Wyoming Wildlife Advocates guest columnist Kristin Combs was wrong in criticizing Gov. Mark Gordon for speaking about grizzly bear management practices. He is, after all, in charge of …
Wyoming Wildlife Advocates guest columnist Kristin Combs was wrong in criticizing Gov. Mark Gordon for speaking about grizzly bear management practices. He is, after all, in charge of all state agencies, and responsible for the protection of the people, property and natural resources within the state.
Because he is of the opinion that the delisting of the grizzly from the endangered species list was correct, as many in the state are, he is naturally drawing the criticism of wildlife advocates. Wildlife advocates have been using politicians for years to forward their cause, through lobbying as well as donating to the campaigns of candidates who support them. Like it or not, the listing or delisting of the grizzly is political, but by and large became so because of wildlife advocate groups, who are the ones who ignore the science Ms. Combs criticizes Gov. Gordon for.
The grizzly bear was delisted based on science which proved their numbers were increasing and stable. That was not good enough for them (wildlife advocate groups), so they sued the government to get the decision overturned. They used a federal court judge — who by the way is nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate (all politicians). Gov. Gordon has chosen to listen to science, as well as the people who live in the expanding range of the grizzly.
I find it extremely ignorant of Ms. Combs to criticize Gov. Gordon, and then advocate that one of the main reasons the grizzly needs protection is for tourism and economic reasons. Are you kidding! The last reason an animal should need protection from extinction should be for tourism and economics.
I would like to see Ms. Comb’s data that supports her statements that the main reasons people come to Wyoming is to see a grizzly, or the very elusive wolf. Where is the survey of visitors that say they would not have come to Wyoming if they could not see a bear or a wolf? I think most people visit Yellowstone and the Tetons for the magnificent beauty, seeing a bear or wolf would be a bonus, but certainly not keep visitors away if they have a low chance of seeing these animals, which they do.
When Wyoming Game and Fish decided to issue a small number of tags for hunting the grizzly, it was based on science and the need to keep the grizzly limited to a safe range. The national parks (Yellowstone) do not, and surely never will allow hunting, so rest easy Ms. Combs, the tourists will not have to worry that the bears and wolves will not be there.
No one wants to see an animal go extinct, but I sure would like to be able to walk to my barn in Clark during the early morning and evening without carrying a .44 because the grizzly range has over-expanded. These bears can and do kill people.