
such are undoubtedly expendable in this game of power politics."
should be considered as a possible source for the grizzly bears
because we cannot always look to the Canadians to supply us with
species that we run out of...There are also economic reasons why
the grizzly bears should be obtained in Alaska."
Fish and Wildlife Service should carefully choose its source area
for getting bears for the reintroduction effort. Under no circumstances
should bears be removed from an area if removal would imperil
the population in that area."
Most respondents commenting on this topic feel that
if bears wander out of the wilderness boundary they should not
automatically be considered problem bears. Many feel the bears
will move where there is an adequate food source and question
whether the proposed site has enough food to keep the grizzly
contained. Several respondents do support the concept of relocating
or disposing of problem bears. Not surprisingly, people who support
relocation or killing problem bears are local residents.
bears that establish their territory outside of the wilderness
boundaries should be left undisturbed and not moved back to the
wilderness unless they are becoming "problem
do not want the Bitterroot Recovery Zone to become a mortality
sink, acting only as a killing ground for "surplus"
bears as appears to occur in the Cabinet/Yaak recovery zone."
food the bears used to survive on is now greatly depleted so the
bears will be forced to migrate toward food--namely farms and
ranches on the edge of the mountains...people will be out in force
to hunt them down and kill the remaining bears."
the USFWS insists on reintroducing grizzly bears, over the objection
of the State of Idaho, the following parameters must be included
in the recovery plan: No restrictions or qualifications should
be placed on citizens in the protection of themselves, their families,
or their property."
Several people commenting on this issue feel the
punishment for poaching should be tough and law enforcement surveillance
increased. Their suggestions include higher fines, longer imprisonment,
public humiliation, and zero tolerance for killing grizzly bears.
Others had a different viewpoint because they feel killing grizzly
bears in self-defense is acceptable as well as mistakenly killing
grizzlies during the spring black bear season. Some respondents
are unclear about the provisions of the Endangered Species Act
(or the interpretation of the Act by the courts) when a person
kills a grizzly in self-defense.
poachers kill any bears, the penalty should be tough...high fine,
imprisonment & public humiliation...put their picture in the
paper and name too."
killing of any grizzly, for whatever reason, should be cause for
felony proceedings, all agency personnel included."
administrative law judge from the Department of the Interior has
ruled that man cannot defend himself against a grizzly bear and
then later claim self-defense, IF he "intentionally
placed himself in the zone of imminent danger".
Therefore, an individual who kills a grizzly in self-defense
will still be subject to the civil penalty provisions of the Endangered
Species Act. If the above doesn't cause butterflies in your stomach,
you are not living close enough to the involved Reintroduction
an issue that has to be addressed without a person being subject
to a ridiculous fine."
conflicts with spring black bear hunting in the recovery area
should be addressed to minimize the accidental killing and harassment
Size of the Recovery Area Boundaries:
Most of the respondents commenting on
this particular issue provided their interpretation of what the
boundaries should be. A popular comment was to "allow
bear recovery on all of our public lands, not just designated
A few respondents feel 'buffer zones' of adjacent roadless areas
which are not (yet) designated wilderness need to be included
in the boundaries. Numerous folks feel the area should be expanded
to include the "Frank
Church River of No Return Wilderness"
and another frequent suggestion was "lands
north of the Lochsa River (Highway 12)".
A few people, on the other hand, feel the boundary
needs to be restricted to only wilderness area boundaries. Several
people who do not favor grizzly reintroduction take exception
with the area boundaries, particularly around the Bitterroot valley.
Many site the difference in terrain between the Bitterroots and
the Bob Marshall or Yellowstone.
in E.I.S.: Recovery area within the wilderness area only."
western slopes of the Bitterroot are very steep, rocky and full
of brush and blowdowns, not the wide trails and vistas of the
Bob Marshall. You encounter a grizzly on these trails, and there
is no where for you to go and the bear knows it."
have lived in the Bitterroot for 36 years...The terrain in the
mountains here is different than the Bob Marshall or Yellowstone
areas. Meeting a grizzly on these trails would be a no-win situation...These
canyons leave little room for people and bears to by-pass each
other without incident."
Numerous respondents take the opinion that grizzlies
should be left where they are but not purposely reintroduced anywhere.
They feel "there
are plenty of grizzlies in the Yellowstone Area, the Glacier area,
the Canadian and Alaskan mountains"
and they like the idea of having one place they can go that does
not have grizzly bears. Several respondents provide creative
places to reintroduce grizzlies such as Washington, D.C.; numerous
cities in California; Central Park, etc. Emotions run high and
there are strong feelings on not having grizzly bears, particularly
from folks in the Bitterroot valley.
these flower sniffing environmentalists...are so infatuated with
saving these predators, then take them and your selves and go
back to East L.A. California or whichever rat hole place you come
from and transplant them there because we sure as hell don't want
you or need you, your Grizzly Bears and/or wolves in Montana...I
am speaking as a Native American, Native Montanan and as a fourth
generation Native Bitterrooter and damn proud of it."
A local form letter included the following statement
grizzly bears belong in the Wilderness areas--NOT in the People
areas of our National Forest!"
Positive Comments on the Boundaries:
Not all comments were critical of the boundaries for the reintroduction.
A few people said they thought the proposal was a good one.
A few said, "The
Bitterroot seems to be an obvious link between grizzly populations
in Canada and the southern Rockies".
Another respondent supports the concept by saying:
have spent a lot of time in the Bitterroots and there are few
places left that would suit the Grizzly bear better than the Bitterroot
Confusion on the Boundaries:
Several respondents were confused and/or misled on what the boundaries
are and would like to have that clarified in the Draft E.l.S.
The most frequent comment was "the
public is being misled when your publications state that the introduction
will be in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, when in reality the
boundaries encompass vastly larger areas of the National Forests."
is confusion when the project materials are reviewed re the biogeography
(maps of the various areas associated with the plan). The original
range of grizzly bears is shown on a map, but we can't assume
anything about local distributions, densities and seasonal movements
of grizzlies within those range distributions. Also, the shading
on several versions of the maps provided suggests the Bitterroot
Ecosystem (BE) extends from south of Boise, ID, to somewhere north
of Coeur d'Alene, ID & NE of Missoula, MT...collectively the
boundaries of several R1 national forests in MT & ID. The
size (sq miles) of the BE isn't given (100 miles X 200 miles =
20,000 sq. miles)? But our attention is then focused away from
the very large BE area, to the smaller 5500 sq mile "Grizzly
Bear Evaluation Area"
which includes all of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, a large
piece of the Clearwater Forest and northern end of the Frank Church-RNR
Wilderness...Is the 20,000 sq mile BE area the target of the eventual
200+ grizzly bears, or is it the smaller 5500 sq mile area that's
going to support the 200 bears?"
map in the paper shows the recovery area ending at the Salmon
River on the south but your accelerated reintroduction plan says
you want to place them to the south end of the River of No Return
Wilderness. That includes another 100 miles south of the area
on your map. Why didn't you show that on your map in the paper?
It seems like you don't want the public to be aware of what you
are doing and the total area impacted."
