Saving the Grizzly from Delisting … Again

Jan 5, 2024 | Legal Actions, Grizzly Bears In the News

2024 is shaping up to be a critical year for grizzly bears and the isolated landscapes they call home: As climate change heralds in an unprecedentedly dry winter in the Northern Rockies, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is preparing to announce a delisting plan for grizzlies in February, removing the protections of the Endangered Species Act. State officials in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are eagerly planning for the prospect of a trophy hunting season. 

 But Save the Yellowstone Grizzly has its own share of armaments to raise for this federally listed threatened species, and STYG board chair Doug Peacock has just published a powerful feature story in Alta Journal. In it, he illuminates the cruel truth of what such a hunt looks like: last spring’s helicopter campaign in Alaska that resulted in the slaughter of 94 grizzlies and cubs in 17 days.  

Here’s what Doug says will happen if Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has his way: 

“If the delisting efforts are successful, two Montana laws will go into effect. A 2021 measure specifies that a person can shoot a grizzly bear if it is ‘threatening to kill a person or livestock,’ which is a recipe for a likely repeat of the Alaska massacre, because ‘threatening’ is not defined. A second law prohibits [Montana] Fish, Wildlife and Parks from relocating grizzlies captured during any type of conflict occurring outside of a federal recovery zone. This law will effectively eliminate the possibility for mixing – needed for genetic diversity – between populations like those around Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, making true recovery impossible for Yellowstone’s isolated bears.” 

To prevent such a massacre in the Lower 48, we are calling on USFWS director Martha Williams to resist the pressure to delist, rely on the science and keep grizzly bears protected. You can reach her via email at martha_williams@fws.gov