“Grizzly bears have made an amazing recovery here,” said Wyoming Rep. Albert Sommers, who ranches in the eastern part of the state. “We’ve met every recovery goal required of us. The original recovery plan said that when we met those numbers the grizzly bear would be delisted.”

Jesse Higgins

UPI

Ranchers frustrated with ‘unchecked growth’ of grizzly bear population

Oct. 3 (UPI) — The fight to remove grizzly bears from the endangered species list in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho is not over.

Days after a federal judge overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist grizzly bears in those states, a Wyoming congresswoman proposed a bill to permanently delist the bears, a ranching group was looking to appeal the decision and the FWS said it is considering its next steps.

“We stand behind our scientific finding that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear is biologically recovered and no longer requires protection under the Endangered Species Act,” the FWS said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen overturned the Service’s decision to delist the bears Sept. 24. He based the ruling, in part, on the FWS failure to consider the impact delisting the bears in the Yellowstone region would have on other, still not recovered, bear populations around the United States, according to the court order.

The decision has left ranchers in these states frustrated by the unchecked growth of the bear population.

“Grizzly bears have made an amazing recovery here,” said Wyoming Rep. Albert Sommers, who ranches in the eastern part of the state. “We’ve met every recovery goal required of us. The original recovery plan said that when we met those numbers the grizzly bear would be delisted.”

This is the second time the FWS has tried to remove Yellowstone-area bears’ threatened status. In 2007, the service announced the animal’s population had recovered and no longer needed federal protection. Conservation groups sued to stop the delisting, and a federal judge ruled in their favor, reinstating the bears’ protection in 2009.

Some in the region want to see the courts lose their ability to block delistings. The day after the judge’s ruling, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney introduced a bill called the Grizzly Bear State Management Act that would remove the bears’ threatened status and bar further judicial intervention…

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