06.03.22

Daines, Rosendale Slam Biden Admin for 90-Day Finding on Bison

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale today issued the following statements after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced the completion of a 90-day finding on the petition to list bison Distinct Population Segment in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). They determined a listing action may be warranted.

“The Biden Administration’s action today demonstrates a continued trend of placing politics over science. While Governor Gianforte’s petition to delist the grizzly bear continues to go unanswered, the Administration was once again quick to respond to the requests of activists despite the absence of concrete information. Time and time again Montana has proved that we know how to best manage wildlife and this will be no different,” Daines said. 

“I am deeply concerned by the recent 90-day finding published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate a Distinct Population Segment of Yellowstone bison as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In 2000, the Interagency Bison Management Plan established a target population of 3,000 bison for within Yellowstone. As of 2021, there are over 5,000 bison in Yellowstone National Park. Being labeled a distinct population could, among other things, impede the ability to conduct environmental stewardship and land management efforts. My office will be reviewing this finding to determine whether it is legitimate, necessary, and backed by science,,” Rosendale said.

In 2014 environmental activists petitioned FWS to list the plains bison as an endangered or threatened distinct population segment, a similar petition was filed in 2015. In January 2016, FWS concluded a listing was not warranted. Litigation led to a court order in 2018 that another 90-day study be conducted. In 2019, FWS concluded a listing was not warranted once again. 

Earlier this spring, a federal judge ordered FWS to take another look at the petition. FWS completed the initial 90-day review today and announced a listing may be warranted, launching a 12-month review. 

Governor Gianforte’s petition to delist the NCDE grizzly bear has gone unanswered for 168 days despite the ESA requiring the agency respond within 90 days.

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Contact: Blake KernenRachel Dumke