Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Removed from Endangered Species List
The Interior Department announced on Thursday that Yellowstone grizzly bear will be removed from the endangered species list in a move that occurs more than 42 years after being protected. At that time the population was believed to be less than 150, and now it stands at more than 700.
In a statement, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke said, “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners. As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.” Once published in the Federal Register and after a 30-day waiting period, the change will officially take effect.
It is expected that extreme animal rights groups will contest the ruling in court, which is the modus operandi of such organizations in these situations. While sound science and common sense leads to the listing or de-listing of species, activist groups are motivated by emotion and misguided intentions. “This is a true conservation success story, and the de-listing of the Yellowstone grizzly bear is the culmination of more than 40 years of hard work to reach this point,” said Nick Pinizzotto, National Deer Alliance (NDA) President and CEO. “Sound wildlife management is about balance, and being able to manage predators, including grizzly bears, is a big part of the equation.”
Once the bear is no longer protected, its management will become the responsibility of the states, including Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The states will then decide if a hunting season is warranted, and if so, how many bears can be taken without negatively impacting the population. The states’ management of the bear will be monitored for five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and that includes a stipulation that the population not dip below 600.
Predator and competitor management is a priority issue for NDA, and the organization supports all actions to control the balance between predators and prey that are guided by sound science.