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Letter to the editor: Delisting grizzlies would be disastrous

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Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has been one of the best-run wildlife management agencies in the United States for decades. Wildlife has been managed based upon scientific information. Both game and non game wildlife have benefited from an approach that considers criteria such as habitat carrying capacity, water quality, human conflict resolution and sustainability. Montana has been blessed to have incredibly dedicated wildlife biologists such as Mike Thompson and Chris Servheen formulating science directed policies.

One of the first things Greg Gianforte did when he became governor was to eliminate all wildlife biologists from the State Wildlife Commission and replace them with ranchers and professional hunting guides. FWP is now being managed based upon cronyism and political expediency. Policies are being formulated to favor a few special interests. The average hunter in Montana no longer has the same opportunities as Gianforte’s favored few.

Although I have no desire to hunt a grizzly, I have been in favor of opening limited hunting of recovered grizzlies based upon scientific information. Delisting grizzlies and allowing “management” under Gov. Gianforte would prove disastrous. When biological science once again becomes the driving force for FWP management I would be open to delisting recovered populations of grizzlies.

Chris Scranton,

Stevensville

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