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Scientists, Advocates Will Meet To Discuss Grizzly Recovery

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)
National Park Service
Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.

Scientists and wildlife advocates meet Tuesday, 10/17 to discuss whether grizzly bears in northwest Montana are ready to lose Endangered Species Act protections.

Wildlife officials say they are, and want grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem de-listed by 2020.

But Michael Jarnevic, says that’s way too soon:
"We’re greatly concerned that if grizzly bears are removed from threatened species status, that the state of Montana will, in fact, return to a hunting season on grizzly bears which they had, I believe, up until 1992."

Jarnevic is spokesman for Tuesday's Crossroads or Crosshairs: Grizzly Bear Recovery Conference. It’s sponsored by a coalition of conservation and wildlife advocacy organizations called the “Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force."

But Jarnevic says a variety of perspectives will be represented. For example, Chris Servheen, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator who supports de-listing, will be a panelist. So will de-isting-opponent Mike Bader.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.
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