During a news conference Thursday, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced that the State of Wyoming is seeking state management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Gordon told reporters the State is petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the GYE grizzly bear population, following 46 years and more than $52-million of investment from Wyoming. Grizzly bears, by all measures, have been fully-recovered since 2003.
“In 1975, there were as few as 136 bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Today, there are more than 1000. It’s time for grizzly bears to be returned to the states fully for management, as our citizens have supported recovery efforts and seen (and I want to emphasize this) monumental success.”
That data, Gordon says, shows the population numbers are far beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered and viable population. The governor added that Wyoming already has a grizzly bear management plan in place, and it will be amended to recognize the necessary legal requirements to satisfy the Endangered Species Act requirements for post-delisting management. Additionally, Gordon says the state will work with its neighbors to achieve the delisting.
:23 “Along with this announcement today, Wyoming is amending its agreement between Idaho and Montana to continue a tradition of working together with our sister states. In Wyoming, their agreement known as the “Tri-state Memorandum of Agreement” will be reviewed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in the coming weeks.”
Above all, Gordon assures that through its management, Wyoming is committed to long-term grizzly bear conservation.