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Crapo, Risch, Colleagues Call for Hearing to Remove Yellowstone Grizzly from Endangered Species List

Grizzly bears have caused loss of human life and livestock in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Steve Daines (R-Montana) in sending a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Chair Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) calling for a congressional hearing on legislation to remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) grizzly bear from the endangered species list. The Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations all recognized the grizzly population in and around Yellowstone is fully recovered, yet activist groups have prevented their delisting. 

“The story of the GYE grizzly bear should be one of triumph and success for federal, state, and local conservation efforts,” the senators wrote.  “Instead, it has become another story of government bureaucracy and failure that only casts doubt on the efficacy of the Endangered Species Act.  In 1972, population estimates of the GYE grizzly were as low as 136 bears.  In 1975, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 states.  In 2019, the Service placed the number of bears at 728, and some estimates put the population closer to 1200 bears.” 

“The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, the group of federal, state, and tribal scientists and biologists responsible for the long-term monitoring and research of the GYE grizzly, have determined that the bears are at or near the carrying capacity of the park,” the letter continues.  “Grizzlies are moving well beyond areas where the bears can exist, causing loss of human life, damage to livestock, and eroding public support for the recovery of this iconic and important species.” 

Senators Crapo and Risch introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act in March to remove grizzly bears in the GYE from the endangered species list and shift management to the states.  The Idaho, Montana and Wyoming delegations also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior in April urging it to follow the science and delist the Yellowstone grizzly population. 

Read the full letter here.