Idaho governor welcomes delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies

Posted June 24, 2017

She said the group would also continue working with local ranchers and landowners in the region "to promote coexistence efforts between humans and their grizzly neighbors that can prevent bear mortalities and conflicts".

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) quickly praised the announcement that federal protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears would be lifted.

"This has been a priority of the association for years and is a critical first step for the State of Montana to regain management of the bear population" the Montana Stockgrowers Association said. "One school of thought says that because the bears" populations have plateaued, that means they've hit the carrying capacity, or the number of animals the habitat can sustain, and are in good shape.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. Today there are about 700 bears in the region.

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Officials said that conservation efforts for the bear, a more than fourfold increase in its population and state policies created to protect the bears show that the delisting is warranted.

The NRDC pointed out that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service tried to remove the Yellowstone bears from the endangered list back in 2007. "The grizzly bear's recovery demonstrates just how capable Wyoming is in effectively recovering threatened and endangered species". Grizzly bears in other areas will remain under protection. The Endangered Species Act, they continued, "is not created to make our National Parks into proverbial zoos, where only small, isolated subpopulations of species exist". "This welcome decision to delist the grizzly bear from the Endangered Species Act rightly returns management of the Yellowstone grizzly to where it should be, under the control of experts in Wyoming, not Washington".

About 125 tribes have signed a treaty opposing trophy hunting grizzly bears, which Native Americans consider a sacred animal.

Mead went on to say that the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team comprised of members of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish, must be commended for years of great work.

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When Europeans resettled in the West, grizzly bears were trapped, shot, and poisoned to near extinction. Mead gave no guidance on when that decision might be made.

Safari Club International celebrates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and hunter-conservationists throughout the country the impending delisting of grizzly bears. "Along with this listing, it's paired with a conservation strategy and we had prepared a draft of that several years ago, so it's a multi-year process and you have to start way ahead, so we were going to recommend delisting no matter who was secretary, because they had met their recovery goals". Grizzly diets are diverse enough to deal with the decline in white bark pine, and well-managed hunting would not pose a major threat, he said.

"We are in no rush at all", Wolf said. "But a managed population decline post-delisting is not biologically defensible". It's a population that's recovered.

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