U.S. Won't Upgrade Protections for Grizzly Bears in Idaho, Montana

"Federal wildlife managers on Friday declined to upgrade protections for a population of grizzly bears in the remote reaches of Idaho and northwest Montana that numbers fewer than 50, and which conservationists say are going extinct.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the outsized, hump-shouldered bears that roam the Cabinet Mountains and Yaak River drainage in the Northern Rockies are likely to reach a recovery goal of 100 without changing their status to endangered from threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The finding comes after the Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued in April to force federal wildlife managers to tighten restrictions on logging, road construction and other human activity on public land that make up the bears' habitat.

The Fish and Wildlife Service had for years determined that classifying the bears as endangered was warranted, but other imperiled animals took precedence."

Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters December 8, 2014.

Source: Reuters, 12/08/2014