Removing federal protection for Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears is opposed by a broad cross section of Americans. Even more disconcerting to citizens surveyed in a recent public opinion poll is allowing Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to carry out trophy sport hunts of bruins.
Those are just two findings announced Tuesday by the Humane Society of the United States and the Jackson Hole-based conservation group Wyoming Wildlife Advocates. Together they commissioned a national polling organization to gauge public sentiment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to lift long-standing safeguards for bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
By a 3-1 margin the more than 3,000 citizens surveyed oppose bringing back grizzly bear hunting seasons that would allow the iconic bruins to be killed for fun.
“These polling results demonstrate that most Americans believe Yellowstone’s grizzly bears should not be killed for trophies,” said Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife protection for the Humane Society. “Not only is there no scientific justification for this premature proposal, there is no public appetite.”
The poll results arrive at a pivotal time, with more than 100,000 citizens already signing online petitions opposing grizzly delisting. In addition, tens of thousands are believed to be drafting written and oral comments. Many accuse the Fish and Wildlife Service of failing to adequately assess threats facing bear survival and not forcing states to clearly spell out how they would protect grizzlies if bears are returned to their custody.
Just last week a federal judge in Montana penned a strongly worded rebuke of the Fish and Wildlife Service for allegedly condoning political interference in preventing the listing of wolverines under the Endangered Species Act. The judge said the agency ignored science and did not fully acknowledge the threats to wolverine survival caused by climate change. Click HERE to read more
Feature image by Jogn E Marriott