Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are again formally classified as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. That became official after the federal government published the final rule in the Federal Register.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation disagreed with the original judge’s ruling in favor of environmental groups who have filed litigation each time scientists deemed the population as recovered.
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and state wildlife agencies in maintaining that the grizzly population in the Greater Yellowstone Area met all delisting criteria as determined by scientists and should remain subject to state management,” said Kyle Weaver, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “State agencies manage elk, mountain lions, deer and other wildlife as per the North American Conservation Wildlife Model, and the same should hold for grizzly bears.”
“The grizzly is fully recovered in Wyoming. End of story,” said Senator John Barasso (R-WY). “The Fish and Wildlife Service first moved to delist the bear almost 15 years ago. The last three administrations made the determination that the grizzly bear was recovered.”
Scientists and biologists estimate the Greater Yellowstone grizzly population to be approximately 700 animals.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)