Sufficient Critical Feeding Habitat:
Of primary concern to several respondents is inclusion of sufficient
low-elevation spring and fall feeding habitat. They feel enough
habitat must be identified and included to insure the bears' survival
during years when the bears' food sources might fail.
of the boundaries of the reintroduction zone must include sufficient
critical feeding habitat for a viable population, including the
examination of lands north of the Lochsa River."
grizzly populations grow, they must be allowed to expand their
range into relatively low elevations. We have to get away from
the idea that grizzly bears can only live in the mountains."
A few people commented on the length of time recovery
would take with those who favor grizzly bear reintroduction preferring
the accelerated basis and those who do not want grizzly bears
reintroduced preferring "no
Several people wrote that while they support grizzly bears, they
feel that the bears should come into an area on their own or 'let
nature take its course' and do not agree with artificially reintroducing
the grizzlies into an area.
A modest number of respondents (less than 10) point
fingers at other interests claiming they are waging undue influence
in the process. Some claim the "environmentalists"
are trying to "lock
the woods to multiple-use by supporting reintroduction efforts.
On the other side, there are claims that the "timber
is unduly influencing the process by restricting the boundary
area to designated wilderness only.
appears the agencies have and are buckling under to timber industry
pressure to restrict grizzly habitat to designated wilderness
believe this is a...transparent attempt by the federal government
to gain more and more control over our lands and the activities
on them - i.e. now that we have a few bears in the woods in central
Idaho, we need to stop all logging so the bears will multiply
The most popular comment on this issue was to solicit
peer review during all aspects of reintroduction from the independent
for and elicit the full involvement of the independent scientific
community in all aspects of reintroduction".
members of the scientific community needs to be an integral part
of the recovery team and...offered the opportunity to bid on various
aspects of the project...It would help to insure objectivity and
lend credibility to both research and management results. Develop
and apply new management and monitoring techniques that are more
precise and less intrusive on the populations than current ones."
One person commented that the problem with documenting
the presence of grizzly bears in the Bitterroot Ecosystem comes
with the criteria for judging reported observations.
to current criteria "only
are able to confirm observations. The idea that only a "trained
can differentiate between a grizzly bear and a black bear is ludicrous...The
current system for evaluating reported observations should be
redesigned to more accurately reflect the ability of today's more
sophisticated back country users."
A significant number of people commented specifically
on the experimental/nonessential designation proposed for alternative
2. There are as many respondents opposed to this classification
as in support of it.
Supporters of the designation say it will provide
more flexibility in management options and will win more local
support for bear recovery.
register my support for reintroduction of the grizzlies as an
experimental population. It is my belief that this option will
restore bears effectively and has the greatest potential for winning
support the experimental, non-essential proposal that you have
made because I believe that it will allow economic consideration
in the region ...throughout the restoration process. It is critical
to gain local support in order for the restoration to succeed."
[Resource Organization on Timber Supply] supports reintroduction
of an experimental, non-essential population under section 10(j)
of the Endangered Species Act, the purpose of this section is
to help accelerate recovery of a species in the wild but without
all the consultation requirements of a natural population. In
addition, this section promotes local acceptance of experimental
populations because of it allows greater management flexibility."
support nonessential experimental designation because this option
ensures maximum flexibility for reintroducing and managing grizzly
bears in the Bitterroot ecosystem. Under this designation, innovation
is fostered and social and economic impacts can be minimized."
Those who are opposed say that designating the grizzly
bears as experimental and nonessential would be in direct violation
of Section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. They feel this
would be contrary to the purpose of the ESA since this designation
reduces the level of protection to the grizzly by treating it
as a "proposed
under Section 7 (because the recovery area is outside a national
park or wildlife refuge). Several respondents feel if the bears
are reintroduced they should be fully protected under the Endangered
Species Act. The point is also raised that there are reports
that grizzlies are already in the area, "so
the non-essential experimental provision under ESA should be abandoned."
I am a strong supporter of immediate reintroduction, I oppose
status. The bears should retain full ESA protection given that
natural migration is also occurring."
designation is not a legal alternative: Reports of grizzly bears
are still received from the proposed recovery region. Reliable
sources including grizzly bear researchers, believe a small population
of grizzly bears still remain in this region. Thus, the...designation
would not be legal under section 10(j) of the ESA, which specifies
that experimental populations must be wholly separate, both geographically
and biologically, from other populations. According to the Fish
and Wildlife Service's own maps, the Bitterroot area is less than
40 miles from an established grizzly bear population in the Cabinet
think that viable linkages may exist between the Selway/Bitterroot,
the GYE and the NCDE, making application of 10(j) inappropriate.
The occasional sightings reported in scoping may be indicative
of these linkages. Protections given species proposed for listing
have proven ineffective. We do not think an expensive recovery
effort should be jeopardized in this way. The inability to designate
critical habitat would only threaten recovery objectives even
Some individuals feel the experimental designation
is premature and potentially harmful to grizzly bear recovery
because it is not supported by enough research. Some respondents
feel more extensive monitoring is needed in the recovery area
before the grizzly is given an experimental or nonessential designation.
Two respondents support the consultation requirements
under Section 7 of the ESA and feel it should remain in place
for activities with potential effects on roadless and other habitat
needed for full recovery.
Most respondents commenting on habitat protection
requirements feel habitat should either be protected throughout
the entire range or only within wilderness boundaries. Those
who support reintroduction efforts prefer the entire recovery
area and those who do not want grizzly bears in the area prefer
that requirements do not occur at all or only in the wilderness.
This latter group sees requirements for habitat protection as
interfering with other uses of the forest, i.e. logging, building
roads, access, etc.
protection in the Greater Salmon-Selway ecosystem must be a priority
for your agency if this reintroduction is to be more than a manipulation
of a small population of grizzly bears in a too small recovery
zone...We need complete protection, including Wilderness designation
for all roadless Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
lands...including recovery of lands within the ecosystem back
to wilderness condition."
Some individuals provide specific examples of what
they would like to see included as habitat protection requirements.
habitat recovery efforts in and around the recovery area to facilitate
exchange of bears with populations in the Cabinet and Selkirk
areas. Active wildland recovery efforts to restore grizzly habitat
and linkage areas shall consist of extensive road obliteration
spring habitat must receive special attention."
bears need security from roads and motorized recreation. Logging
activities should be minimized."
individual expresses a distrust that Forest Plans provide adequate
current proposal would rely on Forest Plan management...court
rulings have shown that the Forest Plans in this region do not
provide adequate habitat protection for grizzly bears."
A large number of respondents expressed the need
for a local citizens management committee or local advisory committee.
Several stated that management should remain with the USFWS,
States and Tribes.
Develop Citizens Management Committee
would recommend that local grizzly management concerns be addressed
through a local advisory committee comprised of a broad cross
section of interests. Overall and day-to-day management responsibilities
should reside with the USFWS, the states and the tribes."
"We are adamant in insisting that a citizens management committee be established and that authority for citizen involvement not be downgraded to an advisory status. This provision is absolutely key in gaining local support for a reintroduction plan."
local working group should be established to develop a set of
concerns with grizzly bear reintroduction."
