Posts tagged: endangered species
The Obama Administration today decided to drop its appeal in the 9th Circuit of a federal judge's rejection of its move to list slickspot peppergrass as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; Gov. Butch Otter applauded the administration's decision. “It took a while, but the feds apparently have figured out that collaborating and finding common ground is more effective than forcing a wrongheaded listing down our throats,” Otter declared. He said if the plant had been listed as threatened, critical habitat designations that would follow would have been “devastating for farmers, ranchers and recreational land users in southwestern Idaho.”
Click below for Otter's full statement. The Obama Administration first listed slickspot peppergrass as threatened in 2009, but the move was overturned in court when federal Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled that the process the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used for listing the plant was flawed. Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker has more info on this here.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped misdemeanor charges against a Porthill, Idaho, man who shot and killed a grizzly bear in his yard, reports S-R reporter Becky Kramer; you can read her story here at spokesman.com. Instead, Jeremy M. Hill was issued a citation for the May 8 shooting of the male grizzly, and paid a $1,000 fine.
1st District Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador issued this statement on the Jeremy Hill grizzly bear shooting case in North Idaho:
“Only Jeremy knows the threat this bear posed to his family and property. No one from D.C. or Boise was present to know the circumstances surrounding his actions, but the Endangered Species Act shouldn’t force us to second-guess these types of life or death decisions. If the facts that have appeared in the media accounts are true and accurate, then the judgment call Jeremy made to protect his family and property appears to be justified.
“It is heartening though to see the great people of northern Idaho rallying around the Hill family during this difficult time. Jeremy Hill deserves a fair trial and the moral and financial support he is receiving from his neighbors will help ensure that he does. However, this situation clearly illustrates that the Endangered Species Act needs to be looked at with fresh eyes as animal populations recover while human populations increase in close proximity. I will work with my colleagues in the Idaho Congressional Delegation to address such concerns within that law.”
Both of Idaho's U.S. senators have now weighed in on the case of Jeremy Hill, the North Idaho man who's charged with killing a two-year-old male grizzly bear on his property on May 8; Gov. Butch Otter already wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar going to bat for Hill. Here's Sen. Jim Risch's statement:
“The federal case against Mr. Hill for shooting a grizzly that was on his property, where he believed he was protecting his family, is another example for the need to reform the Endangered Species Act. Protection of your family and property has been sacrosanct since this country was formed. What Mr. Hill did was not a criminal act in the court of common sense. My hope is that common sense prevails in this case.”
Here's Sen. Mike Crapo's statement:
CRAPO ON GRIZZLY BEAR SHOOTING
Urges swift and fair treatment for accused
Washington, DC – The U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho recently filed federal criminal charges under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against Jeremy Hill of Porthill, Idaho, for killing a grizzly bear on his property on May 8, 2011. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) which handles oversight of the ESA, says that Mr. Hill deserves swift and just treatment, and urges the federal government to show fairness and common sense when considering the case.
“I have deep concerns about this incident and the decision of the government to prosecute Mr. Hill, who did what any parent would do in this situation. Clearly, Mr. Hill thought that his family was in danger and was protecting them from harm. I understand that the Endangered Species Act is intended to protect threatened and endangered species, but Congress never intended to do so at the expense of basic public safety and the ability to protect oneself or their loved ones in the face of danger. The American people need to know that they can protect themselves, their families and property when threatened by federally protected wildlife, and that the government will support their right to do so.
Mr. Hill and his family deserve for this matter to come to a fair and swift conclusion, and once that happens, Congress needs to get to work on commonsense ESA reforms to ensure that this deeply unfortunate situation never happens again. In the meantime, I am going to work with my delegation colleagues and the governor to ensure that Mr. Hill and his family get the fairest possible treatment under the law and can move on with their lives.”
Gov. Butch Otter has penned a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in defense of Jeremy Hill, the Boundary County man who shot a grizzly bear that had entered his yard while his young children were out playing, and now faces federal charges. “I recognize the federal jurisdiction under the Endangered Species Act, but I strongly support the right of individuals to defend themselves and others in such situations,” Otter wrote. “Many, including me, feel Mr. Hill did what a concerned parent would do.”
The governor wrote, “No one disputes that Jeremy Hill killed a grizzly bear. The dispute appears to be over the reason for shooting the bear. I would sincerely appreciate your looking into this case and assisting in any way you can.” You can read Otter's full letter here.
Here's a link to our full story in today's paper on the prosecution of a Boundary County man who shot and killed a grizzly bear that had appeared in his yard with its mother and another two-year-old cub on May 8, while his six children were playing outside. Jeremy Hill, 33, pleaded not guilty to the federal charge yesterday; so many supporters showed up at his arraignment that the hearing had to be moved into a larger room in the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene. Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, told S-R reporter Becky Kramer after the hearing, “It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family. I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”
Hill called Idaho Fish & Game to report the incident immediately after. “Jeremy did the right thing, he called Fish and Game,” Keough said. “I think that prosecuting this case really sets back the grizzly bear recovery effort. … People are saying, ‘Boy, if that happened to me, there’s no way that I’d report it.’ That’s a human reaction.” A jury trial for Hill has been set for Oct. 4; if convicted of illegally killing a federally protected species, he could face up to a year in prison and fines of up to $50,000.