Lawsuits loom as agencies ponder grizzly bear recovery

With grizzly-bear recovery potentially complete in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, agencies are daring to plan for a time when most bears are under state control.

A lot of balls remain in the air as the Interagency Grizzly Bear Executive Committee met to consider its next five-year plan. The committee is juggling the pending delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population and the myriad of challenges posed by the six other regions of grizzly recovery in the Northwest.

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Counties seek predator bounties as Wildlife Services funding drops

Wildlife Services helps Montana livestock producers kill thousands of wild predators every year. But as its funding decreases, the agency may have to leave producers to their own devices, which may include bounties.

On Friday, John Steuber, Montana State Director of Wildlife Services, told the Montana Board of Livestock that Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, probably couldn’t continue killing predators without the money it gets from the state, especially from cattle producers who pitch in 50 cents to a dollar per head.

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FWP, Livestock board may discuss anti-predator devices

A petition asking for a limit on use of anti-predator poisonous devices has been denied, but it’s still got livestock groups on the alert.

At the end of a brief Fish, Wildlife & Parks commission meeting Thursday, Zach Strong of the Natural Resources Defense Council expressed frustration over the commission’s rejection in May of an NRDC petition to limit trap threats to grizzly bears and other wildlife.

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Commission denies wolf-quota increase, forwards grizzly hunt

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tried to justify a big jump in a Gardiner area wolf quota, but after lengthy public comment, the Fish and Wildlife commission didn’t buy it.

On a 3-1 vote, the commission decided against an FWP proposal to increase the quota in management unit 313 to six wolves, even though the six would be meted out over time. The period of September 4 through November 30 would have a limit of three wolves and another three would be allowed between December 1 and March 15.

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Wildlife advocates: Spare Yellowstone Park bear

After a Yellowstone National Park seasonal employee recently died after being attacked by a grizzly bear, some are rallying against a park decision to euthanize the bear.

On Friday, Lance Crosby, 63, of Billings was found dead a half-mile off the Elephant Back Loop trail near Lake Village on the northwest shore of Yellowstone Lake.

On Wednesday afternoon, an autopsy confirmed that Crosby hadn't died of any other medical condition, so it's likely he was killed by a bear, according to the Associated Press. An earlier National Park Service statement said wounds on Crosby’s arms appeared to be defensive.

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