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Despite Idaho's petition, grizzly bears remain on Endangered Species List in the lower 48 states

Charles Peterson
Flickr Creative Commons

The grizzly bear will remain on the Endangered Species list, even after a petition from Idaho to remove it.

On Thursday, Gov. Brad Little threatened the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a lawsuit for failing to rule on Idaho’s petition to delist the grizzlies in the lower 48 states.

On Friday, the ruling came denying Idaho’s request, saying it did not contain “substantial, credible information.” Similar petitions from Wyoming and Montana, which focused on delisting grizzlies in the tri-state Yellowstone Northern Continental Divide regions, were accepted and will be reviewed in the coming year.

Andrea Zacccardi from the Center for Biological Diversity said removing federal protections would pave the way for trophy hunts.

“It takes a female grizzly bear approximately ten years to replace herself in the wild,” she said. “Grizzly bears, as opposed to some other species in our ecosystem, are not likely to rebound very quickly from aggressive hunts.”

In a statement, Congressman Mike Simpson, Chair of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, said he was disappointed with the ruling,

“As in the case of sage grouse and gray wolf populations, Idaho has shown that the state’s wildlife experts are more than capable of successful species management,” he said, adding the issue “greatly impacted the state.”

According to the Forest Service, there are currently about 80 to 100 grizzly bears in Idaho.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.