WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho), joined U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and colleagues in introducing the Grizzly Bear State Management Act. This bill would remove grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the endangered species list and shift management to the states.
“Grizzly bears met their recovery goals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem more than a decade ago thanks to the hard work of states like Idaho. Yet instead of being appropriately delisted, the species has been subject to circular legal battles at the whim of activist judges that accomplish nothing and waste taxpayers’ money,” said Risch. “This legislation recognizes it’s time to follow the science and common sense and delist the grizzly bear.”
“Idaho’s local wildlife managers have a history of successful species management practices based on sound science and collaborative efforts among federal, state, and tribal entities. One such success is evidenced by the significant increase of the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – more than five times its population since the initial listing under the Endangered Species Act,” said Crapo. “The Grizzly Bear State Management Act will restore Idaho’s ability to responsibly manage grizzly bears for recovery while simultaneously addressing the needs of the landscape and local communities in the region.”
Additional cosponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
You can find the bill text here.
Background: The grizzly bear was first listed as threatened in 1975. In 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear from the endangered species list, citing a significant increase in bear populations and a doubling of their range land. In September 2018, a federal judge in Montana ruled to put the grizzly bear back on the endangered species list. The state of Wyoming appealed the decision, and in July 2020 a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the continued protections for the grizzly bear.
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