WASHINGTON – On Sept. 9, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 614, the Grizzly Bear State Management Act. The legislation, which was introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and is cosponsored by Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, would remove the grizzly bear from the endangered species list in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and permit states to manage the species.

“Species management is a critical tool to protect species and ecosystems, and Idaho’s local wildlife managers have a history of successful species management based on collaboration and science. We have worked for over a decade to expand delisting of grizzly bears, a species that has successfully met its recovery goals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Unfortunately, activist litigation has created a cycle of keeping grizzly bears listed instead of working to recover them,” said Senators Risch and Crapo. “The Grizzly Bear State Management Act will restore Idaho’s ability to responsibly manage grizzly bears for recovery while accounting for the needs of the landscape and local communities.”

Background: The grizzly bear was first listed as threatened 1975. In 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear from the endangered species list, citing a significant increase in bear populations and a doubling of their range land. In September 2018, a federal judge in Montana ruled to put the grizzly bear back on the endangered species list. The state of Wyoming appealed the decision, and in July 2020 a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the continued protections for the grizzly bear.

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