The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove Yellowstone area grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List. These bears live in the 18-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Currently, the proposed plan does not do enough to ensure their long-term conservation.

The grizzly bear teetered on the brink of extinction in the 1970s and has since returned to number more than 600 today in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem — an achievement worthy of celebration.

However, the survival of grizzly bears in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and the John D. Rockefeller Parkway 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 restore the southernmost population of grizzly bears in North America, and we must ensure these bears continue to thrive.

NPCA believes the Fish and Wildlife Service proposal is incomplete and therefore currently fails to provide adequate information to support such a monumental decision. We are also extremely concerned that the National Park Service has not been adequately involved in the development of the proposal.

NPCA is also extremely concerned that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal could allow hunting on private and state-owned land inside Grand Teton National Park and within the John D. Rockefeller Parkway. Under the current proposal, hunting could also occur on lands directly adjacent to national parks as well as in key habitat that could link Yellowstone’s grizzly bears to grizzlies from Glacier National Park.

We can and must do better.

Helping Bears Thrive into the Future

As the Fish and Wildlife Service refines its proposed rule, NPCA is calling for improvements.

  • Key policies proposed in the rule are unclear, lack teeth and need to be sent back to the drawing board for further development. A decision as important is this one should not be rushed.

  • National Park Service staff should have a formal role managing bears on habitat adjacent to park borders and strong say in bear protection. Measures in place should protect bears that roam beyond national park boundaries.

  • Hunting inside National Park Service-managed lands, on adjacent lands and in key habitat connectivity corridors should be strictly prohibited in the proposed plan.

  • The plan must have protections in place that would allow grizzly bears to naturally move between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park.

  • The proposal should clearly articulate how to account for climate change and its effects on grizzly bears’ habitat, food sources and behavior.

  • The proposal should provide the public with a clear and detailed plan for how grizzlies will be managed and protected, and for how their long-term conservation will be assured, once management is turned over to state wildlife agencies.

A responsible plan will help ensure that bears thrive for decades to come.


  • More than 17,700 Comments Submitted to USFWS

    May 2016

    NPCA supporters submitted comments expressing concern on the proposal to remove Greater Yellowstone grizzlies from the Endangered Species List.

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