Good news: Yellowstone grizzlies don’t need ESA protection! Bad news: …guess.

I’ll admit to being torn on this.

A panel of wildlife officials says it’s time to lift Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.

An Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee spokesman said the panel’s members voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of ending the federal protections.

The committee’s recommendation will now be considered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency could propose a rule by mid-2014 to end protections.

On the one hand, good news: we stabilized the population! On the other hand, that means more grizzly bears, which is a species that is not entirely ready to concede that humanity is higher on the food chain than it is*. I mean, I know, all bears have hair triggers, but grizzlies… well.  I guess that if the grizzlies stay where they are, it’ll be all right.

Sorry.  I tend to be a species chauvinist, particularly when it’s mine that’s involved. In order:

  • Humans
  • Useful animals
  • Animals that taste good
  • Pets
  • Attractive animals
  • Critters
  • Everything else
  • Pandas (because, really, the species wants to die)

As you can see, grizzlies are a bit down on the list.

Moe Lane

*As opposed to polar bears, which flat-out refuse to admit it.  I would say “fortunately for them, they live out on the polar ice cap where there are almost no humans to teach them differently,” except that’s pretty much why polar bears survived as a species and, say, saber-toothed tigers did not. And we killed those SOBs with rocks and pointy sticks.


  • Catseyes says:

    My list would be somewhat different:
    *Useful Animals
    *Good to Eat Animsls
    *All the others.
    Apparently I rank bees and ants higher than you do.

  • qixlqatl says:

    You left off a category from the bottom end of that list: animals that pose an imminent threat. …

    • Moe_Lane says:

      What’s the point? They don’t last long.

      • acat says:

        So .. the Lane clan isn’t planning on vacationing at Yellowstone any time soon, then?

        • Moe_Lane says:

          Oh, Hell no. I don’t expect the caldera to detonate tomorrow, but I’ll be damned if I pic-a-nic there, either.

          • acat says:

            I plan to see it before the great midwestern remodeling, or whatever we end up calling the inevitable eruption.

          • Luke says:

            Drop me a line when you do. I’m only about 4 hours away. (Admittedly traveling at about 85mph. Bless the Contract with America.)
            And yeah, that counts as reasonably close out here. It blew my mind when I visited Philly, and realized how close everything was back East.

          • Freddie Sykes says:

            Yellowstone was my favorite park with its thermal basins, wildlife and waterfalls. Many areas are off-limits to tent camping because of the bears.

            Have you seen the size of the caldera? People near it will be the lucky ones as the rest of us face years of nuclear winter.

  • Buffalobob says:

    Delisted like Bald eagles. time to erect giant grizzly killing wind turbines.

    • acat says:

      Hmmm. If they re-label grizzlies as “assault bears”, maybe they could offer to trade the NRA “assault bear hunting permits” for dropping support for “assault rifles”…
      (yes, I know “assault rifle” is a meaningless term ..)

      • johnv2 says:

        “Assault weapon” is the ill-defined term that basically means “gun that terrifies pig-ignorant politicians.” “Assault rifle” is a military term for a selective fire rifle with detachable magazine, chambered for an intermediate power cartridge.

        • acat says:

          Ah, I am corrected.
          Call it part of living in Illinois, nearly if not the most restrictive gun laws nationwide. If your firearm of choice is not flat out illegal, the bureaucrats will be sure to lose your paperwork…
          Two friends have now moved their firearms out of state rather than filling out the paperwork.

  • Brian Swisher says:

    Saber-toothed tigers were not very bright – have you seen the size of the braincase on those guys? They could be outwitted by a fairly dim cocker spaniel. Also, for real nightmare fuel, they had a habit of getting their namesake fangs embedded in the skull of a kill, being unable to get them out, and starving to death in that position…if something else didn’t get them first…

  • Luke says:

    A bumper sticker that’s still popular out here is “Canadian Wolves: Smoke a Pack a Day”.
    Hunters used to pull 500 elk a year out of the North Soldier area. Now, it’s down to 50. On good years. It’s even worse with respect to deer. And just try getting reimbursed when the #%^&ers kill your cows or sheep.
    Excuse me, I’m going to go say some very rude things about Clinton, his Dept. of Interior, and environmentalists in general now.

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