NPCA vehemently opposes a plan by the state of Wyoming to allow hunters to kill up to 23 grizzly bears in the fall of 2018. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just removed these bears from the Endangered Species List in 2017.
In June 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List, a flawed decision that fails to consider the best available science and could set grizzly bear recovery back by decades.
As a result of the delisting, the state of Wyoming officially approved a plan to allow hunters to kill up to 23 grizzly bears in the fall of 2018, threatening the long-term health of the bear population. The hunt is the first of its kind in 40 years.
NPCA strongly opposes the hunt and is part of a coalition of tribal and conservation groups suing the Fish and Wildlife Service to overturn the bears’ removal from the Endangered Species List.
The 18-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the few suitable habitats left in the country that is large enough to support grizzly bears. These animals teetered on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, and the Yellowstone population has grown to more than 600 today — an achievement worthy of celebration.
However, the survival of grizzly bears did not happen by accident. The Endangered Species Act set strict protections, and dedicated wildlife experts and public support made their recovery possible. It took decades of hard work and millions of taxpayer dollars to save these animals from being lost forever, and we must ensure they continue to thrive.
NPCA is extremely concerned that the Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to provide a responsible plan for the bears’ continued recovery. Concerns include:
- The plan fails to provide long-term and enforceable regulations to ensure the grizzly population remains stable and is able to increase in both size and geographic scope.
- It is opening the way to hunting grizzly bears on private and state-owned land inside and adjacent to the area’s national park sites, further jeopardizing the long-term health of the grizzly population.
- It does not include measures that would encourage connectivity with grizzly bears that live in the Crown of the Continent/Glacier ecosystem, depriving both populations of the genetic diversity they need to thrive.
- It fails to provide the National Park Service with a formal seat at the table to work with state agencies to manage bears that move beyond park borders.
- It fails to properly consider how climate change will impact the grizzly bears long-term.
The stakes are too high to rush the process and remove important protections for these iconic bears. NPCA believes the prudent action is to put an immediate halt to the plans for a Wyoming bear hunt, withdraw the delisting and work with other key stakeholders to redo the delisting decision. However, the Department of Interior refuses to do so.
NPCA will continue to fight to stop the Wyoming bear hunt and pressure the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to redo the delisting decision and include enforceable regulations to ensure the grizzly bears of Grand Teton, Yellowstone and the surrounding area are able to continue to rebound.
More than 17,700 Comments Submitted to USFWS
NPCA supporters submitted comments expressing concern on the proposal to remove Greater Yellowstone grizzlies from the Endangered Species List.
More than 8,000 Took Action for Grizzlies
Thousands of national park advocates submitted comments to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking the agency to withdraw its decision to delist the grizzly bears of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
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