Advocates seek grizzly re-introductions

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Grizzly bearAn advo­ca­cy group has peti­tioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice to rein­tro­duce griz­zly bears into the Sel­way-Bit­ter­root area of Ida­ho and Mon­tana.

The Cen­ter for Bio­log­i­cal Diver­si­ty said Thurs­day that it hopes to revive a stalled recov­ery plan for the ani­mals that was final­ized in 2000.

The group says hav­ing bears in the Sel­way-Bit­ter­root would help con­nect griz­zlies in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park with oth­er pop­u­la­tions of the ani­mals in Mon­tana and Ida­ho. It says the 16-mil­lion-acre area could sup­port 300 to 600 bears.

An ear­li­er peti­tion from the group called for griz­zly recov­ery across a sev­en-state area that includ­ed the Sel­way-Bit­ter­root. Cen­ter for Bio­log­i­cal Diver­si­ty attor­ney Andrea San­tar­siere says the group is con­sid­er­ing legal action after that peti­tion was denied in Sep­tem­ber.