Tell the Biden Admin to Keep Grizzly Bears Protected
Dear USFWS Director Martha Williams and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland,
I am writing to comment on the Grizzly Bear Status Review and to strongly urge the USFWS to maintain the species current “threatened” status.
With states like Montana, Wyoming and Idaho becoming more aggressive towards large carnivores in recent years, this is not the time be reducing federal protections for grizzly bears.
A new state management plan in Montana, along with recently passed legislation, indicates a much more aggressive use of lethal control in response to livestock conflict, and a reduced state tolerance for grizzly bears in some areas. It also shows a lack of commitment to connecting and recovering isolated populations of grizzly bears, should any other population lose federal protection and oversight.
In the context of these new policy threats to grizzly bears, I urge you to keep Endangered Species Act protections in place until grizzly bears are fully recovered and the state laws and rules are changed to ensure continued grizzly bear conservation and recovery.
In response to petitions from Montana and Wyoming, the Biden Administration is conducting a 12-month “status review” of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone and Glacier Park ecosystems. The status review will determine whether or not the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will maintain or remove Endangered Species Act protections for these two populations of grizzly bears.
While the restoration of grizzly bear to the Yellowstone and Glacier areas is undoubtebly an Endangered Species Act success story, there are other populations of bears in Montana and Idaho that remain isolated and are struggling to recover. Removing protections prematurely would make it difficult for grizzly bears to move between these fragmented habitats and would prevent full recovery of bears in the region.
Furthermore, there are troubling signs that Montana and Wyoming intend to aggressively manage grizzly bears once federal protections are removed. The Montana Legislature recently passed a bill that would allow livestock producers to receive permits to kill bears that are “threatening” livestock, even on public land, far from human settlements. And in Wyoming, where most of the Yellowstone region’s bears live, wildlife managers would more than triple the current mortality limits for grizzly bears.
Please sign the petition to tell the FWS to keep grizzly bears protected until they have fully recovered in the N. Rockies.