Park County Commissioner speaks on effects of grizzlies and wolves

Park County Commissioner Lee Livingston testified today at the Western Governors' Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act (ESA) Initiative workshop in Cody, Wyo. Commissioner Livingston, who runs a successful outfitting business in Cody, detailed how the ESA, and particularly how the growth in population of the grizzly bear and gray wolf, has affected his outfitting business. He looks at the recovery of both species as success stories, yet laments the arduous process of getting these species de-listed. "During all this time I have seen firsthand the impacts the listing of the grizzly and the wolf has had on my industry," Livingston said. "There is no doubt that both the grizzly and the wolf have become icons for many. For my clients interested in wildlife watching these apex predators are a big draw. My own website sells grizzly sightings as a benefit of taking a backcountry trip with us. The ESA has accomplished what it was intended to do with these two species, but for some reason the ESA doesn’t allow for success. “The federal government, by listing these animals under the ESA, basically brokered a deal with the people of Wyoming and surrounding states wherein if we accepted the new regulations and changed our backcountry practices, once the grizzly and wolf reached healthy and recovered population levels, they would be de-listed,” remarked Livingston. “By all accounts from the state and federal experts who manage these species, both species are fully recovered and have exceeded recovery criteria for over a decade.” *Featured image shows Gov. Matt Mead speaking at the start of this morning's conference. Read about that here .* #reboot