Speak Up For Glacier's Grizzlies Today!
Posted July 31, 2013
The grizzly bears living in and around Glacier National Park need your help. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to remove Endangered Species Act protections from these grizzly bears. As an initial step in this process, the Fish & Wildlife Service recently issued a draft Conservation Strategy (CS) for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) grizzly bear population. The draft Conservation Strategy sets forth the Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed management plan for these grizzly bears.
Unfortunately, the draft Conservation Strategy is woefully inadequate to protect these iconic bears.
The draft CS would allow for more than twice as many female grizzlies to die each year before any management action is taken. More roads lead to more dead grizzly bears, and the draft plan allows for way too many roads in areas where bears are living. The draft CS also fails to address how climate change has affected – and will affect – the landscape these bears call home.
Because this draft plan falls short in protecting these grizzly bears, we need you to TAKE ACTION.
Public comments will be accepted until midnight (Eastern) on Thursday, August 1. Please take a moment and tell the Fish & Wildlife Service that they can – and must – do better. All you need to do is send an e-mail to NCDECS@fws.gov.
Here are some points you can include in your e-mail:
(1) The Service must develop the Habitat-Based Recovery Criteria, and open them up for public comment before the Conservation Strategy is approved.
(2) The draft CS must do more to ensure that the NCDE Recovery Area is connected to other Recovery Areas like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Such connectivity is needed for the long-term survival of grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies.
(3) Motorized Access Route Densities must be developed ecosystem-wide, and must be based on actual research regarding grizzly use of landscapes with roads.
(4) The Service cannot assume that bears will be able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Federal and State agencies must immediately begin comprehensive grizzly habitat mapping, habitat research, and key foods research, and commit to doing so on a long-term, coordinated basis.
(5) Although the draft CS says its goal is a “stable to increasing population,” it would allow the current estimate of nearly 1000 bears to decline to 800 bears – a steep 20% decline – with no consequences. “Stability” should mean at least 1000 grizzlies.
Please take a minute and send an e-mail to NCDECS@fws.gov today.
Thank you for speaking up for Glacier’s grizzly bears!
(Detailed information, including the entire proposed plan, can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/continentalindex.html)
(Photo: Christine Wilcox)
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