Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to Lose Endangered Species Protection nyti.ms/2rHHG1
Note: This is heartbreaking and unconscionable. Easier to go after the habitat for development when there are no endangered species being protected. He did not listen to science or the multitudes of pleas to protect these bears.
HELENA, Mont. — After 42 years on the Endangered Species list, the Yellowstone grizzly bear — whose numbers have grown to more than 700 from fewer than 150 — will lose its protected status, the Interior Department announced on Thursday.
The controversial move has long been debated, despite the bear’s increasing population in areas where it had not been seen in decades. The Fish and Wildlife Service tried to delist the bear in 2007, but was ordered by federal court decisions to reconsider its analysis because of a decline in white bark pine, a key bear food source that has been decimated by insects partly because of warmer temperatures in the region.
In making the decision to lift the protection, Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, remarked on the long-term efforts that have allowed the bear to thrive: “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Mr. Zinke said in a statement. “As a Montanan I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
This action will not affect the other major population of grizzlies in the lower 48 states, those that live in and around Glacier National Park of Montana, which number about 1,000. However, experts say this population too could soon be delisted.
The rule to remove the Yellowstone bear from the endangered list will be published in the federal register sometime in the near future and take effect 30 days after that.
Eliminating threatened species protection under the Endangered Species Act paves the way for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to take over responsibility for the big bear from federal managers outside the park. That means fewer restrictions on the bear’s management — it could be shot by landowners if it’s stalking cattle for instance — and will likely include a hunting season for grizzlies. Bears within the boundaries the national park will remain a federal responsibility and will not be hunted, unless they leave Yellowstone.
Delisting the big bruin, or Ursus arctos horribilis, is opposed by a number of conservation groups and Native American tribes who say climate change has cast the Yellowstone region into ecological uncertainty and could lead to problems for the bear in the future.
“We have to wait 60 days, but on the 61st day we will sue to stop the delisting,” said Matt Bishop, of the Western Environmental Law Center, a Montana based nonprofit that intervenes on behalf of conservation groups.
PHOTO: A grizzly bear in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. JIM URQUHART / REUTERS ... See MoreSee Less