Post-Delisting Grizzly Bear Management Plan Approved

Post-Delisting Grizzly Bear Management Plan Approved
Post-Delisting Grizzly Bear Management Plan Approved
Grizzly bear. (NPS photo)

Next steps are to meet the requirement of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to outline what hunting regulations would entail; decision on hunting is still months or years away.

CASPER — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has voted to approve an update to Wyoming’s Grizzly Bear Management Plan and the three-state Memorandum of Agreement. This update outlines the plan for how Wyoming would manage grizzly bears when they achieve delisting from the endangered species list. Today’s vote came after a public comment period. The state received more than 400 unique comments.

The Commission moved forward after the United States Fish and Wildlife Service filed a proposed rule for removing grizzly bears from the endangered species list in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho on March 11, 2016.

Since grizzly bears went on the endangered species list, Wyoming has invested $40 million to recover this population. That is incredible commitment to ensure the viability of the species. The Commission approved a plan to ensure this commitment is honored and grizzly bears will be managed under state leadership and stay recovered,” said Scott Talbott, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

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At its core Wyoming’s plan establishes mortality limits for grizzly bears in the state. These limits would be used to ensure the population remain recovered. All mortalities will be considered by Game and Fish and its partners in establishing management plans each year.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has required that Wyoming, Montana and Idaho all identify the framework of hunting seasons before grizzly bears would come off of the endangered species list. This does not mean the states will have hunting, but that it is considered as a management tool.

Governor Mead Has Urged Delisting of Grizzly Bears

Governor Mead has been on record calling for the delisting of the bears.

The recovery of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem is a conservation success story of our time,” Governor Mead said. “The State of Wyoming has managed grizzly bears under federal control responsibly for years at significant cost. There is no reason to wait to remove federal protections and return control of grizzly bears to the states.”