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.