Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission took the first step in the process to address the court’s concerns to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Commission approved a revised tri-state Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the management and allocation of discretionary mortality of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
“Wyoming has worked collaboratively with Idaho and Montana to make these updates,” said Rick King, chief of wildlife for Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The revised MOA recognizes the expanding number of grizzly bears that have grown beyond the edges of the bear’s biological and socially suitable range. With refined population estimates, data shows the population numbers more than 1,000 bears, far beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered, viable population. The revisions also include an explicit commitment to grizzly bear’s long-term genetic health and will provide for translocation of bears into the population, as needed, to maintain genetic diversity.
The MOA will still need approval from Idaho and Montana through their respective Commissions and directors before Wyoming files a delisting petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has steadily maintained that grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) met all delisting threshold requirements and should be delisted so they can be managed by state wildlife agencies.
(Photo credit: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)