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PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Public Comment Period Closes Today on Grizzly De-listing

Today is the deadline to submit public comments on a proposal to take the Yellowstone Grizzly off the endangered species list. (Kim Keating/USGS)
Today is the deadline to submit public comments on a proposal to take the Yellowstone Grizzly off the endangered species list. (Kim Keating/USGS)
May 10, 2016

HELENA, Mont. - Today is the last day to make your opinions known on a proposal by the feds to take the Yellowstone Grizzly off the endangered species list.

So far, more than 3,300 responses have poured in online.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the grizzly has recovered enough within the national park to be de-listed.

However, Glenn Hockett, volunteer president with the Montana-based Gallatin Wildlife Association, says the recovery is too fragile. His group opposes the move.

"What's the hurry? Why are we saying we just can only have 700 bears in the greater Yellowstone, and we're going to maintain that as an isolated population? That just seems way premature; it's too small a bar," says Hockett.

Comments are being taken just until end-of-day today, online at regulations.gov.

Meanwhile, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission is already discussing how to set up a planned hunt in Montana as part of the Tri-State Bear Hunting Regulation Framework.

It's on the agenda at its public meeting this Thursday in Helena.

Hockett says the bears in the Glacier National Park area need to have a protected path to connect with Yellowstone and worries that once the bear is de-listed, the bears will lose out more often when there are conflicts with people and livestock.

"We should be establishing new populations in these other areas, and making sure we have habitat protected along these corridors to connect up the northern Continental Divide population and the grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park," Hockett says.

If the Yellowstone Grizzly is de-listed, the bears are still protected within the park boundaries, but can be hunted once they leave them, subject to rules set by the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could issue its decision by the end of the year.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT