At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, several western senators advocated for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to be removed from the list of endangered species and for states to manage the species.
The hearing focused on S.614, the Grizzly Bear State Management Act, which U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. introduced in February 2019. The bill would direct the Department of the Interior to re-issue its 2017 decision to delist the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and prohibit further judicial review of this decision.
“Wildlife experts and federal officials agree that the grizzly bears in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have been fully recovered for years,” Enzi said in his testimony at the hearing. “Senseless litigation still continues to hinder the effective state management and protection of the species.”
Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont. testified the bill also prevents further obstruction in the courts.
“Wildlife management should be determined by science, not a court order. The science has long proven that the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has fully recovered,” Daines said. “Delisting the grizzly bear is in the best interest of our communities, public safety, the ecosystem, wildlife, and the grizzly bear itself. Montana has proven they can conserve and manage the species and it’s time to return management to the state.”
U.S. Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., James Risch, R-Idaho, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are cosponsors of the Grizzly Bear State Management Act. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., introduced an identical companion bill in the House last year.