LA Times: Reporting from Bonners Ferry, Idaho— To understand the deep rift over federal regulation of endangered species, one only had to sit in the stands of the annual 4-H auction at the Boundary County Fairgrounds here last month, when 14-year-old Jasmine Hill’s handsome pig, Regina, went up for sale.
First, it’s important to know the back story: Jasmine’s father, Jeremy, had been charged by the U.S. Justice Department a few weeks earlier with shooting a grizzly bear — a federally designated threatened species — 40 yards from the back door of the family home at the base of the Selkirk Mountains.
Plenty of people have been charged with illegally killing endangered wolves, bears, caribou and other animals with tenuous footholds in the rugged country in places like northern Idaho.
But this was different. Hill, his neighbors said, was protecting his home and his family. He was doing what any of them might have done. And now a man trying to raise six children out in the woods on a backhoe operator’s earnings was facing up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine.