As a hunter, I relish in the fact that I can hunt anywhere in the United States. With the right tags, I can hunt any animal I want. I can travel to all the hot spots that are known to hold some of the best around or massive numbers of them. Some areas are generalized with their animals, i.e midwest whitetails. Elk in Tetons or Colorado, mule deer in Wyoming and northern Arizona. We know grizzly bears are in Alaska, certain areas of Montana and moving to neighboring states like Idaho that we reported earlier this week. What about grizzlies in Arizona?
An environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, wants to do just that. They want to introduce the monster bears into Arizona, among other states. The group is upset that the federal recovery plan for grizzlies has not been updated in 25 years. This group believes The Gila Wilderness complex that is in AZ and New Mexico, along with Arizona’s Mogollon Rim and Grand Canyon as Grizzly bear suitable. Using the reasoning that protected bear habitat is good for all habitat protection and that the bears influence the ecosystems are driving factors for the group. This isn’t the first time the group has tried this. They petitioned the USFWS in 2014 to update the recovery plan, but their petition was denied.
Asking for USFWS and other agencies to study these areas for a grizzly introduction is a waste of time and resources. Those resources could go into thousands of other programs and other animals. The grizzly is considered recovered by some in the areas they currently live in. These environmental groups sue to stop hunts that manage these numbers. How can any group want to “evaluate” an area for introduction, if they won’t allow management in other areas to see long term impact on prey species? Let alone what is going to happen with an overpopulation of top predators. Let hunters manage the bears in the states they are in. What do you think about it?