Since at least 2006, SCI has advocated for the delisting of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the threatened species list. In 2007, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) first delisted these bears, but litigation derailed that effort based on one narrow claim related to one of the bears’ food sources. SCI was involved in that litigation and helped defeat several other significant claims brought by the anti-hunting groups. The FWS has now addressed the food source issue.
On March 3, 2016, the FWS again proposed delisting the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears. Although the bears were biologically recovered in 2008, the Yellowstone area population appears even more robust, increasing from approximately 136 bears in 1975 to more than 700 today. After the FWS finalizes the rule to delist, the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will take over management of this population. The states could then offer well-regulated hunting of the grizzly when appropriate.
The FWS will be accepting public comment on the proposal for 60 days from when it is published in the Federal Register. SCI is evaluating the proposed delisting and will be submitting comments that advance our interests.