State releases draft grizzly management plan; Population goals and more discussed

A draft of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department's plan for managing grizzly bears, should they be delisted, has been released and is open for comments. The plan's release follows the proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove grizzlies from the endangered species list. The proposal requires a minimum population of 500 bears in the management areas, including 48 sow and cub pairs. According to the plan, 48 sow and cub pairs usually means there's a population of about 600 grizzlies, therefore ensuring the minimum population size. Additionally, these sow/cub pairs must be in at least 16 of 18 different population areas. Mortality rates for different age groups of bears must also be monitored and maintained in order to ensure the viability of the population. Read the complete proposal here . The plan also goes over proposed processes for problem bears, conflicts, and agricultural damage. Specifics regarding the potential regulated hunting of grizzly bears would be updated on an annual basis, and according to Game and Fish, allowed only when and where it is appropriate for population management. It is likely that hunting of sows and cubs will not be allowed. “Our proposal lays out a path to ensure grizzly bears remain recovered. The plan also honors the commitment made by the people of Wyoming over the last three decades to help recover this species with an investment of $40 million,” said Scott Talbott, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has also released the draft three-state Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The public comments on both the draft MOA and the draft Grizzly Bear Management Plan will be considered before a presentation and recommendations are made to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. “The draft Grizzly Bear Management Plan is adaptive to make sure that the newest and best available science can be quickly applied to grizzly bear conservation in Wyoming,” said Chief of Wildlife for Game and Fish, Brian Nesvik. “Wyoming will continue to collaborate with experts from other states, federal agencies and tribes to build on this amazing conservation success story.” In the first week of April, public meetings are being scheduled around the state to gather public input. Get the specific dates and times here . *Feature Photo: Grizzly bear. h/t Teresa Muhic / Pitchengine Communities* #reboot #buckrail #county10 #news