It's been a week since Wyoming lost management authority of the Yellowstone grizzly bear. This at a time when grizzly activity is increasing.
Just over the weekend, at least four grizzly bears occupied a corn maze near Clark closing it down until Wyoming Game and Fish officials put an electric fence around the maze. In addition, there were several incidents where bear spray was used against aggressive bears.
For Brian Nesvik, the Game and Fish Chief Game Warden, this is exactly why the state should be managing grizzlies and controlling their numbers. He said there would be ways to deal with the growing abundance of bears especially those that are outside of the designated habitat.
“It doesn't exist now. Essentially the options are trap and relocate, trap and euthanize or try some other kind of technique to prevent them from conflict.”
He said the department has already began discussions with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider the best options in managing grizzlies but now the feds have the final say.
“Our team on the ground has spent a bunch of time with those folks who will be dealing on those issues a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “The discussions we've had with them have been positive.”
Groups opposing state management believe the bears are being pushed outside of their designated habitat looking for food not because the population is growing. And as such “legally removing” a grizzly should not be an option.