A ruling by a federal appeals court upheld a federal district court’s 2018 decision to place the grizzly bear in Wyoming back on the Endangered Species List.
Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that affirmed a 2018 District Court order that blocked the de-listing of the recovered Yellowstone grizzly bear and kept them listed as a ‘threatened species’ under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), retaining federal protections and blocking states from utilizing the public to help manage the bruins.
That order came after a June of 2017 rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that removed the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from the ESA list of threatened species. Delisting the grizzly transferred management of the bear to the state of Wyoming.
The USFWS noted, “The participating States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and Federal agencies have adopted the necessary post-delisting plans and regulations, which adequately ensure that the GYE population of grizzly bears remains recovered.”
According to the USFWS in 2016, “The Yellowstone grizzly bear population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 or more today. Grizzly bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s and now occupy more than 22,500 square miles of the ecosystem. Stable population numbers for grizzly bears for more than a decade also indicate that the GYE is at or near its carrying capacity for the bears.”
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) stands in opposition of the decision and said “The court is flat wrong.” Senator Barrasso added “The grizzly bear is fully recovered in Wyoming. That’s a fact. The last three presidential administrations – both Republican and Democrat – have determined the grizzly is recovered. It’s well past time for the grizzly bear in Wyoming to come off of the Endangered Species List.”
Yesterday’s ruling from a two-judge panel stated, “Because there were no concrete, enforceable mechanisms in place to ensure long-term genetic health of the Yellowstone grizzly, the district court correctly concluded that the 2017 Rule was arbitrary and capricious in that regard.”
Senator Barrasso concluded his statement by saying, “The state has a strong, science-based management plan and it should be given a chance to succeed.”
Northern Ag Network – 2020