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Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Under Consideration in Idaho

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The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition to conduct grizzly bear reintroduction in Idaho.

The petition asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop plans for grizzly bear reintroduction.

Hoping to utilize particular sections of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in central Idaho and western Montana, the center wants to revamp old plans it had from 1996 and 2000 for its current cause.

This petition comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering delisting grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem next year. In addition, representatives from the Department of Fish and Game recently told reporters they did not want to see a grizzly bear reintroduction in Idaho. Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne helped to quash past efforts for a grizzly bear reintroduction during the Bush administration, telling reporters he didn’t want “massive flesh-eating carnivores” reintroduced into the Gem State.

Attorney for the center, Andrea Santarsiere, told reporters of remodel plans the center had made in the past but had never came to fruition. Santarsiere spoke of the necessity of a new plan. She said:

Grizzly bears live in less than four percent of their historic range and need to be reintroduced into the Selway-Bitterroot to have any shot at real recovery. The service has repeatedly committed to re-establishing a grizzly bear population in this region. We’re just asking them to move forward with that commitment.

The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is recognized as an ideal area for a grizzly bear reintroduction, as it is one of the largest contiguous regions in the country. Boasting more than 22 million square miles, this area could support 300 to 600 bears, and would reconnect several isolated grizzly bear populations.

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Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Under Consideration in Idaho