Press Release Mar 3, 2016

National Parks Group Raises Concern Over the Future of Grizzly Bear Management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

A proposed rule released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List. The rule impacts grizzly bears in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the 20 million acre ecosystem.

Background: Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft proposed rule that, if approved, would remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List. The rule impacts grizzly bears that make their homes in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller Parkway. It also impacts, the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which spans more than 20 million acres across Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Statement by Stephanie Adams, Yellowstone Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association

“Grizzly bears are a keystone species of our national parks and wild places, making the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly from the Endangered Species List a serious concern. The post-delisting management of bears must be based on sound science and provide adequate protections to ensure the long-term survival of this iconic population.”

“Frustratingly, this draft rule released for public review is essentially incomplete, as it fails to provide details that would impact bears in our national parks. It also relies on outdated state plans, one a decade old, for grizzly management. The draft rule is missing critical information to outline how state agencies will partner with the National Park Service, in addressing bear management on lands adjacent to national parks.

“We are also extremely concerned that the draft rule fails to address hunting inside of the John D. Rockefeller Parkway, key habitat connecting bears between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.”

“Our number one priority is ensuring that grizzly bears are conserved in our national parks and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in perpetuity, preserving the important roles they play in maintaining healthy and diverse environments.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.