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Latest: Wyoming drafts a Yellowstone grizzly management plan

The plan could eventually include regulated hunting of the bears.


Back in 1993, the Yellowstone Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, a collaborative group charged with overseeing the threatened bear’s management, first suggested taking it off the federal endangered species list. The bear’s numbers were on the rise, and Wyoming, Idaho and Montana were eager to take over management. But some biologists inside the group questioned the bear’s recovery, fueling environmental groups’ successful push to keep federal protections (“Grizzly war,” HCN, 11/9/98).

Since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly but unsuccessfully pushed to delist the Greater Yellowstone population. In February, the agency again proposed delisting and transferring management to states. Wyoming took the first step by releasing a draft plan in March that would maintain roadless areas for habitat but generally remove grizzlies from areas of potential human conflict; eventually, it may also allow regulated hunting. Montana’s plan was updated last year; more specifics on state management are expected this year.