Wyoming seeks state management of grizzly bears – Sheridan Media
Governor Gordon today announced that the state of Wyoming is seeking state management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The state has asked the US Fish and Wildlife Service to remove GYE’s grizzly bear population from the list, after 46 years and more than $ 52 million in Wyoming investment. Grizzly bears, by all measures, have been fully recovered since 2003.
“This is a notable day of celebration not only for the grizzly bear, but for Wyoming. The grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem has met and exceeded all scientific criteria for recovery,” Governor Gordon said in a statement. press conference. “We have proven time and time again that we are experts in wildlife conservation for our state’s precious and iconic species. It is time that grizzly bears were fully returned to the states for management, because our citizens have supported recovery efforts and have achieved monumental success. ”
Wyoming already has a grizzly bear management plan in place, and it will be amended to recognize the legal requirements necessary to meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act for post-radiation management.
Today, there are an increasing number of grizzly bears that have grown beyond the limits of the bear’s biological and social range. With refined population estimates, the data shows the population to number more than 1,000 bears, well beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered and viable population. With this data, the state intends to adopt new annual management targets and new mortality thresholds to ensure the population remains well above federal minimum thresholds.
Wyoming also intends to directly address concerns raised by the courts during the 2017 delisting. The state is changing grizzly bear management policies that will adjust annual management and mortality targets. Wyoming also intends to use and update plans to recognize the updated population model now adopted by grizzly bear experts. Finally, the state is committed to the long-term genetic health of the bear and will translocate bears into the population, if necessary to maintain genetic diversity.
“With management, we are committing – and we are committing – to the long-term conservation of grizzly bears,” Governor Gordon said.
The state of Wyoming is in the process of making these additional legal and political commitments, and the petition will be filed in the coming weeks. Wyoming is currently amending management agreements between Idaho and Montana. These agreements, known as the Tri-State MOA, will be reviewed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in the coming weeks.