HELENA, Mont. – Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued the following statement after the US Fish and Wildlife Service published its proposal today to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear. Yellowstone Grizzly Bear numbers have rebounded from as few as 136 bears when listed in 1975 to an estimated population of more than 700 today. There is now a sustainable and resilient population that occupies the entire available habitat.
“The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist the Yellowstone grizzly bear is welcome news and a result of the tireless efforts and outstanding work of the state and countless individuals and groups across our region. As we celebrate the successful return of a healthy grizzly bear population across the Yellowstone ecosystem, we must continue to focus on protecting the critical habitat that made this proposal possible. Montanans should be in charge of managing our wildlife for the betterment of the state. I am excited that we can again have that opportunity and we will do so in a responsible way that is reflective of our values, and the value of this iconic species.”
This proposed delisting only impacts the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear population. All other populations of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states will remain listed under the Endangered Species Act.