Bill aims to delist grizzly bears as endangered

A family of grizzly bears is seen in this undated photo. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, have co-introduced a bill that would delist grizzly bears as an endangered species and shift responsibility for their management to states.

PAYETTE COUNTY — U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, introduced a bill on March 25 that aims to do a little housekeeping on the nation’s endangered species list. They join Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, and several colleagues in sponsoring the ‘Grizzly Bear State Management Act,’ which specifically aims to remove grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from said list and shift management to the states in which said bears live.

In a news release dated March 26, Risch stated that this move was long overdue.

“Grizzly bears met their recovery goals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem more than a decade ago thanks to the hard work of states like Idaho. Yet instead of being appropriately delisted, the species has been subject to circular legal battles at the whim of activist judges that accomplish nothing and waste taxpayers’ money,” said Risch, as quoted in the release. “This legislation recognizes it’s time to follow the science and common sense and delist the grizzly bear.”

In an email to the newspaper Wednesday, Marty Cozza, spokesperson for Risch, added that management of such a species is best left to local experts according to Risch.

“Sen. Risch has long maintained that state and local wildlife managers who work on-the-ground are best-suited to lead species management, rather than federal officials who are removed from impacted communities,” wrote Cozza. “Idaho successfully manages a host of species, including those that have been threatened, endangered, or candidates for listing, and does so very successfully.”

Cozza added that the goal of conservation is “

No estimated cost to taxpayers was available before press time.

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