With the grizzly bear population in Eastern Idaho removed from federal protection, a proposal has been set forth to offer one tag for a grizzly bear for the fall 2018 season.
The bear would be the first allowed for hunting in Idaho since grizzlies received federal protection under the endangered species act in 1975.
“It’s a great success story that grizzly bears have recovered to a point where we can have a hunting season again,” said Toby Boudreau with Idaho Fish and Game.
Fish and Game said that each year Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming get together and look at what the mortality rate was in the previous year and based on the population size the mortality threshold.
“The difference would be what is allowed for harvest,” said Boudreau.
This year they said the numbers equaled out to be 17 males and 2 females which are then split between the three states.
"if you run the proportions it basically comes out to Idaho would get one bear,” said Boudreau.
But others do not agree with the proposal. A petition currently circulating online that has more than 100,000 signatures calls the proposal a ‘totally senseless and unjustified action on behalf of an agency that prides itself on conservation.’ The petition asks that Governor Butch Otter put a stop to the ‘glory killing’ of the bear.
Idaho Fish and Game said that hunters and fisherman are the ones who pay for conservation through their licenses.
"Hunting is a big part of how conservation gets on the ground,” said Boudreau.
And grizzly bear hunting is a part of the conservation plan and long term viability of grizzly bears.
A meeting will be held on April 19th at 6:30 pm at the Riverside Hotel to discuss the proposal and gather public input.
You can also leave your thoughts online at the Idaho Fish and Game website beginning April 16th.