Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West

By Michael J. Dax | Go to book overview

6
Ethical Controversies and the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement

The meeting room was crowded and restless when Bitterroot Valley resident Dennis Palmer rose from his seat and declared, “We don’t want the doggone bears.” This bold declaration, while representing the sentiments of many attending the public meeting in small, conservative Hamilton, Montana, was more measured than others. Long-time resident Robert Norton confidently stated, “Women and children are going to be killed and maimed.” During a similar meeting held in Hamilton two years later, an opponent of grizzly reintroduction read aloud the pathology report of a woman who had been mauled by a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park and displayed a picture of the mangled body for everyone to see. Another positively asserted that people “would rather reintroduce rattlesnakes and water moccasins than grizzly bears.” Histrionics reached an apex when one local resident lifted his young daughter above his head in the middle of the meeting room. Everyone’s eyes turned toward the young girl as her father announced to the room that she would be bear bait if the federal government reintroduced grizzlies. In High Country News, a reporter summed up the frenetic atmosphere of a meeting in rural Salmon, Idaho, which was similar to the other six meetings held across Montana and Idaho in October 1997, by wryly observing, “Big, stout, fully grown men displayed the kind of hostility and fear bordering on panic that, when voiced by women, is usually dismissed as hysteria.”1

-137-

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Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Grizzly Americana 17
  • 2- Endangered Species, Environmental Politics, and the American West 45
  • 3- Wolf Recovery Sets the Stage 69
  • 4- The Advent of the Roots Coalition and the Environmental Impact Statement 91
  • 5- Environmental Resistance 115
  • 6- Ethical Controversies and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 137
  • 7- The Divided West 165
  • 8- Triumph and Collapse 187
  • Conclusion 217
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 265
  • Index 277
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