Yellowstone grizzly bears to lose endangered species protections

Federal resources used to prepare the final rule on Yellowstone’s bear population will be shifted to planning for lifting protections for the bears living in the Northern Continental Divide, Hogan said.The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday the bears would soon be taken off the endangered species list. The Conservation Strategy that describes management of the grizzly bear following delisting was finalized by the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the IGBC in December of 2016.Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that the recovery of Yellowstone’s grizzlies is one of the nation’s great conservation success stories, and that the bears are no longer threatened.”I am pleased to see the administration recognizing the recovered status of the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone area“, Enzi said.HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area will be lifted this summer after US government officials ruled Thursday that the population is no longer threatened.The decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of endangered species has been called “a gift to trophy hunting” by conservation groups.Distinct Population Segment (DPS) consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho.There were once over 50,000 grizzly bears in the lower USA; but thanks to hunting and trapping, that number plummeted.Mead says grizzly numbers have sufficiently recovered to justify removing the big bears from federal protection.Against the population rebound over the past 42 years, the coalition also set another, grimmer set of numbers about grizzlies: “In the 1800’s, approximately 50,000 grizzly bears roamed the lower 48 states”.Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead also praised the decision.That will allow those states to plan limited bear hunts outside the park’s boundaries as long as the overall bear population does not fall below 600. There’s only one place like this. “But we recognize there are some well-financed groups who are not necessarily interested in seeing the species delisted but are instead still anxious to preserve the federal agency’s control of state wildlife”. Today, there are estimated to be 700, more than enough to meet the criteria to be removed from the endangered list, the government said.Last year, 125 tribes signed a treaty opposing the delisting of grizzlies.”This has been a priority of the association for years and is a critical first step for the State of Montana to regain management of the bear population” the Montana Stockgrowers Association said. Inadequate requirements for healthy bear populations, combined with hostile state management practices threaten to reverse the progress made toward bear recovery.”They found grizzly bears are extremely resilient, extremely flexible and adaptable”, Hogan said. Climate change and invasive species have reduced whitebark pine and cutthroat trout populations around Yellowstone, putting several food sources at risk.