Is grizzly reintroduction ‘a death sentence’ or restoring nature? Idaho comments are torn

March 15, 2024

But unlike other recovery zones, the Bitterroot hasn’t seen a rebounding grizzly bear population in the last three decades. Idaho leaders have been outspoken critics of grizzly bear protections in recent years, petitioning the federal government to remove the bears from Endangered Species Act protections. The Idaho Wildlife Federation’s North Idaho Field Representative Kyle Maki told the Statesman his organization is “heavily leaning towards” supporting natural repopulation. Steve Nadeau, a retired Idaho Department of Fish and Game large carnivore biologist and author of the book “Journey of the Bitterroot Grizzly Bear,” spoke about grizzlies during the Idaho Conservation League webinar Thursday. “If they’re looking at natural recovery as an option, there needs to be a focus on keeping these critters alive,” Nadeau said.