Idaho asks to join fight to regulate bear baiting in the state

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Idaho wants to join a federal lawsuit to defend its authority to allow black bear baiting on national forest lands in Idaho and Wyoming. Both states want to regulate hunting activities without additional federal regulations. Filings were submitted in the United States District Court in Idaho.

Environmental groups have asked the Court to order the U.S. Forest Service to close national forests to baiting for black bear hunting.

WildEarth Guardians brought the lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act in an effort to protect grizzles.

The Fish and Game Commission regulates black bear baiting and there are already long-standing bait closures to protect grizzly bears in the Panhandle and the greater Yellowstone area in Eastern Idaho.

In the last 20 years, the only grizzly bear killed on national forest lands at a black bear bait site in Idaho was in 2007 in the Kelly Creek area of central Idaho, according to IDFG. The hunter misidentified the grizzly as a black bear

Ralph Bartholdt

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