Numerous individuals signing a petition request that
reintroduction be withdrawn from proposed rule making. Several
individuals, after seeing the coalition of the Citizen Management
Committee, wrote that they were opposed to that groups' proposal
to form a citizen management committee.
There were numerous comments regarding who should
have jurisdiction over management of the grizzly. While several
respondents support local citizen involvement, they also stated
that overall day-to-day bear management responsibilities should
reside with the USFWS.
and day-to-day bear management responsibilities should reside
with the USFWS, the state wildlife agencies, and the tribes. T
he grizzly bear recovery program is, ultimately, a responsibility
of the federal government, not of the states."
grizzly management concerns would be addressed through a local
advisory committee comprised of scientists and others interested
in the Bears recovery (not by local county commissioners or logging
bear management responsibilities should be shared by a wide range
of interests including local, state and tribal governments with
the US Fish & Wildlife Service maintaining a predominant role."
panel of scientists, biologists and ecologists, should have overall
authority within the recovery effort. The 'political' or 'public'
steering committee should act as an advisory body. This would
allow the primary mission of grizzly bear recovery to drive the
process while retaining the perspective of public concerns."
elected officials should not have management authority over the
reintroduced grizzly bears! County, tribal and soil conservation
district governments usually have no motivation or expertise in
grizzly bear or grizzly bear habitat management and research..."
One of the overriding reasons respondents oppose
the reintroduction is fear that doing so would bring additional
closures to access in the area. Most of these comments came from
local residents who enjoy the amenities of the backcountry and
feel that reintroduction of grizzly bears will effect them directly.
Several feel this is just another way to 'lock up' forests to
recreational use. They feel areas will be closed to protect the
people as well as the bears and traditional uses of the area will
discontinue. Several respondents are concerned with the possible
closure of the Magruder Corridor. Others who fear access restrictions
say they favor the "no
I look at the areas of the reintroduction the thoughts of area
closures come to mind. Every year that new closure maps are published
there are more road closures, trail closures (to motorized vehicles
including trail bikes) and less access by outdoors enthusiasts.
If this slow but steady closure program is continuing without
reintroduction of the grizzly bear, it is only natural that most
of these areas will be closed to human access as the bear is introduced
and expands its range."
aside such a huge amount of land as a recovery zone for grizzly
bears is unbelievable to us. Our lands to hunt and fish on are
already being more limited each year by more roads being blocked
grizzlies is like putting a "closed
sign on the entire area."
[Bitterroot Back Country Horsemen] are skeptical when told that
grizzly bears can be introduced in a manner that will not shut
down the traditional uses of the forest...at a recent presentation
to our club by a USFWS representative we were told that we should
all be able to work together to prevent closures and other restrictions,
even in problem areas. But in the Bulletin... "Grizzly
Bear Recovery in the Bitterroot Ecosystem - Answers to Citizens
quoting a sentence on page 15, "...some
road closures and/or seasonal restrictions may be necessary for
grizzly bear security."
This somewhat contradictory view illustrates our point -- the
restrictions will come with the bears, whether planned by the
[agency] or not, and these restrictions will get worse over time."
bears moving into an outfitter's area of operations or near permitted
camp sites will have the priority use and all human activity will
A few respondents feel restrictions are necessary
to protect the grizzly bear and to protect the habitat.
am in favor of preserving large tracts of intact, unlogged and
unroaded ecosystems; if the bears are the only way to achieve
that goal, then I am in favor of the bears."
would much rather have a few grizzlies roaming around than dozens
of logging trucks, road graders and other heavy machinery tearing
at the earth."
am willing to sacrifice some backcountry areas, closing them if
needed, to provide protection for the bears. I am an avid hunter
and backpacker, and I feel that the introduction of grizzlies
is a good thing."
A few respondents expressed concern that they did
not have the right to protect their private property from the
grizzly bear. They felt they should have a legal option of killing
a bear in defense of life or property. They point out that the
burden of regulations to property owners will be "oppressive".
private property rights on our permanent easements on our irrigation
dams will be violated by this introduction. We feel recovery
zones will bring bear protection regulations which will also endanger
our property rights."
Farm Bureau Federation] has serious concerns about the impact
these animals will have on the agricultural/ranching industry."
the USFWS insists on reintroducing grizzly bears, over the objection
of the State of Idaho, the following parameters must be included
in the recovery plan: There must be no additional federal limits
placed on the use of public or private lands outside the boundary
of the Reintroduction Zone."
booklet on page 13 says grizzly bears cannot be killed by members
of the PUBLIC IN DEFENSE OF PROPERTY. This alone is reason enough
to say NO NO NO to the reintroduction of the grizzly bear...when
the laws or rules say we cannot protect our properties, this is
going far too far."
A great number of respondents believe the bear must
be reintroduced under the Endangered Species Act. These people
want the grizzly bear fully protected under the ESA and feel any
attempt to do otherwise is against the law. They believe the
experimental nonessential designation would not ensure the safety
of the bears being introduced into the area nor the safety of
any bears that might already be there. However, a few respondents
felt the experimental nonessential designation would give needed
flexibility (Refer to other comment on issue 209).
Many respondents feel the grizzly bear is not an
endangered species due to the numbers that already exist in other
areas. Some feel the ESA should be abolished, particularly those
who favor the "no
is time we stopped merely paying lip service to the idea of species
protection and preservation and started actually accomplishing
the goal of protecting our natural heritage."
believe that full protection of individual bears under the Endangered
Species Act (ESA) listing provision be awarded relocated bears.
Livestock are not common in the Bitterroot so the need for nonessential
experimental population status seems questionable. I firmly believe
that consultation requirements under Section 7 of the ESA should
remain in place for activities with potential effects on roadless
and other habitat needed for full recovery."
females may take up to 10 years or more to replace herself with
a daughter of breeding capabilities. This is if the Mother bear
has a daughter in her first litter. I recommend fully protecting
the grizzly under the Endangered Species Act for at least 15-20
years, so there will be a guarantee of established breeding females
to replenish grizzly populations."
artificial introduction of grizzlies creates inevitable and numerous
conflicts between humans and bears. An unintended effect of this
will be to actually erode public support for the Endangered Species
is wrong for us to treat the grizzly bear as if it were an endangered
species. There are thousands of them living in Canada and Alaska.
The fact that there are relatively few in the lower 48 states
does not concern me one bit."
have observed that animal rights groups and wilderness special
interest groups use the Endangered Species Act to push their own
goals of restricting and denying traditional forest uses as; Forestry,
grazing, water use, hunting, fishing and recreation. Citing exaggerated
threats to certain species of wildlife."
support the 'No Action' alternative which would allow Grizzly
Bears to populate whatever portions of the public lands they choose...the
Grizzly Bear is officially categorized as 'Threatened', the Grizzly
is in actuality, neither 'threatened' or 'endangered'. They thrive
very nicely in a variety of habitats. In fact, in Montana, grizzly
management by the State Dept. Fish, Wildlife and Parks maintained
a sizable Grizzly population without undue disruption of other
activities, and some hunting was allowed."
have seen no compelling evidence that suggests the reintroduction
of grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot area of Idaho and Montana
is essential to the survival of the species. In fact, the grizzly
bears have done so well in the Yellowstone area that there is
a movement to have the Yellowstone population de-listed."
frustration (with grizzly reintroduction) stems from the unreasonable
and irresponsible manner the USFWS has exhibited in handling grizzly
bear recovery efforts in other portions of the state. Grizzly
bear populations have been meeting and exceeding population parameters
in both the Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park
Ecosystems for many years. Yet as grizzly populations reach these
recovery goals, the USFWS continues to ignore the possibility
of relaxing regulations that restrict activities in these areas.
