Wyoming To Petition To Delist Grizzly Bears; Hunting Possible
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced that the state is seeking to delist grizzly bears and have management over the iconic species turned over to the state.
And state wildlife managers could develop hunting seasons should the state be successful in its effort.
"At the end of the day, the (Wyoming Game and Fish) commission has decided that it's a viable management tool for grizzly bears under very conservative, very regulated terms," Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said during Thursday's news conference. "Right now, the Game and FIsh Department in some years has removed up to 35 grizzly bears."
Nesvik added that in some years, wildlife mangers have had to euthanize up to 35 bears.
Gordon added that hunting is a means to deal with so-called "problem bears."
"When we have problem bears, it often doesn't end up well for the bear," Gordon said.
During Gordon's press conference Thursday, Gordon noted that Wyoming has invested $52 million grizzly bears since they were listed in 1975.
The state claims bears have been fully recovered since 2003.
"This is a notable day of celebration not only for the grizzly bear, but for Wyoming. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear has met and exceeded all scientific benchmarks for recovery," Gordon said. "We have proved time and time again that we are experts in wildlife conservation for our state's valued and iconic species. IT's time for grizzly bearsa to be returned fully to the states for management, as our citizens have supported recovery efforts and seen monumental success."
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem covers millions of acres in western Wyoming, including both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
More than 1,000 bears inhabit the area.
Now, those bears are expanding beyond their "biological and socially suitable range."
The petition will be filed in the coming weeks.
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