Groups Seek Information, Offer $8,000 Reward for Grizzly Bear Deaths
October 17, 2002

Idaho Falls. In response to the recent illegal killing of a female grizzly and her cub near Sawtell Peak in the Centennial mountains of eastern Idaho, a coalition of hunting and conservation organizations is offering an $8,000 reward for information that will lead to a conviction. They hope this incentive will help the Idaho Department of Game and Fish find the person or persons responsible for the bear deaths.

Defenders of Wildlife, East Idaho Group of the Sierra Club, the Idaho Conservation League, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Safari Club International, and a private citizen, Roland Dixon, are collectively offering the money.

"We are saddened by this loss to the bear population and are committed to helping find those responsible," said Minette Johnson, Defenders of Wildlife's Northern Rockies field representative.

"The death of these two bears brings the total to 15 human-related grizzly bear deaths in Greater Yellowstone this year," said Marv Hoyt, Idaho Representative for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. "If this unacceptably high grizzly mortality rate continues, long-term recovery efforts will be seriously jeopardized and an acrimonious environment will be created."

The groups urge any individuals who may have information about this incident to call the Idaho Department of Game and Fish, Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward.

"It's very likely that there is pertinent information floating around out there," said John Schmidt with the East Idaho Group, Sierra Club. "We are trying to make it worthwhile for people to come forward with any tips that might help find those responsible."

"The killings only hurt the grizzly bear population and ultimately its recovery," said Bruce Mincher, of the Idaho Chapter of Safari Club International. "Grizzlies will continue occupying areas like the Centennials because of its suitable habitat. It is critical that we learn to live with the great bear if we want recovery of the population."

Minette Johnson, Defenders of Wildlife (406) 594-4103
Marv Hoyt, Greater Yellowstone Coalition (208) 522-7927
Bruce Mincher, Safari Club International's Idaho Chapter (208) 522-8790
Justin Hayes, Idaho Conservation League (208) 345-6933