It’s no secret that Yellowstone grizzly bears were proposed for delisting in March.
The question we’re asking is, whether grizzly bears are delisted or not, can we keep them alive?
Consider this: We lost 61 grizzly bears to run-ins with humans this past year. That’s a sad record number. These bears were killed while they’re still listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act. These bears were killed after getting into human food and garbage that wasn’t stored securely. Bears were killed after killing cows and sheep. Bears were killed when hunters accidentally surprised them in the backcountry. These avoidable incidents are killing too many bears.
Reducing these conflicts is a huge part of our work in the ecosystem, and it’s one of our three yardsticks for how we judge any federal and state proposals and plans for how to manage grizzlies after delisting.
- Conflict reduction: Does the plan fund or promote work to keep bears wild and people safe, for example by bear-proofing campgrounds?
- Core habitat: Does the plan protect big, wild spaces where grizzlies live?
- Connectivity: Does the plan protect corridors or routes grizzlies can use to connect with other groups of bears in North America?
Using these yardsticks, we’ve carefully reviewed the federal and state proposals around delisting. Our takeaways? The federally driven process is uncoordinated and rushed, and the state plans have serious flaws that could result in a dive in grizzly numbers. That’s not acceptable.
Below are all of the comments we’ve sent to the various agencies over the past few months. We’re keeping a close eye on this issue this year, and we want to keep you informed. The most immediate way we can do that is via email – please click here to sign up for our bear alerts. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Or click here to become a member today. It’s the most powerful thing you can do to keep bears alive and wild. Thanks for all you do to help bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem!
-- GYC staff