U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Matt Rosendale today are pushing the Biden administration to respond to Governor Greg Gianforte’s petition to delist the grizzly bear in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.
“On December 17, 2021 on behalf of the State of Montana, Governor Gianforte and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks submitted a formal petition to identify and delist the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) Distinct Population Segment of the grizzly bear. It has come to our attention that the 90-day statutory timeframe for the agency to respond to the petition elapsed today. We urge you to respond both expeditiously and favorably to the Governor’s petition,” they wrote.
The letter continues, “Some have argued that issues with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s previous proposed delisting of the GYE identified by the courts could implicate an NCDE delisting. Governor Gianforte’s petition sufficiently responds to any potential implication along with the items raised in your April 2021 letter to our office on this subject. Administration officials have consistently pledged to collaborate with states on a path forward to grizzly bear state management. As such, if for any scientifically-based reason the Service identifies an aspect of the petition lacking, we urge you to work with Montana on changes in order that we may proceed to a delisting decision rather than deny the state that opportunity.”
Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) has 90 days to respond to petitions to list or delist species. Today marks 90 days since Governor Gianforte submitted a petition to have the grizzly bear delisted and the Biden administration has not responded at this time.
To read the letter sent to FWS Director Martha Williams, click HERE.
Contact: Rachel Dumke, Katie Schoettler