A common scanning time is being announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to look into potential solutions for reintroducing grizzly bears to the Bitterroot ecosystem. In an economic impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Service will evaluate the potential effects of suggested recovery options. The medical community, states, Tribes, the general public, and other stakeholders are encouraged to examine the scanning notice and offer helpful suggestions to help form the project’s scope in its earlier stages.
One of the six recognized grizzly bear treatment areas in the lower 48 States is the Bitterroot habitat. There is presently no established community in this healing area, which is defined as having two or more breeding females or one female with two consecutive litters, despite the fact that adult grizzly bears have been documented in the Bitterroot Ecosystem. In the contiguous United States, big animals are listed as a threatened species.
Plans for reintroducing grizzly bears to the Bitterroot ecosystem were outlined in a final EIS, decision-making record, and rule under section 10 ( j ) of the Endangered Species Act that the Service published in November 2000. In order to reinstate grizzly bears to the Bitterroot ecosystem, the Service has never taken any further action.
The Service was found to have unreasonable delay in carrying out some of the November 2000 ROD’s provisions, including the establishment of a people advisory committee, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in early 2023. The Service was mandated by the court to update the EIS and, if necessary, issue a new ROD and 10 ( j ) rule. Due to the fact that the research and data used to tell the initial activity are more than 20 years old, the Service decided to complete a new EIS and ROD based on the best information and knowledge at hand. The Service may release a final EIS and ROD by November 2026 in accordance with the judge’s order adopting the proposed timeframe.
The grizzly bear recovery EIS in the Bitterroot Ecosystem will evaluate potential restoration options by looking at possible effects on the environment, managing bear-human conflicts, weighing the possible connectivity of the bears between recuperation zones, and including other pertinent information regarding impacts. The Service may identify a number of steps to take into account as part of this process, including avoiding taking any action at all.
To solicit feedback on the context of the EIS, the Service is starting a 60-day public comment period from January 18 through March 18. Feedback can be submitted through www. rules. state employing case number FWS- R6 and ES for 2023 and 0203.
Also, the Service is hosting a number of online public information sessions where the general public can gain more knowledge about this procedure. These gatherings are solely for technical functions. You should submit formal comments via www. rules. Gov.
- Register these on Monday, February 5, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
- Register these on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
- Register these on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
Visit the Service’s Bitterroot Grizzly Bear EIS webpage at https ://fws.gov/BitterrootEIS for details, paperwork, and ongoing updates about this project.