Idaho’s congressional delegation, senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo as well as representatives Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, recently joined their peers from Montana and Wyoming calling on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to return the Yellowstone grizzly bear population to state management. The call cites a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study saying the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population has fully recovered.
“It has been sixteen years since the GYE population was first proposed for removal from the endangered and threatened species list and since then, Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have supported returning the GYE management to the states,” the lawmakers wrote. “Grizzly bears have nearly tripled the extent of their occupied range in the GYE since the 1980s and reporting a conservative estimate of 737 bears, the USFWS believes it has reached carrying capacity.”
“We are hopeful that future management of the bear will follow the science, honor the commitment and resources invested by Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho over the past five decades, and not be subject to political whims,” the letter concluded.
Click Here to read the entire letter.
In September 2018, a federal judge in Montana ruled to put the Yellowstone grizzly bear back on the endangered species list, despite the population surpassing recovery targets. The state of Wyoming appealed the decision, and in July 2020 a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the continued federal listing for Yellowstone grizzlies.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]