Jackson, WY – At a public meeting concerning the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s draft grizzly bear hunting regulations Wyoming Wildlife Advocates proposed a Grizzly Bear Permanent Conservation Area to be created in Jackson Hole and the surrounding area. Trophy hunting of grizzlies would not be allowed within the area.
WWA Director Kent Nelson said grizzly hunting was socially unacceptable, biologically and ecologically suspect, and economically incompatible with the area’s wildlife tourism-based economy. He noted that Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the National Park Service, local business organizations, conservation groups and citizens were all opposed to trophy hunting that would put the area’s famous bears – all of whom are known to exit the park boundaries – at risk.
Nelson concluded his statement by noting that the proposal would maintain – and enhance – Jackson Hole’s status as a world class wildlife viewing destination.
The meeting, held Tuesday evening in Jackson, was well attended and many who commented noted the value of grizzly bears to the local economy.
Wyoming Wildlife Advocates’s full statement follows, see map below.
The superintendents of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and the National Park Service itself have expressed concern for the fate of transboundary grizzly bears in a post-delisting environment that allows trophy hunting.
In addition, the local and regional conservation community has expressed concern over the biological and ecological effects of trophy hunting.
And finally, the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, the premier local business association, and the citizens of Jackson Hole have all expressed concern about the economic effects of trophy hunting on the tourism based economy of Jackson Hole.
In short, trophy hunting of grizzly bears is socially unacceptable, biologically and ecologically suspect, and economically incompatible with the values and the lifestyle of Jackson Hole and the surrounding areas.
The business community believes this, the conservation community believes this, and the citizens of Jackson Hole believe this.
Therefore, we propose that Jackson Hole and the surrounding area be designated a permanent grizzly bear conservation area where trophy hunting of grizzlies is not allowed, an area as shown on the map that is being distributed.
We value grizzly bears in Jackson Hole and we are not willing to allow them to be hunted for the benefit of those who would hang their heads on a wall or lay their hides out on the floor.
In Jackson Hole grizzlies truly are worth more alive than dead.
This proposal is consistent with local values, it’s good for the local economy and it maintains, and enhances, Jackson Hole’s status as a world class wildlife viewing destination.