Recovery plan bearly there

  Seventeen environmental groups said March 16 they will sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because its Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan will fail. The announcement follows a similar notice filed by three other groups in late January (HCN, 2/21/94). All say the federal plan needs to include more specific standards for the protection of core grizzly bear habitat. They also say the agency set its population targets for recovery too low. The larger coalition, including groups such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society and the National Parks and Conservation Association, says grizzly bears have never reached population goals for the northern Continental Divide region. Doug Honnold, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund attorney representing the environmentalists, says new biological data show there needs to be a contiguous population of 2,000 bears to ensure the grizzly's survival. Fewer than 1,000 grizzlies are estimated to now live in the continental United States.