Officials: We Can’t Follow Judge’s Instructions for Grizzly Endangered Listing

“We could never achieve what he [Molloy] requires we do,” federal grizzly recovery program coordinator Chris Servheen told the Missoulian during the committee’s winter meeting in Missoula. “He said we must provide guarantees of the bear’s survival, and the law doesn’t say we can do that.”

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee discussed the need for a new management plan after U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy returned Yellowstone-region grizzlies to the federal endangered list. But it doesn’t sound like there was a discussion so much as a general throwing of arms in the air.

And, indeed, the party line from government officials has been that the grizzly is actually better off not being protected, as counterintuitive as that seems. Malloy said the plan devised by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee was basically unworkable and needed to be revised, specifically urging members of the committee not to adversarial with activists.

But it doesn’t sound like the advice was taken to heart; Serheen says the government is still looking at appealing Malloy’s decision. (They would not be the first: Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg filed an appeal yesterday, while the Safari Club, a pro-hunting group, may follow.) Any appeals could take more than two years to argue.

RELATED STORIES: Grizzlies Back on Endangered List; Feds: Grizzlies in More Danger After Delisting


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