Instead, as old goals are met and exceeded, the agency develops
new standards for the population to meet."
The only comment received on this issue was that
there appeared to be a "decision"
made by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee on reintroduction
so why waste time having public involvement and going thorough
the NEPA process on it now.
No one responded to this particular issue; however, the concerns for state or private bear management are covered in issue 301.
Two respondents commented on compliance with Forest
Plans. One was critical of Forest Plans and whether they do an
adequate job of protecting biological corridors and habitat; the
other comment raised by the Citizen Management Committee referred
to using the existing standards and guidelines of the Forest Plans
unless deemed otherwise.
remain unconvinced that current Forest Plan directions are sufficient
to protect biological corridors for the long-term proliferation
of the bear. All the available habitat must be linked in a system
of biological corridors such as proposed by the Northern Rockies
Ecosystem Protection Act."
Management Committee] Initial Standards & Guidelines: Existing
forest plan standards and guidelines for current wildlife management
will be deemed adequate unless the Committee determines otherwise."
Although numerous respondents spoke to wilderness
in other issues, the Act itself was only referred to in the following
to Forest Service interpretation of the Wilderness Act, all animals,
plants, trees, fish, etc. in Wilderness Areas are to be left to
nature. How can they reintroduce grizzles in Wilderness since
they have been gone long before the Wilderness Act was passed
A majority of respondents in favor of reintroduction
feel the grizzly is a necessary component of the ecosystem that
is now missing. Some people, however, feel the ecosystem has
evolved with the absence of the grizzly, and that its return would
upset the existing ecology. Quite a few people mention there
is a lack of food supply particularly grasses and forbes, berries,
pine nuts, and that there is a lack of anadromous fish. Red cedar
is the indicator species for moisture; this suggests that the
Bitterroot is somewhat drought. Many feel it is necessary to
restore good habitat conditions before reintroducing grizzlies.
If the Bitterroot provided suitable habitat, the bears would
be there already.
productivity of the area is on a downward trend because of the
encroachment of noxious weeds, especially spotted knapweed and
sulphur cinquefoil. Grizzly bears will likely contribute to the
problem of further reducing vegetational diversity because of
grizzlies to the Selway-Bitterroot is necessary to the survival
of the bear in the lower 48 states."
taking happy bears from Canada and putting them into a new environment
in Idaho we do a great disservice to the bears."
are proposing to take bears from healthy ecosystems and dump them
in an area where they are sure to have an uncertain future. Already
salmon, cutthroat trout, bull trout and whitebark pine in the
Selway Bitterroot ecosystem are on the verge of disappearing.
All were forage species for the great bear...The number one priority
should be to reestablish the natural diversity that existed prior
to the grizzlies' elimination."
really want to see grizzlies remain in the Northern Rockies forever.
Establishing a third population would help a lot to meet this
goal, and the Selway-Bitterroot is about the only undisturbed
large area left."
support the reintroduction for the following reasons: increased
habitat for grizzly bears, increased biodiversity and increased
population of an endangered species."
A few people commented that reintroduction should
be guided by biological factors.
Conservation Biology Alternative that has been suggested by the
Alliance for the Wild Rockies is most consistent with this crucial
approach, and must be evaluated."
would like to see an alternative developed that would restore
the land in grizzly bear management units to a condition usable
Many people feel the grizzly bear embodies the "wild"
in wilderness. Several people stated that the survival of the
grizzly indicated a healthy ecosystem for all species, including
human. One person felt bears are necessary for human health research
in prevention of osteoporosis and heart disease, etc.*
denning, bears do not lose bone mass. Bears are unique in the
animal kingdom in this regard. No other animal exhibits this
phenomenon nor can any other animal system be manipulated to behave
in this manner. I am currently in pursuit of the substance made
by bears which prevents osteoporosis."
Bears do not develop heart disease despite the fact that they
have very high serum cholesterol levels. ... Serum from bears
is highly nutritive for cells growing in tissue culture. Bears
are able to handle urinary wastes for five months without urinating.
...Bears have very powerful immune systems. ... Bears secrete
a bile acid which has proven useful in the treatment of gall stones.
It is therefore of utmost importance to human medicine and medical
science that strong efforts are made to preserve ursine genetic
biodiversity in order to provide material from which to do scientific
Several people felt that we should leave nature alone;
adding grizzlies constitutes change. Let nature take its course.
Several people thought habitat needs improving before reintroducing
bears. They suggest resuming the anadromous fish runs, return
fire into the ecosystem, and improve vegetation food supply. Some
commented that it is necessary to restore nature's imbalance.
"It will restore a vital missing link to Idaho's wilderness and probably secure the existence of the "great bear" in the lower 48 states."
bears...are a part of the natural world and I want to know they
have suitable habitat. Also that they have a better chance of
survival because they have a corridor for dispersal and biological
or genetic diversity."
grizzly bear is an indicator species that shows how the ecosystem
it lives in, is coping. The grizzly, being a top predator of
the food chain, needs to thrive in a wilderness habitat (where
there are no roads)."
ecosystem balance needs the grizzly more than it needs further
grizzly is the quintessential symbol of the wild, and belongs
in the Wilderness. The bear's reintroduction into the Selway-Bitterroot
area would help restore the delicate balance of nature that existed
before hunting had such devastating effects on the species."
grizzly bear should be returned to the Bitterroot Ecosystem.
The grizzly bear adds natural diversity to land systems."
the bears are doing so well where they are, leave them there.
If the bear wants to come to the lower 48 let them do it naturally
on their own."
Several people felt the key to developing a secure
grizzly population south of Canada lies in recovering more of
the bear's historic range and increasing bear numbers. Some people
felt that (a few) grizzlies already exist. Many people questioned
that grizzlies were ever in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area
because the habitat is not good and historical records don't support
mention of grizzly in the Bitterroot Valley in the Lewis and Clark
diaries. It appears grizzlies were primarily in the plains, along
the rivers and following buffalo herds."
grizzly bear once roamed throughout the area. Lewis & Clark
commented in their journals that they had killed eight grizzlies
around what is now Kamiah."
don't believe man had anything to do with the grizzly disappearing
from these areas...I don't think there ever was a small population
in the two areas."
Many people favoring reintroduction felt that the rate of reintroduction should be increased and that the population recovery goal is too low. Some feel the goals of recovery should be set before placing any bears. Some people stated that grizzlies are no longer in danger of becoming extinct and that there is no documented proof of grizzly bears in the Clearwater drainage area. A few people stated that bears are a nuisance on the Rocky Mtn. front and "no one is doing anything about it". Some said it is not necessary to place bears in SBW to maintain a population. A few stated that a lack of grizzly sightings in Bitterroot Ecosystem indicates a lack of use.
years ago the Montana Fish and Game Dept. offered to give surplus
grizzly bears to the fish & game departments of all lower
48 states, Canada, and Alaska. In those unenlightened times we
imagined that there were too many grizzlies in Montana."
