Service lets Idaho, Wyoming allow black bear baiting despite dead grizzlies

June 5, 2019

Guardians and allies have challenged a U.S. Forest Service policy that gives states authority to allow black bear baiting in national forests, even though this practice results in deaths to grizzly bears. Currently, only Idaho and Wyoming allow bear baiting in national forests.

When grizzlies are attracted to bait stations meant for black bears, hunters kill them. Since 1995, at least eight grizzly bears have been shot and killed at black bear bait stations in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming, with more killed at bait stations on other public and private lands. In 2007, the first grizzly known to inhabit the Bitterroot ecosystem in half a century was killed at a bait station. Scientific research shows that baiting causes harmful and irreversible grizzly bear conditioning to human food and disrupts grizzly behavior.

“Bear baiting not only violates ‘fair chase’ hunting ethics, it has caused deaths of iconic grizzlies,” said Guardians’ Lindsay Larris. “Federal agencies are bound by the law to recover threatened grizzlies, and knowingly allowing bear baiting flagrantly violates that duty.”

Read the press release.

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