Group Calls for Immediate Prohibition to Bear Baiting
April 23, 2020
Moscow- According to the Idaho Department Fish and Game, fresh grizzly bear tracks were confirmed by a department conservation officer on April 18 in the Fish Creek Meadows area about seven miles south of Grangeville. Game cameras revealed photos of a grizzly bear at a bait station in the spring of 2019 in the same general vicinity.
In response to the new sighting, Friends of the Clearwater issued a letter to Idaho Fish and Game reminding them of the perils of bear baiting and the group’s written request in 2019 to prohibit baiting in all units on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests that grizzlies may occupy following the confirmation of a grizzly bear earlier that summer.
“Grizzlies are beginning to reoccupy the great bear habitat found throughout the Clearwater Basin, including the strong possibility of bears beginning to den on these forests,” said Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director of Friends of the Clearwater. “We are calling on Idaho Fish and Game to prohibit bear baiting in all units on these national forests to aid in the recovery of the Great Bear.”
A male grizzly was illegally killed over bait in Kelly Creek in 2007 on the Clearwater portion of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The bear was shot by a hunter who claimed he thought it was a black bear. The dead bear was the first confirmed grizzly in the Clearwater in almost half a century.
Several conservation groups recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service to force the agency to prohibit baiting on national forest land because of the threat baiting poses to grizzlies returning to these wild ecosystems.
“The Idaho Fish and Game Department needs to take the appropriate measures to ensure we do not have a repeat of 2007,” said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director of Friends of the Clearwater. “Baiting and bears are a lethal mix, and with the spring black bear hunt happening now, we don’t want to see more dead grizzlies.”