CMC will determine a final recovery goal when sufficient information
on the experimental grizzly bear population is available."
Harris & Metzgar (1991) showed that a minimum viable population
of grizzly bears is between 1,670-2,000 bears, much higher than
the current recovery plan considers."
population of 280 bears seems too small to be a viable population
especially if their population is isolated."
Many people felt that travel corridors between ecosystems
must be identified, established and maintained. Corridors would
allow genetic intermingling and they are critical for long-term
survival of the grizzly bear. Corridors are essential to link
isolated populations of grizzlies for dispersal and biological
or genetic diversity.
Comments on designated area:
assume grizzlies would remain within designated area is wrong
include lands north of the Lochsa River (critical low-elevation
realistic to establish corridors for natural recolonization."
bears isn't the answer--create corridors and preserve wilderness
for unrestricted passage for bears to relocate themselves."
order to provide for genetic interchange and to improve security
for migrating grizzly bears there should be road closures and
reclamation along possible travel corridors. Likely locations
include Allan Mountain/Anderson Mountain, the Pioneer Ranges,
and the Sapphire Range."
recolonization won't work as bears don't range far into new areas."
has lost too much ground to aimless and thoughtless development."
potential corridors with GIS technology."
between ecosystems are not realistic any more. More feasible
to relocate new bears into Yellowstone to maintain vitality."
"Any activity within corridors must be approved by USFWS and Nez Perce Tribe."
expand recovery zone to include Frank Church-River of No Return
alternative by Selway-Salmon Grizzly Coalition."
corridors that would allow bears to intermingle with neighboring
grizzly populations in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental
Divide Ecosystems must be designated and protected. Logging and
road construction are slowly eliminating such corridors."
One person said sufficient corridors exist.
Many people stated the necessity to keep the recovery
area off-limits to road building and logging.
roadless areas should be designated as protected grizzly habitat,
off limits to road building and logging."
are bears who have already wandered down, so don't stop them from
doing so by building more roads or fencing more land."
of Forest Service to close roads to protect habitat is responsible
for loss of species because of harassment, poaching and safety."
your bureaucracy has energy and money to burn---concentrate on
protecting the habitat near the Bob Marshall and Yellowstone ecosystems:
limit the logging and mining by buying the private lands/and or
otherwise curtail the habitat reducing qualities of these activities.
And stop building roads near these areas!"
closure of the Magruder Corridor road is necessary for a serious
reintroduction of grizzly."
ORV use, including snowmobiles. Many structures have been built
in crucial bear habitat. Removal of structures with rehabilitation
of sites and a ban on construction of any new facilities is necessary."
of Salmon River to motorboats is essential as well as elimination
of airstrips in wilderness."
of logging to seasonal small post and pole cuts and firewood sales
should be limited to along major arterial roads outside of designated
withdrawal of mineral or energy entry in Salmon-Selway Ecosystem."
"No rodent or predator poisoning in ecosystem."
Many respondents provided suggestions for restructuring
logging and logging practices including following:
toward selective cuts."
non-motorized logging and then eliminate logging roads."
closed to bears should include ATV & motor bikes."
helicopter logging or other such lower impact methods should be
the preferred method in the recovery area."
obliteration and revegetation must always be encouraged in grizzly
Several respondents feel the area won't support bears
for reasons including the Columbia dams have blocked fish migration
and fire suppression has altered the habitat/vegetation.
Many responded that recovery of the grizzly is dependent
on habitat corridors connecting bear populations. Many believe
current populations are not adequate to sustain the species due
to isolation and limited numbers. Several people believe that
reintroducing bears to the Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem could begin
to link existing isolated bear populations in northwest Montana
and Yellowstone National Park.
agency needs to recommend reintroduction or augmentation with
protection of biological corridors for interbreeding populations
and general dispersal in the following areas: Cabinet-Yaak (Montana/Idaho),
Gila-Blue Range-Aldo Leopold (New Mexico/Arizona), South San Juan-Weminuche
(Colorado), High Uintas (Utah), Hells Canyon (Idaho/Oregon), North
Cascades-Kettle Range (Washington), Sisklyous-Marble Mountains-Kalmiopsis
key to developing a secure grizzly population south of Canada
lies in recovering more of the bear's historic range and increasing
bear numbers. This could link grizzly populations in Yellowstone
areas of wild habitat connected by biological corridors is probably
the most critical issue in grizzly bear recovery."
One person stated that "to
isolate Bitterroot Recovery...is politics, not science."
Another stated that the Bitterroot is no longer an
"...the Bitterroot area is a fragment of a former wild ecosystem, and is no longer an intact, whole ecosystem....western Montana is now a human settlement....It is therefore not going to be prudent -- or realistic -- to regard the eventual recovery of the grizzly in the Bitterroot as something that can be done...without also achieving recovery in related areas, or without planning for the corridors..that still connect the related areas."
Numerous people responded that the recovery of the
threatened grizzly bear is dependent on habitat corridors connecting
bear populations. Corridor linkage is critical and necessary
for genetic viability.
allow for genetic intermingling of bears in the Greater Yellowstone
and Northern Continental Divide Ecosystems, travel corridors must
be addressed and designated."
experimental population plan would allow isolated grizzly populations
to be connected, improving genetic heath..."
must realize that inbreeding can be just as much a danger to bears
as any other creature."
linkage zones should be studied and established so that gene pools
can remain healthy."
need to intermingle genetically with other populations so viable
travel corridors must be protected."
Several people stated there is an inadequate food
source for the grizzly bear in the area.
truly do not believe there is food source enough for the bears
to stay in the unpopulated mountains."
in the Bitterroot a bear could eat all the berries in one day."
feel the lack of feed has a lot to do with the lack of game."
lack of food because the salmon quit running...dryness of the
area, isn't good black bear habitat."
A great number of people commented on the importance
and necessity of roadless areas for adequate grizzly bear habitat.
Many feel road density standards need to be enforced. Several
people stated the importance of closing roads to all motor vehicles
to curtail use.
human caused morality, the greatest threat to reintroduction success
is the slow destruction of secure habitat. Road density standards
must be adopted."
densities must be reduced to protect the bears..."
road density standards, necessary for the grizzly's habitat security,
must be adopted and rigorously enforced."
"Habitat security must be a high priority through the implementation of road density standards."
as many roads in the habitat as possible...Prohibit big clearcuts
and limit mineral exploration and development. Keep black bear
hunters out of grizzly habitat."
bears need habitat security, particularly from roads and motorized
created by logging activities and road building must be minimized."
for security include protection from mortalities, quality habitat
remote from human activities and adequate food resources."
protection, including limits on road densities should be an integral
part of the plan."
Several commented on the need for critical low elevation
spring bear habitat.
spring low-elevation habitat should receive attention and protection."
