Share This Page

Petition seeks return of grizzly bears to West

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

An environmental group wants federal wildlife managers to revise a decades-old recovery plan for grizzly bears to ensure the animal's return to more areas of the West.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed its petition on Wednesday with the Fish and Wildlife Service, demanding that grizzlies be restored to their native range in such places as California's Sierra Nevada and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The areas, it said, still contain large tracts of undeveloped habitat favored by the bears.

“We've just begun the job of recovering grizzlies. There is so much more to do to see the bears restored to more of their range in the western United States,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the group.

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Under federal rules, it can accept or reject the petition.

An estimated 1,600 grizzlies roam Yellowstone National Park and its border states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The environmental group wants as many as 6,000 grizzlies to thrive in the West, including parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The federal government added the grizzly to the endangered and threatened species list in 1975 because the bear had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to the edge of extinction in the lower 48 states.

According to the agency, an estimated 50,000 grizzlies roamed between the Pacific Ocean and Great Plains during the early 1800s. Their numbers were drastically reduced as pioneers headed west. By 1975, only six of 37 populations present 50 years earlier remained.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.