Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Sunday, August 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 79° Partly Cloudy

Outdoors blog

Yellowstone-area grizzly bears move another step toward de-listing

A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart, File)
A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart, File)

ENDANGERED SPECIES – Wildlife officials have moved one step closer to removing the Yellowstone grizzly population from the Endangered Species Act by approving a future conservation strategy.

The Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee voted to approve the conservation strategy, sending it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of what has been a months-long process to potentially remove the Yellowstone grizzly from federal protection, The Cody Enterprise reported.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed lifting the federal protections for the Yellowstone bears in March. Grizzly bears were first listed as threatened in 1975 when the Yellowstone population was estimated to have as few as 136 bears. Recent estimates say the population is now above 700.

Delisting the Yellowstone bears would give more management responsibility to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and open the door for potential hunting seasons.

“This is huge,” said Park County commissioner Lee Livingston, who is also president of the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association.

Not everyone was on board with delisting the bears. Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, voted against the conservation strategy and Leander Watson of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe abstained.

Tribal leaders have opposed delisting because the grizzly is considered sacred in some religions and also because hunting will be an element of the states’ management program.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page