Many people were concerned about the effects the
grizzly bear would have on various aspects as identified in the
categories that follow. The number one concern is the effect
the bear might have on human health and safety. This issue is
raised the most by the local residents who live adjacent to the
proposed area for reintroduction. Many people feel a direct threat
from the prospect of having grizzly bears introduced into their
back yards, and some of those folks feel that people are more
important than the grizzly bear. Some raise the issue of who
will be responsible for bear-human conflicts - that is not clear
in the scoping information.
grizzlies in the area would create many bear to human or bear
to livestock conflicts."
the people with glorified ideas about grizzlies want to make laws
to increase their numbers in Idaho they should live here, walk
these trails in the back country, camp in a tent, and try to raise
livestock in a bear-infested environment. The black bears are
last thing humans or grizzlies need is a bunch of hungry bears
descending from the mountains in search of food."
The supporters of the Citizen Management Committee
Alternative (See Exhibit 1 of original report in project file)
point to the clause that identifies who will be responsible for
Management Committee] Initial Standards & Guidelines: The
Committee will be responsible for determination of appropriate
responses to grizzly bear and human encounters, livestock depredations,
and other conflicts arising from the reintroduction and recovery
of grizzly bears within or in the immediate vicinity of the Experimental
Numerous people responded that they feel the grizzly
bear poses problems with human safety. Safety is a very volatile
issue with many respondents speaking from the heart with anger
and emotional pleas concerning the danger they see for themselves
and their family. Several say to "put
human safety first".
Many people speak of relaxing, enjoyable trips taken into the
area and how the grizzly bear would change that to one of fear.
Some refer to the problems with grizzly bears in other areas
such as Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
living grizzlies is not worth one innocent person's death (especially
if I'm the victim)."
the past it has been very relaxing and enjoyable to hike and not
have to worry about the dangers of the grizzly."
Bitterroot Mountains are one of the few areas in Montana where
people can hike and camp without grizzly bears...We need some
places that we can go to enjoy the outdoors without having to
deal with grizzly bears."
ago we would take pack horses and ride into the Bitterroots to
hunt elk. We slept in the open and picketed the horses in the
meadows without fear of interruptions. With the introduction
of the grizzly, all of this would be lost. We would have another
Glacier Park problem."
the reintroduction of grizzly bears you will create a situation
where people go into the hills of Idaho for recreation armed against
bears. There are already enough armed people in the hills."
can assure you that I will not allow one of these animals to attack
me, my family or my livestock...I'll shoot the bastard."
have two children and spend a lot of time in the woods and own
property in the wilderness. I don't want to have to worry about
my kids being attacked or killed by a grizzly."
already contend with black bears and mountain lions coming out
of the wilderness area why add grizzlies to the list. Why take
the risk of many human injuries in the years to come for ecology
hike in these mountains because this area is safer than other
wilderness areas. People who spend a lot of time in grizzly country
respect the danger and do carry guns. They know this is illegal,
but are willing to risk a fine when protecting one's life."
say the bears run away when they hear humans coming; let me point
out that most trails are along creeks and they cannot hear you
are...like a terrorist. He does not strike many times but you
constantly have to be on guard for him."
live in Lemhi County and do not want the grizzly moved into this
area. I don't want to have to pack a gun every time I go out
side. I do not want the grizzly tearing down my fence to get
to my garden and orchard. I have enough problems with the black
bear but I don't live in fear."
own and operate a family guide service over 65 years. We have
taken thousands of people into the back country and would like
to continue. This may not be possible with the introduction of
the grizzly bear."
do not scare so easily - if at all. These bears would be too
close to our homes and families to be a safe situation. Please
do not place these aggressive animals so near to what is dear
to me, my family."
no grizzly bears in the Bitterroot mountains! We have the last
cabin before you go into the wilderness at Sula and it is our
bit of heaven under the Big Sky."
Only a few people stated that human safety was not
a concern; most of those commented on educating the public and
that the issue is exaggerated out of proportion.
hike and camp in the Bitterroot and would not mind taking extra
precautions to avoid grizzly bears. Everyone who hikes in Glacier
Park has learned to hike in groups, make noise, and handle their
food. People who visit the Bitterroot could learn the same things."
a hiker whines about fear of bears and the need for safer trails,
I say we need more bears. Preferably hungry ones."
is an increasing population of humans, not wildlife which causes
the greatest challenges for local government by placing heightened
demands on services from law enforcement, health, social service,
and fire agencies."
twenty years of backpacking in Montana wilderness inhabited by
grizzlies, I've yet to see or have my camp raided by one."
there will be an increased risk of human-bear confrontations.
Most problems arise because of some foolish behavior by the humans.
Grizzly bears are one of the most impressive creatures on this
earth, but they should be respected not feared needlessly."
read that there has been no recorded grizzly attacks on a group
of 5 or more. If people were responsible with their food; it
wouldn't attract bears into camp."
Several people expressed their concern regarding loss of livestock and pets to the grizzly. They feel it is probable that the grizzlies will supplement their diets with domestic livestock and domestic pets. Some stated their concerns for the cattle ranchers and said that compensation for livestock lost should be part of the plan.
bears do indeed come down out of the mountains and attack livestock:
cattle, sheep, hogs and even domestic pets."
ranchers have a tough enough time making ends meet and making
potential danger to humans and livestock in this populated area
would be very high if these animals are reintroduced to the Selway
Bitterroot Wilderness area. In the early fall we would have to
deal with bear problems in our orchards and crops."
am also a stock grower I'd hate to raise my calves for grizzly
Several commented that the grizzly wasn't a threat
to livestock. The rightful place for the grizzly is in the wilderness
and public land should not be just for the ranchers to graze their
of cattle ranchers can be adequately addressed and appropriate
compensation should be part of any plan."
I am a rancher, raising cattle and sheep over the
past twenty years in the Greater Yellowstone area. I realize that
on occasion the grizzly can become a threat to my livestock and
my livelihood. I have made Montana my home; I am willing to chance
that very remote possibility. I have chosen to remain in Montana
because of its singular beauty and diversity of wildlife and along
with that comes the responsibility to protect and nurture our
natural areas. The grizzly really gives Montana it's uniqueness,
and deserves every chance for survival."
strongly support the notion that native wildlife (e.g. bears,
coyotes, cougars, etc.) should receive priority where conflicts
arise with domestic livestock. That is where predators belong!"
do not favor killing of bears who kill livestock (especially public
lands grazers). Use other methods, reduce and halt public lands
grazing, and alter the IGBC guidelines."
a rancher I have to laugh at worries of other ranchers about their
livestock. Bears are not major predators and if one like that
occurs come up with license for bid just like these high priced
sheep tags and allow hunters to harvest the bear and part of the
money could go for compensation of killed livestock."
A few people stated their concern for the livelihood
of wildlife in the area. The biggest concern is for the elk herds
and how they would be affected by the grizzly bear. Many point
out that grizzly bears can devastate elk calf populations. People
are also concerned with the effects on black bear, deer populations
and big game hunting opportunities.
most dramatic and immediate consequences will probably be to the
fragile black bear and mule deer populations."
bears will reduce the survival of elk calves that are already
heavily impacted by black bears."
and Game officials know the effect the grizzlies will have on
the elk and moose populations. It was only a few years ago that
black bears were killing so many new-born elk calves that they
had to haul some of the bears to new territories."
