Press Release Jun 22, 2017

Concerns Raised Over Endangered Species Act Removal of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

Final rule released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removes 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.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association

“National Parks Conservation Association is very concerned with the decision released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections for Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears. We have raised these same red-flags throughout the delisting process—that the proposed post-delisting plan and accompanying Conservation Strategy fails on multiple levels to protect Yellowstone and Grand Teton grizzly bears and ignores multiple issues raised by the public and wildlife managers.

“NPCA will carefully review today’s decision, but recognizes that decades of work and millions of taxpayer dollars have been dedicated to grizzly recovery and conservation. As a result, we need to be confident that such an investment is not wasted by delisting grizzly bears without ensuring the post-delisting management plan ensures they are conserved in our national parks and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in perpetuity. We must preserve the important roles that grizzly bears play in maintaining healthy and diverse environments.”

Background: Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final proposed rule that removes the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List after over 40 years on the 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.

The controversial delisting comes after years of working with local stakeholders, multiple public comment periods, and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST). In 2016 the IGBST released a Conservation Strategy that is to guide the future management of the bears through state and federal regulations. The plan will be evaluated every five years by state, tribal and federal management agencies, and may include public comment during those reviews.

# # # #

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 1.2 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.