Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears Need Your Voice!

Removal of Federal protections proposed

Public Hearing January 10;

Written Comments due February 15

A proposal to remove federal protections for the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population was announced on November 15 by the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, DC.

The Yellowstone grizzly bear population first received federal protections in 1975, when it was added to the list of species protected by the Endangered Species Act alongside other grizzly bear populations in the lower-48 states.

This “delisting” proposal would separate the Yellowstone grizzly bear population from the others by declaring it to be a “distinct population segment,” and remove the population from the list of species protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Comments from the public on this proposal are requested in writing, or at a public hearing in Cody, Wyoming on Tuesday, January 10. Open houses to learn more about the proposal are scheduled in Bozeman, Cody, Jackson, and Idaho Falls as well.

Please speak up for the Yellowstone grizzly and its habitat at the Cody hearing, by attending an Open House, and/or in a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the February 15 deadline!

Points to consider in your comments:

Assurance of habitat protections needed — The proposed rule claims that grizzly bears will continue to be protected under a “Conservation Strategy” signed by officials with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies, but provides no assurance that this Strategy will be implemented, legally enforceable, or upheld over time. This is particularly risky under the current administration that has erased binding standards on national forests across the country.

Mortality should not increase under state management — The proposed rule claims that human-caused mortality of grizzly bears will be kept to a numeric threshold described in the Conservation Strategy, yet Wyoming officials have stated that they will use hunting to limit the population to an arbitrary level. Without the ESA, how can we trust Wyoming and other states to abide by the Conservation Strategy?

Grizzly bear range should not be restricted — Wyoming and Idaho plan to exclude grizzly bears from many areas of suitable habitat, such as the Wyoming Range and the Palisades. Grizzly bears should be treated as other free-ranging wildlife, not limited to arbitrary administrative and political boundaries. This is especially important given that key grizzly bear foods are declining— such as the whitebark pine (due to an exotic disease and beetle epidemic) and cutthroat trout in Yellowstone and Jackson Lakes (due to the invasion of exotic trout) — that may require grizzly bears to range across larger areas.

Long-term funding should be secured — Many of the long-term protections promised in this proposal are contingent upon ongoing and increased federal and state funding. This proposal should ensure funding sources that will replace the Endangered Species Act allocations.

The isolation problem should be addressed — The Yellowstone grizzly bear population has been separated for generations from other grizzly bear populations in northwestern Montana, northern Idaho, Canada and Alaska. Conservation biologists agree that even an area as big as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is too small to support an isolated grizzly bear population for very long. Federal protections should remain until all of the lower-48 grizzly bear populations are also recovered, and their collective, long-term survival is assured.

Public Hearing
Cody, WY — Tuesday, January 10, from 7 to 9 pm, Cody Auditorium, 1240 Beck Avenue

Public Open Houses

Bozeman, MT — Monday, January 9, from 4 to 8 pm, Holiday Inn, 5 Baxter Lane

Cody, WY — Tuesday, January 10, from 4 to 7 pm, Cody Auditorium, 1240 Beck Avenue

Jackson, WY — Wednesday, January 11, from 4 to 8 pm, Snow King Resort, 400 E. Snow King Avenue

Idaho Falls, ID — Thursday, January 12, from 4 to 8 pm, Shilo Inn, 780 Lindsay Boulevard

Address for Written Comments (Must be received by Wednesday, February 15, 2006)
Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
University Hall 309, University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812

Electronic Mail Address —

For a copy of the proposed rule, please visit:

For more information on this alert, or how you can help the Yellowstone grizzly bears, please contact:
David Gaillard, Predator Conservation Alliance, 406-587-3389,

Thank you for helping protect the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population!

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