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Governor Reacts To Dropped Charges In Grizzly Killing

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is reacting to news of U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson dropping charges against a northern Idaho man for killing a grizzly bear on his property.

Otter released this statement Thursday about Jeremy Hill: “I’m gratified that Mr. Hill and his family weren’t hurt, that he’s been cleared of criminal charges, and that they will avoid the ordeal of a federal trial. But the fact remains that this is another unfortunate and unnecessary example of how badly the Endangered Species Act is flawed and needs to be fixed. The people of Idaho and our own congressional delegation members get that. It’s time for Congress to join us in recognizing that protecting property as well as lives needs to be a much bigger part of the equation if efforts to recover species are going work in the West.”

Hill was charged with a misdemeanor after he reported he killed a grizzly bear. He said he was protecting his children when three bears walked onto his property near Porthill.

Hill originally pleaded not guilty to unlawfully taking a federally protected species but did admit he knew his children were safe inside when he killed the bear. He agreed to pay a $1,000 fine.

Olson said investigators were unable to determine the location of Hill’s children at the time the bears were first seen in Hill’s yard.

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