Yellowstone grizzly bears will no longer be listed under the Endangered Species Act after spending more than four decades under federal protection, Montana’s 8KPAX reports.
“As a kid who grew up in Montana, I can tell you that this is a long time coming and very good news for many communities and advocates in the Yellowstone region,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a June statement last year. “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners. As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
The delisting decision was offered up for public comment in December. After concluding the plan was scientifically sound and needed no more adjustments, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced April 24 it intends to finalize the decision and publish it in the Federal Register.
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will take over grizzly conservation in the area, adopting their own conservation plans and using limited hunts to control population growth. The hunts will be designed to keep the grizzlies at an amount that gives each individual animal plenty of space without needing to cross into territory close to people.
Last month, The Washington Post reported that Wyoming may be the first state to hold a grizzly hunt in the contiguous United States since the species was listed. The hunt will be “highly regulated,” Wyoming officials said.
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