Press Release Mar 9, 2018

Wyoming Hunting Proposal Threatens Yellowstone and Grand Teton Grizzly Bears

Proposal threatens grizzly bears that make their homes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and travel inside and outside of park borders.

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

“National Parks Conservation Association strongly opposes the hunting proposal by Wyoming Game and Fish Department as it threatens Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park grizzly bears. During the federal grizzly bear delisting process last year, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho argued that they intended to manage for a stable population, however Wyoming’s proposal today, to harvest two dozen bears, clearly indicates that is not the intent. Wyoming’s proposal claims to protect grizzlies that move beyond Yellowstone and Grand Teton boundaries by regulating that bears cannot be shot within a quarter mile of many of the main highways used by park visitors. This offers no real protection for national park grizzly bears. It merely means the state does not want bears shot in front of the millions of visitors that travel to the region to see wildlife in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks each year.”

Background: Today the Wyoming Game and Fish Department released a draft hunting proposal allowing for the harvest of two dozen grizzly bears that could begin as early as this fall. A public comment period will run until April 30th and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is set to vote on this proposal on May 23, 2018.

Following the Interior Department’s 2017 delisting of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bear from the Endangered Species List, the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have assumed management of this grizzly bear population. NPCA, represented by Earthjustice, is currently suing in federal court challenging that the delisting is illegal. Therefore, individual state plans to begin hunting should not be made until the federal case is heard.

Many grizzly bears that make their homes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks travel inside and outside of park borders. If Wyoming moves forward with hunting along the borders of these parks, these bears could be targeted and killed, damaging the ecological core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

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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 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.