As reported earlier on, the US Fish and Wildlife Service published its proposal today to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear. Yellowstone Grizzly Bear numbers have rebounded from as few as 136 bears when listed in 1975 to an estimated population of more than 700 today. There is now a sustainable and resilient population that occupies the entire available habitat.

Elected officials respond.

Gov. Steve Bullock:

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist the Yellowstone grizzly bear is welcome news and a result of the tireless efforts and outstanding work of the state and countless individuals and groups across our region. As we celebrate the successful return of a healthy grizzly bear population across the Yellowstone ecosystem, we must continue to focus on protecting the critical habitat that made this proposal possible.  Montanans should be in charge of managing our wildlife for the betterment of the state.  I am excited that we can again have that opportunity and we will do so in a responsible way that is reflective of our values, and the value of this iconic species.”

Sen. Steve Daines:

It’s great news that the Fish and Wildlife Service is taking the important step forward in working to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear after their population has significantly rebounded. I hope this announcement helps clear the way for responsible management of the species and more responsible management of our natural resources, including our National Forests. I will continue to encourage the Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider the listing of the other populations of grizzly bears across our state.”

Rep. Ryan Zinke:

I want to congratulate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for delisting the Yellowstone grizzly bears. At last some local say. Montana has a better idea of what to do with the grizzly bears and the population. It’s always best when you have management by the state rather than the federal government. So thank you Fish and Wildlife Service for doing the right thing.”

This proposed delisting only impacts the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear population. All other populations of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states will remain listed under the Endangered Species Act.