CASPER, Wyo. — U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., expressed displeasure at the relisting of grizzlies on a list of endangered and threatened species.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revised the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, under the Endangered Species Act, to again include grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
“It is extremely disappointing that grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region will be added back to the endangered species list” Enzi said calling a lawsuit that prompted the change “frivolous” and the decision “flawed.”
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“I am committed to working with the Administration to delist these bears and give Wyoming proper authority to manage its wildlife,” Enzi continued.
In September 2018, a Montana District Court order overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s June 2017 rule to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service says that the action was taken to comply with the Montana District Court order.
Grizzly bears in the United States and outside of Alaska are primarily found in six ecosystems: the Greater Yellowstone, the Northern Cascades, the Bitterroot, the Northern Continental Divide, and the Cabinet-Yaak.
Grizzly bears found in the five other ecosystems remained protected.
“There is widespread public support for grizzly bear conservation, and the Service continues to collaborate with state, federal, non-governmental, and tribal partners to research, monitor, and manage the iconic species and its habitats,” the Fish and Wildlife Service said in a press release, Tuesday.
Six lawsuits challenging the Service’s decision were filed in federal courts in Missoula, Montana and Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago lawsuit was transferred to Missoula, and the lawsuits were consolidated as Crow Indian Tribe, et al. v. United States, et al.
On June 30, 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced the establishment of a distinct population segment of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears. the Service says that they determined that those bears no longer met the definition of threatened, and removed that distinct population segment from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife.
“The plaintiffs’ allegations focused primarily on violations of the ESA and the Administrative Procedure Act,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service said in their Tuesday statement.