They will have a detrimental effect on elk calving
during the springtime along the Selway and Lochsa Rivers."
Several people stated that conflicts with spring
black bear hunting in the recovery area needs to be addressed
to avoid accidental killing of grizzlies. Some say that a halt
to spring black bear hunting should be considered. Some sports
hunters are concerned with the restrictions on access that might
come with grizzly bear reintroduction.
need protection during the spring black bear hunting season, to
minimize injury and disturbance."
black bear baiting or use of dogs should be allowed in grizzly
bear designated habitat. Hunting should continue during big game
grizzlies are introduced, it will be a matter of time before hunters
and other sportsmen have less access to these lands."
A few people stated that when the grizzly bear is
recovered, they should be allowed to hunt them. Other hunters
voiced their support for the grizzly bear.
have used the back country and have observed that when grizzlies
are not hunted at all, they do become less cautious of avoiding
am also a hunter and spend much time in the woods year-round.
I can think of no greater high than seeing one of these magnificent
bears in the wild and I never have any intention of hunting the
king of the forest."
would be in favor of limited hunting for grizzlies in the future
(once populations allow it), this would keep the grizzly under
control and they would have fear of man."
A few outfitters and guides stated that they were
concerned about hunting opportunities and for the safety of their
clients. They feel their livelihood would be directly affected
by grizzly bears in the area. Some say their clients will stop
coming if there are grizzlies in the area, and that their clientele
comes to the area to have an option for good hunting without grizzly
bears to contend with such as in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
They also felt that the grizzly bear would prey upon elk and
deer and therefore reduce the game harvest for hunting.
grizzly would be detrimental to our outfitting business making
it impossible to fulfill our obligations to our clients. Our
livelihoods are at stake . Many of us have spent years building
our business which would be disrupted with one sighting of a grizzly
in our permitted and licensed area of operation."
would be possible curtailment of access to camps, rivers and trails
for the guided public. Changes in black bear hunting opportunity
and impact of grizzlies on other wildlife populations would affect
the outfitters and guides."
Several people who use the Bitterroot for hiking and camping were very concerned about the reintroduction
of the grizzly bear. They avoid the Bob Marshall and Glacier National Park because of the presence of
grizzlies. Some feel grizzly bears would infringe upon the safety and solitude they enjoy in the Bitterroots,
and that there will be more closures and restrictions
in the areas they use for hiking and camping. Some raise the
issue of safety to those who float the Salmon River.
oppose the reintroduction of grizzly bears. I do like to fish
and would feel the need to carry a firearm for my protection."
Bitterroots have always been a refuge for me, a place where I
can hike alone or with a family member. I can even bring my dog.
Experiencing the wilderness in a grizzly-free region was more
uplifting than the experience of seeing the bears."
am among the many who have avoided the Bob, Scapegoat and Glacier
because of the grizzlies."
concerns I address are of control and access. The boundaries
presented in the grizzly bear program are too broad and the possibility
of conflicts for access to trails. No where in the entire plan
is there any reference to the backcountry horse person and the
impact the recovery program has on them."
and friends backpack, hike, and camp there and do not wish to
encounter a grizzly bear."
is unfair to campers and hikers seeking silence and solitude...lf
they wear bells or other noise makers to avoid surprising bears
the noise will disturb fish and frighten photogenic rare birds."
A handful of respondents are concerned with the effects
the grizzly would have on other predators. Most felt there are
already enough predators in the area especially considering the
prey base and food supply.
population of a predator is dependent on prey. Available foods
are now being taken by predators already living in these areas."
killed elk will be cleaned up by the wolves and coyotes."
bears need a high protein/fat diet to get them ready for winter.
They will be in competition with the black bear and coyotes for
Some concerns were raised about reintroducing the
grizzly bear in an area where the Chinook Salmon and steelhead
are threatened. They point out that fish is a food source for
the grizzly bear.
salmon, cutthroat trout, bull trout and white bark pine in the
Selway Bitterroot ecosystem are on the verge of disappearing.
The ecosystem should be in good working order before the grizzly
bear population in the headwaters of the Selway and Salmon Rivers
will work against efforts to aid the Chinook Salmon and the Steelhead.
Grizzly bears eat these fish."
we are trying to recover the salmon it's poor judgement to think
about grizzly reintroduction in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness."
One respondent requests that the analysis focus on
all threatened and endangered life, including invertebrate life,
insects, plants, etc.
misleading it is to concentrate on the bear while giving brief
attention to the base of invertebrate life, insects, plants, and
associated mammals on which all mammalism life depends. Protecting
the grizzly cannot be considered in a vacuum. Cannot the agencies
administer and discuss all creatures great and small that are
threatened and endangered by subdevelopment, timber management,
grazing and mining?"
Several people are concerned that the grizzly bear is being considered as more important than the livelihood
of humans. Some commented on the economic impact that reintroducing grizzly bears would have on
the livestock industry. Some also feel their "quality
would be threatened and the way of life as they know it would
change. Numerous comments point to the high cost of implementing
the reintroduction efforts in particular and the high cost of
government spending in general.
"We use the Orofino and Grangeville, Idaho area for recreation and our livelihood (cattle pasture). The grizzly will cause continual property damage along with the killing and maiming of people."
proposed bear recovery plans make the existence of a few animals
more important than the livelihood of human beings."
the grizzlies come back naturally, so be it, but no money should
be spent and no human measures taken to introduce them in the
restrictive actions taken as a result of grizzly bears moving
into a current outfitter's area of operation would be detrimental
to our business making it impossible to fulfill our obligations
to our clients."
plans must lead toward long-term recovery of the grizzly bear
and minimize social and economic impacts."
A handful of respondents feel the grizzly bear would
actually bring more tourists to the area and therefore benefit
This issue relates to the spiritual symbolism of
the grizzly bear, its cultural significance to the West, preserving
the grizzly for future generations, and the benefits of simply
knowing that grizzlies exist in the reintroduction area. A few
commented on the complexity and mystery associated with the wilderness
and that grizzlies being returned to the area would make the wilderness
whole again. Many speak to their respect for nature and "there
should be some humility on the part of humans so the natural ecosystems
need the grizzly bear in our wilderness areas for spiritual purposes;
the presence of the grizzly bear enlivens and ennobles humankind.
The grizzly bear may prove to be valuable to medical, physiological,
and social science someday to help preserve our own kind."
am for reintroduction as part of an effort to reintroduce sanity,
big wilderness, and respect for nature in place of the nefarious
and ultimately self-destructive idea that the earth exists solely
for humans to use and abuse."
twenty years of backpacking in Montana wilderness inhabited by
grizzlies, I've yet to see or have my camp raided by one. Moreover,
the theoretical danger they present enhances my experience."
Some individuals, particularly from the local area,
say the reintroduction of the grizzly bear would "decrease
the quality of my wilderness experience."
