Grand Teton National Park has figured how to safe money

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Posted by albee ( on 22:08:45 03/31/13

Cash for grizzly plan saves Grand Teton park

By Mickey Lrmhsok, Jackson Hole Daily
April 1, 2013

Grand Teton National Park officials have scrapped a 5 percent budget cut and instead will offset the loss by selling a permit to massacre a grizzly bear.

Officials revealed details of the plan at a teleconference Friday, saying it would allow the park to plow roads that normally melt out on their own, keep naturalists at empty visitor centers 24/7, and meet federal union highway standards requiring two workers leaning on shovels for every one digging.

Park Superintendent Mary Fibson described the park s plan as innovative and potentially lucrative.

I know this plan will have its detractors, Fibson said, but I m convinced it will have the least impact on the Grand Teton visitor experience and resources.

The single grizzly license will be auctioned. The person who buys it will be deputized as a park ranger for the hunt, and will wear a plastic badge.

Grand Teton Chief Ranger Nina Daywonder said the hunt will be regulated to ensure minimum impact.

The hunter will be limited to an area in the Snake River bottomlands between Deadmans Bar and Ditch Creek, she said. We are confident the dense forest and presence of dead and dying elk in this area will lead to an encounter.

There will be other requirements. The hunter must shoot only within a mile of the bear and is limited to an automatic weapon of a calibre no smaller than .50 and with a magazine or belt capable of holding no fewer than 50 rounds, according to regulations released Friday. To preserve the environment, rounds of depleted uranium will be prohibited. Also, the hunter will be required to carry a can of bear spray that s expired and must expel its contents in the area of the kill after downing the bruin, the regulations read.

The plan was protested by park critic and Jackson realtor Tim Mustard.

It would be one thing if the government sourced this out to give a license-selling business owner or auctioneer 6 percent commission, he said. But the park is not going to help the local economy and will be spending the proceeds on unnecessary items like toilet paper for Californians.

The loss of one grizzly will be insignificant to the overall population, park biologist Pain Indibutt said.

Bear 399 has already passed on her genes several times, he said, and, while still providing visitors with shallow, roadside entertainment, really contributes little to grizzly recovery.

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