Please find updates on links to updates on prospective Yellowstone grizzly delisting and mineral extraction in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. ***Comment on Lucky Minerals gold mining prospect in Emigrant Gulch due Monday, 12.12.2016 - see note direct from Sierra Club - Montana office at the bottom of this post.***
Please also read Mother Lode - minding Animas River
WOUNDED GRIZZLY WALKING
He shot her
down by the river.
And she, would die
by her terms
in her footsteps
long after the chase.
Wounded Grizzly Walking is written in memory of a grizzly who was shot by a hunter in a gold mining camp, California 1852. The hunter lost the grizzly in the ensuing chase but found a grove of giant sequoia, soon after cut and ravaged.
Wounded Grizzly Walking and the prose below accompany the 10.08.2016 ex·tinc·tion wit·ness post, Guarding Yellowstone & Trading Trophies.
Protecting Yellowstone Grizzly
Along the West Coast, I find grizzly's physical absence and spiritual presence palpable. Living within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is sweet in part because grizzly is here physically. When I travel any distance on foot, I walk well aware that someone could easily kill me if she wanted to. And I walk unarmed, making myself known and trusting my senses. I no more hunt grizzly than she would hunt me. And she has been with me since this witness began in 2012.
Grizzly's protection within the GYE under the Endangered Species Act has been ensured since 1975, the year I was born. That is, possibly, until now since some have deemed GYE grizzly's numbers great enough to justify delisting.
There are many reasons to keep grizzly protected, including whitebark pine loss and rapidly changing circumstances that lay bare life's fundamental uncertainties and every body's fragility.
"Right now, hunting carnivores serves
a narrow interest group, a preference for sport
and recreation and trophies that isn't shared
by broader society in Canada and the USA.
Government should not be promoting this
as a way to manage conflicts.
...We're finding this [hunting] does not protect farmers
in any of the ways that have been proposed."
- Dr. Adrien Treves / Grizzly Beat Podcast
Should the move to delist forward and grizzly become game, those who will kill grizzly will do so for sport and land holding, not sustenance. And, unfortunately those who will benefit from Yellowstone grizzly's delisting are those who have say in the decision to delist bear.
Comment on USFWS decision to delist Yellowstone grizzly has passed. Please continue to encourage protections for grizzly and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Please see Grizzly Bear's Future by Louisa Willcox with background information and why delisting is a poor choice, as well as Rick Bass' LA Times Op-Ed 'Don't delist Yellowstone grizzlies'. Also listen to Episode 16/17 of Grizzly Beat Podcast with Dr. Adrien Treves as he reviews research leading to the need for "a complete overhaul of the long-held and untested assumptions about killing carnivores." There's a call to remember right relationship with grizzly and others. Please read 'Tribal Grizzly Bear Treaty Redefines Recovery of the Great Bear' by Louisa Willcox at Grizzly Times.
For more on living with large predators, please watch The Secret Life of Mountain Lions, produced by WildFutures and narrated by Chris Morgan (PBS, BBC, National Geographic). And see People and Carnivores and Voices for Biodiversity for additional efforts toward peaceful co-existence.
"On the heels of the election, last week brought more bad news for Yellowstone bears: the Yellowstone Subcommittee finalized the post-delisting Conservation Strategy, which still suffers from the same inadequacies that independent scientists have been harping about. The CS was approved in an 18-1 vote, with only Yellowstone Park Superintendent Dan Wenk voting against it. The Shoshone Bannock Tribe, which serves on the YES committee, abstained. Here is the link. The government is not taking public comment on the revised version, despite repeated requests." - Louisa Willcox
Post-delisting Yellowstone Grizzly Conservation Stratefy - http://igbconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/161116_DRAFT_Cons_Strat.pdf
To keep up with this ruling Go to the Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the search box, enter the docket number for the proposed rule, which is FWS–R6–ES–2016–
0042. Then click on the Search button.
Comment by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments
Processing, Attn: FWS–R6–ES–2016–0042; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management
Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
The following is quoted directly from Bonnie Rice, Senior Representative
Greater Yellowstone/Northern Rockies Campaign in the Sierra Club - Montana office electronic letter 12.8.2016.
"Lucky Minerals, a Canadian mining company, is seeking a permit to explore for gold and other minerals in Montana's beautiful Paradise Valley just north of Yellowstone National Park. The Emigrant Gulch area is renowned for its spectacular mountain vistas, the wild and free-flowing Yellowstone River, and prime wildlife habitat for grizzly bears, wolverines, Canada lynx and other imperiled species. But despite overwhelming opposition from the local community and hundreds of businesses, Lucky Minerals is proceeding with its plans for a large mining operation, placing all of this at serious risk.
Unfortunately, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently released an Environmental Assessment (available at http://deq.mt.gov/Public/ea) concluding that there would be no significant impact from mineral exploration. Lucky Minerals has made it clear that they want to create a large-scale, potentially open pit mine and that they plan to explore for more than just gold, but DEQ only analyzed a small portion of the company's plan for Emigrant Gulch.
The deadline for public comment is Monday, December 12. Please write to DEQ today! You can submit a commit via the DEQ web portal at: http://luckyminerals.mtdeq.commentinput.com/
Below are some points to include in your comment:
- DEQ should adopt the fourth option in the EA and undertake a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
- Lucky Minerals has made it clear that they want to create a large scale mine and explore for other minerals in addition to gold; however, DEQ's analysis only examined a small fraction of the company's plans.
- Lucky Minerals' proposal opens the door for development of a large-scale mine and puts the Yellowstone River and Montana's outdoor heritage at risk.
- Montana DEQ's analysis is flawed; without a complete picture neither DEQ nor the public can truly assess the impacts and long and short-term consequences of mining in this world-famous landscape.
- The EA justifies its flawed finding of no significant impact by noting that there is a history of mining in Emigrant Gulch. The impacts of past mining are still seen and felt in the area, but the land is slowly healing. A new mine, especially one like Lucky Minerals envisions, will set that progress back by decades.
- The Paradise Valley is a world-renowned gateway to Yellowstone. A gold mine would seriously threaten the local tourism-dependent economy.
- The area proposed for mining is home to grizzly bears, Canada lynx and wolverines; a mining operation would put these and other imperiled species at even greater risk.
Thanks for all you do to protect wildlands and wildlife,
Bonnie Rice, Senior Representative
Greater Yellowstone/Northern Rockies Campaign
Sierra Club 2101 Webster, Suite 1300, Oakland, CA 94612"