Tom Holman of Nordman in North Idaho knows his rights.
He has lived on Priest Lake in North Idaho for 40 years, the “crown jewel of Idaho."
It’s in the heart of habitat for one of the most imperiled grizzly bear populations in North America. But that doesn’t change the fact he has the right to leave corn out in his back yard to attract wild animals so he can photograph them.
It’s private property, after all.
The millions of dollars the federal government is spending to recovery grizzly bears in the Selkirk Mountains is its own problem. He’s just trying to make a little extra money as a wildlife photographer selling photos on his website.
It wasn’t his fault that one of the three grizzly bears that were attracted to his corn had to be killed by wildlife officials Oct. 4 because of their concern it might attack someone. That’s their job, after all, to protect people from their bears.
Now Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has another way of looking at the situation. He’s actually blaming Holman.
"People like that might as well just shoot these animals right out," he told the Associated Press. "But the management agencies end up doing the dirty work."
Holman said he was considering suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for slander because they blame him for the grizzly’s death. They pulled the trigger, after all.
That’s like blaming an eastern Idaho elk rancher, who was dumping his gut piles outside his fence, for attracting grizzlies that were threatening his neighbors.
And, federal officials are keeping the number of bears in North Idaho a secret, Holman told the Associated Press. They have been telling the public that only about 40 grizzly bears survive in the Selkirk ecosystem.
But these are the same people who said there weren’t any bears left in the Bitterroot Ecosystem in central Idaho. We now know that wasn’t true because a bow hunter shot one thinking it was a black bear earlier this year.
Holman has voluntarily quit putting out corn for wildlife in the wake of the bear killing. He’s even taken the grizzly bear pictures he was selling for $40 a piece off his web site.
He just wants the federal government to leave him alone. His photography is beautiful and clearly worth the $40.
Check out the landscapes.