WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released the following statement on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s action related to the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“The grizzly is fully recovered in Wyoming. End of story,” said Barrasso. “The Fish and Wildlife Service first moved to delist the bear almost 15 years ago. The last three administrations made the determination that the grizzly bear was recovered. Wyoming has a proven track record of strong, science-based management of the grizzly bear. Protections under the Endangered Species Act are unnecessary and not supported by the facts. Now, the administration needs to focus on successfully delisting the grizzly bear in Wyoming and allow the state experts to resume successful management.”

In June of 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to remove the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) list of threatened species. Delisting the grizzly transferred management of the bear to the state of Wyoming.

Barrasso is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).

Background Information:

In September of 2018, a federal judge made the decision to place the grizzly bear in Wyoming back on the endangered species list.

On July 2, 2018, Barrasso released the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018 discussion draft. The discussion draft reauthorizes the ESA for the first time since 1992. The discussion draft emphasizes elevating the role of states and increasing transparency in the implementation of the ESA. It also prioritizes resources to better meet its conservation goals and provides regulatory certainty to promote conservation and recovery activities. The draft legislation has received broad support from stakeholders, state and local governments, and conservation organizations.

On June 30, 2017, the USFWS published the final rule to delist the grizzly bear in the GYE. The USFWS noted, “The participating States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and Federal agencies have adopted the necessary post-delisting plans and regulations, which adequately ensure that the GYE population of grizzly bears remains recovered.”

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to delist the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from the federal threatened species list. According to the USFWS, “The Yellowstone grizzly bear population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 or more today. Grizzly bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s and now occupy more than 22,500 square miles of the ecosystem. Stable population numbers for grizzly bears for more than a decade also indicate that the GYE is at or near its carrying capacity for the bears.”