Grizzly bear killing in Idaho gets political

Aug 25, 2011

Idaho politicians are questioning the federal government's decision to press charges against a man for killing a grizzly bear near his house. Governor Butch Otter sent a letter to the Department of the Interior asking Secretary Ken Salazar to look into the north Idaho case. Senator Mike Crapo is also pushing for answers from the Interior Department.

Thirty-three-year-old Jeremy Hill faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine for killing a grizzly bear. The grizzly is a threatened species.

Boundary County commissioner Walt Kirby says the case against Hill is unnerving to people who live in bear country.

“Pretty much anyone that I've spoken to lately has been pretty up in arms about the whole thing and think that – in this particular case – the government should just pick up their marbles and go home,” Kirby said.

Jeremy Hill pleaded not guilty this week to illegally shooting a grizzly bear. He says his kids were playing outside when a mother bear and two cubs came into his yard. Hill lives between two grizzly bear recovery zones near the Canadian border.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network