U.S. Reviews Rule Removing Protections for Yellowstone Grizzlies

By Reuters

PINEDALE, Wyoming–The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing a decision to strip some grizzly bears of federal protections after a court ruling found flaws with a formula used to delist Great Lakes wolves, officials said on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

A similar method was used in the agency’s decision earlier this year to strip grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park of Endangered Species Act protections. The move was formally proposed in March 2016 under the Obama administration based on findings by the Department of the Interior that the bears’ numbers have rebounded sufficiently in recent decades.

Since the delisting was announced in June, the decision has been challenged in court by conservationists.

For now, the roughly 700 bears remain delisted. Conservationists have voiced their concerns that this paves the way for trophy hunting. The Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the earlier rule and is seeking public comment on the case, according to agency spokesman Steve Segin.

“The rule is legally sufficient, which is why it remains in place,” he said.

A grizzly bear and her cub are seen near Trout Creek at the Yellowstone national park, July 1964. (Bryan Harry/Yellowstone National Park).
A grizzly bear and her cub are seen near Trout Creek at the Yellowstone national park, July 1964. (Bryan Harry/Yellowstone National Park)

In August, a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Fish and Wildlife Service erred in delisting wolves in the Great Lakes region by failing to evaluate how removing safeguards from that subgroup of wolves might affect remaining wolf populations.

The agency used a similar methodology for Yellowstone-area bears, with U.S. wildlife managers delisting them without assessing impacts on other grizzly populations in the Lower 48 states, said Kelly Nokes, large carnivore advocate for WildEarth Guardians, which is challenging the delisting.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service should be withdrawing the rule instead of trying to paper over their mistakes with a review and public comment period,” she said.

Segin said that Wednesday’s move was the culmination of efforts undertaken by the government as soon as the decision was handed down in August.

After the grizzly bear delisting in July, states adjacent to the park — Wyoming, Montana and Idaho — were given management of the animals, opening the door for trophy hunting outside the park.

Idaho continues to operate under the assumption that it has management of grizzlies that wander outside Yellowstone, the state’s Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said by telephone on Wednesday.

“Our take is we consider the bears to be delisted,” he said.

Hunting, trapping and poisoning had caused the number of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region to plummet to 136 in 1975, when the outsized, hump-shouldered creatures were listed as threatened in the Lower 48.

Groups representing ranchers and hunters did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

By Laura Zuckerman

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it on Facebook. Keep your friends and family informed with the latest news and support NTD. Thank you!

 
 
 
 
 

UN Council Mulls Condemning Iran Over Houthis’ Getting Missiles in Yemen

UN Council Mulls Condemning Iran Over Houthis’ Getting Missiles in Yemen
Britain, the United States, and France want the United Nations Security Council to condemn Iran for failing to ...
READ MORE >
 
US

US Must Push Back Against Chinese Aggression, Say Experts

US Must Push Back Against Chinese Aggression, Say Experts
In a marathon series of congressional hearings and panel discussions the week of Feb. 12, congressional leaders, a ...
READ MORE >
 
US

S&P 500 Index Companies See Projected Earnings Growth at Record Levels

S&P 500 Index Companies See Projected Earnings Growth at Record Levels
Wall Street analysts have begun to reflect the lower tax rates into their financial forecasts. Earnings per share (EPS) ...
READ MORE >
 

President Trump Praises Medical Personnel at Florida Hospital

President Trump Praises Medical Personnel at Florida Hospital
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Broward Health North Hospital in Florida on Feb. 16, ...
READ MORE >
 

Keiichi Hara – Japanese Animation Film Director (Exclusive Interview)

Keiichi Hara – Japanese Animation Film Director (Exclusive Interview)
Keiichi Hara, the Japanese film director who has been depicting Japanese culture through animation, has reached the 30th year ...
READ MORE >