The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park must remain on the Endangered Species List until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closer studies its delisting plan. However, it also rejected a lower court order calling on the agency to form a new plan.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation agrees with professional wildlife managers that the population, currently numbering more than 700, surpassed all recovery criteria and is recovered. Grizzlies continue to expand their range into areas not seen in more than 100 years.
Environmental groups previously claimed the grizzly population in the Yellowstone region would be decimated if delisted and placed under state management. They made the same claims for the Northern Rockies wolf population which is 200 to 500 percent above minimum recovery goals, depending on the state.
RMEF maintains that state-based management of wildlife is a key facet of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model and that grizzlies, like elk, wolves, deer, bears and other wildlife, should be managed by the states for their overall betterment.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)