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yellowstone national park grizzly bear family in traffic

Debunking Delisting

Beginning in 1992, when the Yellowstone population was perhaps as few as 300 individuals, the state of Wyoming began elbowing US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to give them and the other states in the Yellowstone ecosystem the authority to manage the grizzly bear and allow trophy hunting. State-sponsored hunting and shoot-on-sight policies had led to the endangerment of grizzly bears and listing of all grizzly bears in the lower-48 states under the Endangered Species Act in 1975.


Once grizzlies have been delisted in Yellowstone, the government aims to delist grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem around Glacier Park. 

FWS officials have agreed with the states, as have local governments. Together they have been working to remove federal grizzly bear protections (“delisting”) despite setbacks created by conservation groups for over two decades.  


This section lays out the biological and other problems with premature delisting. At the heart of the problem is the states that seek primary control over all wildlife. The states resent bowing to the federal government when species are protected under the Endangered Species Act.


Further, you can’t hunt endangered species. The leadership of state agencies (but not necessarily field staff) equate wildlife management with killing things. Letting wild things just “be” – not managing, not dominating, not killing, is a violation of fundamental precepts of the old West. (Not the Old Old West, but the last 250 years anyway).


In this world view, the creatures that invite killing most are grizzly bears and wolves, because they threaten us and worse, eat elk and deer, the “good animals” and compete with humans. The mountains of research disproving these notions have not come close to giving them the burial they deserve.


The failure of the democratic process adds to the problem. (see core values). Governors and appointed state wildlife commissioners have drawn the covered wagons of control in a circle and are shooting outward at anyone non-white, non-fundamentalist Christian, non-hunter, and yes, even non-male – anyone who questions their values of domination.


If you still doubt, spend some time on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGF) web site and watch the recordings of the commission meetings. Watch the video of the treatment of Northern Cheyenne Tribal Historic Preservation Officer James Walks Along by WGF officials at an interagency grizzly bear meeting when he stood up for bears and expressed his opposition to delisting (link).


For more, read the problem of the state management, and bear bureaucracy.


For more on the scientific problems, go to the Corrupt Science tab.  


Delisting: a bad idea

Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population is still not recovered! Yellowstone’s population of roughly 700 grizzly bears is completely isolated from all other grizzly bear populations and much smaller than the 2000+ animals widely considered necessary for long-term viability. 

Agency Spin

Read a summary of the key claims of being made by government scientists and managers, and a  response to each. It's necessarily long due to the complexity of the issues presented. But it's worth understanding what is really going on.

Public Backs Bears

In the public processes related to management of Yellowstone grizzly bears during the last two decades, the public has come out swinging for bears and their habitat. 

Read about it here.

What the People Say

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), over 850,000 comments were submitted on the 2016 proposal to remove endangered species protections (“delist”) the Yellowstone grizzly bear.  Over 99% of those comments opposed delisting.  

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