KPAX: Yellowstone grizzlies to be removed from Endangered Species Act

The US Fish and Wildlife Service issues its final ruling, saying the Yellowstone grizzly population is fully recovered and the big bears should no longer be federally protected…

The announcement comes 10-months after Fish and Wildlife first proposed “delisting” grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, saying the bears had reached the point where they no longer needed the protection under the Endangered Species Act as a “threatened species”.

In December, a federal court ordered additional review and public comment in a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society and other conservation groups, as well as Native American tribes in the region.

USFWS is now affirming its earlier decision after reviewing all the comments, and saying the bears should be delisted, meaning the the Service won’t be managing the Yellowstone grizzlies any longer, with responsibility turned over to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, barring further lawsuits.

The decision has no impact on grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in and around Glacier National Park.