Montana officials react to possible delisting of grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Glacier regions

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear(Image: MGN)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 12:43 PM CST
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HELENA, M.T. (KUMV) - The Biden Administration is moving forward in ending federal protections for grizzly bears around Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday it would begin a review of the species in those regions. Governor Greg Gianforte petitioned the department to delist Grizzly bears from the Northern Continental Divide and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems, returning management control to the states.

Grizzly bears were considered “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, when there were just a few hundred remaining in the lower 48 states. Gianforte said the population in the northwest part of the state is around 1,100.

“After decades of work, the grizzly bear has more than recovered in the NCDE, which represents a conservation success. As part of that conservation success, the federal government has accepted our petition to delist the grizzly in the NCDE, opening the door to state management of this iconic American species,” Gianforte said in a statement.

Both Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester praised the decision.

“FWS took a step in the right direction today, which is a testament to the strength of grizzly populations in Montana. Now state government needs to develop science-based management plans to ensure success,” said Tester in a statement.

“The science is clear—it’s time to delist the grizzly bear. I’m glad to see Fish and Wildlife Service listen to science, Montanans, and Governor Gianforte to move forward with the process to delist the grizzly bear in the Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems,” said Daines in a statement.

The review is expected to take a year.