Yellowstone Ecosystem Has Reached Its Carrying Capacity For Grizzlies

Grizzly Bear

What De-listing The Grizzly Bear In Yellowstone Means

North America Grizzly BearThis delisting does not remove protections of all the grizzlies in the US. There’s another regional population of the bears — the ones that live in Glacier National Park — which are still protected under the Endangered Species Act.

  1. This delisting is specific to the grizzlies that live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (which is larger than the park itself), and it means the protection and jurisdiction over the bears now falls to the states.
  2. The delisting opens the door for states to allow to hunting the bear outside the park, though with some safeguards. If the bear populations ever fall below 600, all hunting or “discretionary mortalities” would have to cease. And for the change to be finalized, all the states have to agree to a continued protection framework.
  3. Delisting won’t change the way the National Park Service protects the grizzlies within their borders. Yellowstone grizzlies inside Yellowstone National Park will still be federally protected.
  4. Each of the states has to have a grizzly management plan in place. You can read those here, here, and here.
  5. The Great Falls Tribune reports that jurisdiction over the bears will be handed over to the states in July. DOI is expected to publish the final ruling within the next few days, and it would become law 30 days thereafter.

But the word is that the list of environmental/animal rights groups watching the 60-day countdown clock so they can sue over the delisting of the Yellowstone grizzlies is growing.  At this point, there are 16 Native American individuals and/or tribal organizations who have already filed suit, along with these groups who are only waiting for the clock.  That’s how they make money via the EAJA.

  • HSUS/Fund for Animals
  • Earth Justice (on behalf of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe)
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Sierra Club
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Western Environmental Law Center.

The Big Gripe Is By The Native American Tribes

Native American tribes are also angry because they feel they weren’t properly consulted in the delisting process. National Geographic reports that last year, 125 tribes signed a treaty demanding “that the U.S. government — meaning the Fish and Wildlife Service — consult fully with the tribes before issuing a decision about the fate of the grizzly.”  They might have a gripe if the Grizzlies in question were on their sovereign land.  But then why would the FWS and DOI have any jurisdiction over that land?

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