Grizzly Politics

Living on Earth
The World

In the long-running battles over the Endangered Species Act, politics has always been at least as important as preservation. And it’s no different today. Congress is now considering major changes to the law, and the Clinton Administration is responding by moving to take a number of species OFF the Endangered Species List. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt says the goal is to show that the law works, as well as to squelch critics who contend that once a critter goes on the list, it never comes off. Secretary Babbitt’s “de-listing”, as it’s called, will start with a couple dozen high-profile species, including the bald eagle, the gray wolf, and other so-called recovery “success” stories. One such story is set in Yellowstone National Park, where the grizzly bear could get de-listed as early as next summer. But, many scientists who study grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem say that’s a risky move. Jyl Hoyt from member station K-B-S-U in Boise explains.

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