If you haven't done so already, today is the last day to submit comments regarding the proposed delisting of Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act. The comment period closes today, May 10, at 11:59 pm. Comments that merely state "I support" or "I oppose" delisting do not carry much weight; include a bit of detail.
Please click on the link below and comment today! Thanks.
There are friends, and organizations, on both sides of this issue who I have tremendous respect for. It's a tough issue. Here is my personal take on it:
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
While I greatly respect, appreciate and applaud your tremendous and successful efforts to help Yellowstone grizzly bear populations recover from the threat of extinction, there are too many legitimate concerns -- voiced by some very prominent grizzly bear biologists, managers and other experts -- to remove the Yellowstone grizzly population from the Endangered Species Act at this time. I urge you to err on the side of caution and ensure these concerns and threats regarding grizzlies are better understood and dealt with before you delist them.
Climate change and it's impacts on grizzly bear habitat, behavior and food selection is perhaps the greatest threat to the Yellowstone grizzlies. These threats and potential impacts are not yet fully understood. With traditional and critical food sources such as whitebark pine nuts, cutthroat trout, army cutworm moths, wild berries, elk and bison already on the decline, grizzlies are already wondering farther and into new territory in search of other food. This puts them in increasing conflict with humans, which means increased mortality for bears. I do realize that grizzly bears are adaptable, opportunistic omnivores, but the impacts of them adapting to new food sources has not been adequately addressed and is not yet fully understood. That, combined with a growing human population and other associated threats to grizzly habitat, adds up to some serious and legitimate concerns about the future of Yellowstone grizzlies.
There are also other, legitimate concerns about how state management of grizzly bears might impact the ability of grizzly bears to expand through critical linkage zones and eventually connect with other populations to help ensure the long-term genetic health and viability of the Yellowstone grizzly populations.
Until we know more about the potential impacts of these serious threats to the Yellowstone grizzlies, I urge you to err on the side of caution and not delist the population at this time. We have come a long way in the recovery of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem; let's ensure the long-term health, viability and survival of these bears is truly secure before acting too hastily. The bears deserve more time, caution and consideration.
Thank you for your consideration, and thanks again for all you have done and continue to do to help grizzly bears recover.
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