March 22, 2007

DELEGATION NOTES FINAL GRIZZLY DELISTING DECISION

Federal agency will manage species on federal land, states will manage on state land

Washington, DC - Idaho's congressional delegation issued the following statements today regarding the announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the final step has been taken in the delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly. The FWS delisting final resolution, which allows Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to manage the species on their respective state lands while the federal agency will manage the species on federal land, will be published on Thursday, March 29, 2007, in the Federal Register. The rule will become effective 30 days after publication. The congressional delegation has advocated for state management. Senator Mike Crapo said, "The delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly population is welcome news and will have lasting impact on both the bears and the people that live in the area. This has been a long process, which underscores some of the need for improvement, and I would hope in the future such efforts can be accelerated to the benefit of both listed species and local and regional economies. Collaborative efforts among federal, state, local and private entities are the future recovery efforts. I will continue to search for improvements to the process and look forward to moving the Endangered Species Recovery Act (ESRA), which I introduced earlier this month."Senator Larry Craig said, "This is a recognition that grizzly bears are thriving in the Yellowstone ecosystem. They will continue to thrive without the stranglehold the ESA places on federal land managers."Representative Mike Simpson said, "This is a great day for Idaho, rarely do we see endangered species delisted, this year the wolf and now the grizzly bear are being removed. The state can now properly manage these animals without the added burden of federal bureaucracy."Representative Bill Sali said, "The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzlies is an important milestone, and something that should have happened years ago. Management of the species and their habitat belongs with the states, not the federal government."The recovery process has extended over 26 years, from fewer than thirty adult females in the 1980s to a current population of over 500 animals. The current population is growing at 4 to 7 percent a year.