Several people mentioned that they would like nothing
more than to see a grizzly bear in the wild. Several commented
that they would appreciate being able to see a grizzly bear in
the wilderness rather than behind bars in a zoo. One said there
is a need to restore the top carnivore on earth.
have hiked and backpacked into the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness
regularly since 1967...there is nothing I would like more than
to see a grizzly in the Bitterroot."
as I do, so near occupied grizzly habitat, I hope for the day
that they can once again frequent our "backyard"
here in the Tobacco Roots."
idea of having another of Montana's original predators restored
to this area is very exciting."
a landowner in Idaho, I take special joy in watching bears in
the wild and hope their population continues to increase and remain
would like there to be enough of them to hunt some day, for those
who would pursue that sport."
are innumerable good reasons to reintroduce bears into this region,
ranging from aesthetic reasons to irrefutable ecological and scientific
One person disagreed with people who say that the
grizzly heightens their wilderness experience.
think they confuse the adrenalin thrill of surviving danger with
the true wilderness experience of happiness and contemplation
[without the grizzly bear]."
This issue was of concern to many of the respondents.
Many felt that grizzly bear reintroduction is a waste of the
taxpayer's money. Several stated that they would like the money
spent on other programs while others said that the money should
be used for the national deficit. Questions were raised about
the validity of actual costs of grizzly bear reintroduction; some
felt that the cost would be higher than predicted.
a time when this nation faces astronomical debt problems it is
the height of financial irresponsibility to fund a project as
frivolous as grizzly bear reintroduction."
have plenty of bears on the East Front...You would be doing both
the bears and the public a favor if you used some of these bears
instead of spending time and money going to Canada."
oppose the reintroduction when we live in a country with humans
not having adequate housing and lack of food."
cost of reintroduction is out of line at a time when the Congress
and the American people are looking for ways to reduce unnecessary
everyone is cutting budgets and reducing benefits to the poor,
how can million dollar bears be justified."
"...this is just another Federal project to consume taxpayers dollars while we are struggling to keep our schools open."
There were only a few that stated that reintroducing
grizzly bears was a wise use of their tax dollar.
have no problems seeing my tax dollars going for such purposes."
benefit--the survival of a threatened species; to halt or reverse
the destructive trends of a century--far outweigh the minimal
This issue reflects the economic concerns of the
local people in communities near the grizzly recovery area. Several
commented on this issue.
Negative Economic Impacts
that forestry is a part of the agricultural industry, and mining
provides a tax base for a state that tries hard not to be manipulated
by eastern interests."
value is reduced where bears tear up cabins looking for food."
ranching, and logging could be placed in jeopardy."
producers top the list of those most affected."
believe it would jeopardize the lives of humans and also the loss
Positive Economic Impacts
economy of the Bitterroot Valley, where I live, is being accelerated
and enhanced by people coming to the area in search of the "wild"
people would jump at the opportunity to see a grizzly, it might
actually bring tourists to the area for the chance to see a bear."
potential for loss of jobs and tourist industry revenues should
outweigh the benefits of new bear populations in our area."
materials should be sold in the area as well as other grizzly
bear recovery zones and historic habitat to generate more local
and tourist interest in preserving the grizzly bear as well as
help the local economy."
This issue reflects the effects grizzlies will have
on visitor use . There were very few comments received that concerned
feel it is imperative to leave the Bitterroots free from the danger
of grizzlies. We need one mountain top we can enjoy."
from the impact of grizzly bear programs in national forests will
mean further reductions in forest access for residents and visitors
with the loss of recreational and commercial values? The reintroduction
of a species that will most assuredly endanger Idaho residents,
and the tourists that visit our beautiful wilderness areas, is
unacceptable to the state of Idaho."
A few people felt that there should be fines for
anyone recreating in the recovery area who are found guilty of
improper procedures in grizzly country. Several people commented
on the political influence regarding reintroduction of the grizzly
of the Idaho Congressional delegation have publicly expressed
their concern, if not opposition, to reintroducing grizzlies to
the Selway. Their concerns arise from a lack of knowledge on
the part of their constituents who themselves are most likely
to be personally affected by the reintroduction."
final design should simultaneously address rationality and democracy.
Rationality can be understood as making good choices for sound
cognitive reasons. Democracy can be understood as the collective
construction and application of political authority...Build political
consensus based on trust and credibility."
This issue addresses education needs for sanitation
practices; common sense hiking & camping practices; identification
of bears in the field, etc.
Several people commented on the importance of having
an education program on how people and grizzlies can coexist.
There is need to educate people on proper disposal of garbage
and how to handle food. People also need to learn safe hiking
procedures in grizzly bear country.
the people who utilize these areas by providing signage on roads
and trails to explain the proper methods in recreating among grizzly
bear habitat areas."
the population is concerned with bear-human confrontation they
should be more educated on the facts."
education efforts on peaceful coexistence, human safety, and how
to behave in grizzly country should be studied and implemented."
everyone I know wear bear bells, keep pepper spray and hike and
camp smarter. People need more knowledge about bears."
efforts in the Bitterroot area are the back bone of the grizzly
bear recovery project success. Educate black bear hunters how
to identify grizzlies."
few people that were against grizzly reintroduction commented
that education wouldn't help."
am totally against grizzly bear reintroduction, and no amount
of education would quell my fears about hiking alone where there
go out of your way to state and make a point that the bears are
not dangerous if the forest users are properly educated. Why
then does the Federal government require its own survey and work
crews to carry shotguns and high powered rifles when they are
working in grizzly bear areas in Alaska. It would seem to me
that this would be unnecessary if the government crews are properly
Several people commented on how they feel political
influence affects the reintroduction of grizzly bears. Many respondents
at both ends of the spectrum conveyed their exasperation with
the political system and the role it plays in determining the
outcome of the proposed reintroduction. Some disparage having
politics instead of science be the guiding force in reintroduction
Many respondents against reintroduction reiterated
their view that the political process has not worked to their
advantage. Some see a "hidden
by pro-grizzly advocates to "lock
up the land."
Many respondents also resent people or groups outside the local
community or State as having undue influence on reintroduction
efforts into the area in which they live. Some also say they
think the Endangered Species Act is being misinterpreted for political
aware of the environmental-shun in Congress I hardly hold my breath
at the future of the Endangered Species Act. I doubt this will
bounce upon the shoulders of our mighty cattlemen/rancher controlled
Congressmen any more lightly than the status of the ESA."
the EIS is completed, the decision for a course of recovery action
will encounter delays primarily from political sources at local
and state levels."
it weren't for so many political, social and economic factors,
bears, wolves, etc., wouldn't be endangered...I understand that
the FWS is under pressure to serve the timber and mining industries,
ranchers, etc. These are public lands and the wildlife on these
lands deserve to be protected and not serve the needs of those
who wish to make money off public lands."
concerns me that the three Ravalli County Commissioners had such
as to whether they approve the grizzly bear plan."
political misuse of valuable funds."
let the congressmen and the livestock industry try and stop you
because they lack the commitment to future generations and can
only think short term and of themselves."
hope that grizzly recovery can go without the nonsensical political
idiocy as seen in the wolf recovery program."
and more decisions about wildlands, wildlife, biology and science
are being influenced by U.S. Senators and House Rep."
am disturbed by proposed options which would grant special interests
and political appointees by the governors of Idaho and Montana
to have disproportionate influence on the grizzlies' fate."
needs to go forward regardless of the pressure against it and
short-sighted special interest groups."