Thursday, May 10, 2018

Northern Continental Divide Grizzlies To Lose Federal Protections, USFWS Says

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday it will propose to remove federal endangered species protections for grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem this September. Hilary Cooley is the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “This population, we've known, we've thought that it has likely met the demographic recovery goals for many years now, and all the biologists — probably everybody in this room who studies bears — believes we've met recovery and we’re probably well above it. And this is a good time to start evaluating it formally,” Cooley says. Cooley is one of two-dozen federal, state and tribal wildlife and land managers who met in Kalispell Wednesday as part of a subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. It’s this group, the IGBC, that will determine how grizzly bears will be managed in the future, whether or not they’re delisted from endangered species act protections. The IGBC expects to vote on a final draft of the Conservation Strategy this summer...MORE

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