Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 27
through research, management, expertise and public
input. The ultimate goal of the plan is to maintain
recreation and traditional land use while building
public support for state management of grizzly bears.
The draft was developed in 2001 and approved
in 2002 after thorough public input and surveys.
In 2005, the plan was amended in anticipation of
delisting and again in 2016 for the same reason.
" It's not too much different than what Game and
Fish voluntarily does and pays for now - research,
population monitoring, standards and population
goals, education. The difference is management and
the ability to take action by the Game and Fish, "
The plan includes three grizzly bear life-history
parameters that will be monitored as recovery criteria: reproduction to offset mortality, enough breeding females throughout the core of the habitat and
annual evaluation of total human-caused mortality
that will ensure a recovered population. All three
criteria have to be met to maintain a delisted status.
The benchmarks are generously toward bears, and
are considered a " three-layer check " to sustain the
" Protections for grizzly bears will not be eliminated when delisted, " Thompson said. " There are
multiple checks and balances and more regulations
in place from a state level for a population under
state management authority. "
One outstanding difference under state management is the opportunity to hunt grizzly bears as a
management tool without negatively impacting the
population. The plan notes that " regulated hunting
is not only a pragmatic and cost-effective tool for
managing populations at desired levels, it also generates public support, ownership of the resource and
funding for conservation as well as greater tolerance "
for the bear.
Sportspeople agree, and believe hunting is an
important part of the conservation of grizzlies.
" Wyoming's voluntary actions and heavy expenses
goes way beyond conflict, " Coursey said. " The sportsmen are paying for data collection and the research,
so sportspeople should be part of management.
Hunting is one of those tools for management. "
But, the future of the grizzly bear, Wyoming,
ranchers, landowners and hunters remains rather
murky. That decision is still being batted around in
the courts, at the cost of millions.
" It's clear, though, there are no winners in this if
management isn't returned to the states and tribes.
Certainly not bears, " Nesvik said. " The Game and
Fish has worked tirelessly for grizzly bears. It is a
noble aspiration to say we have done everything
we could to ensure that Wyoming will always have
grizzly bears in our wildest places while also being
able to take the necessary steps to keep people safe. "
Federal, state partners mobilize
to better future for bears
Wyoming lawmakers recently have
taken action in the U.S. Congress to
clear a path for grizzly bear delisting
from the Endangered Species Act (ESA),
working to find a way for science to
prevail against endless and unfounded
legal challenges from environmental
Tackling delisting head on, Wyoming
Sen. Mike Enzi introduced the Grizzly
Bear State Management Act of 2019.
The legislation is supported by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, chair of the
U.S. Senate's Environment and Public
Works (EPW) Committee, as one of four
co-sponsors. The bill directs the Secretary of Interior to reissue the 2017 final
rule delisting grizzly bears and prevents
further judicial review.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department Commission Vice President Patrick Crank testified at an EPW hearing
on the bill in the fall of 2020, pointing
out the damaging impacts of endless
litigation on the ESA, and how this bill
" The facts also show that the ESA,
as a whole, is not working as intended.
Parties who want to keep an endangered species on the ESA list forever,
need only build some innocuous technicality or even false claim into the
record of decision and find a judge
who is favorable to their political and
social ideas, " Crank wrote. " The central
tenant of the ESA, that state and federal
wildlife managers are the only entities
with the expertise and knowledge to
make decisions under the ESA, is being
ignored by the court system. "
Gov. Mark Gordon also testified on
behalf of Wyoming before EPW on the
Endangered Species Act Amendments
Act of 2020, legislation introduced by
Barrasso to reauthorize the ESA for the
first time since 1992. The reauthorization would be a significant step for
grizzly bear delisting as it elevates the
role of states and increases transparency in the implementation of the ESA,
prioritizes resources to help meet conservation goals and provides regulatory
Wyoming lawmakers in Washington, D.C., support
the delisting of grizzly bears from the Endangered
Species Act. (Photo by Mark Gocke/WGFD)
certainty to promote recovery activities.
" While the basis for judicial review
of agency actions was provided with
good intent, federal judges have used
challenges to delisting rules to delve
into science and policy to a level that
certainly was never intended by the legislative branch, " Gordon said. " Endless
court challenges on species conservation run counter to the objectives of
the Act. These suits, and the associated investment of money, time and
energy, detract from species recovery
and conservation and divert important
resources away from species that truly
At present, both bills remain as
drafts in committee.
" I want to thank Sens. Barrasso and
Enzi, Gov. Gordon and Commissioner
Crank for their involvement and help
to return grizzly bears to state management, " said Brian Nesvik, Wyoming
Game and Fish Department director.
" They are a strong voice in Washington for the on-the-ground challenges
in Wyoming. "
One win for conservation: the
bipartisan legislation, America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, was
recently authorized. An aspect of the
legislation establishes the Reducing
Human-Predator Conflict Technology
Advisory Board to award a Theodore
Roosevelt Genius Prize for reducing
human-predator conflict. The efforts
will help to advance grizzly bear conflict
mitigation work in Wyoming.
- Sara DiRienzo, WGFD
Wyoming Wildlife | 27
Wyoming Wildlife magazine
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wyoming Wildlife magazine
From the director
In this issue
A couple pennies
Griz on the Go poster
Ask Game and Fish
Allure of the grizzly
Wild Country Dispatch
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Cover
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - From the director
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - In this issue
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - A couple pennies
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Mailbag
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Opening shot
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 7
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - News
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Griz on the Go poster
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 10
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 11
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Ask Game and Fish
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Grizzly Glossary
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Bruin Challenges
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 15
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 16
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 17
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 18
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 19
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 20
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 21
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 22
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 23
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 24
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 25
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 26
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 27
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Allure of the grizzly
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 29
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 30
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 31
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 32
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 33
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 34
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 35
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Grizzly Q&A
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 37
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 38
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 39
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 40
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 41
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 42
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 43
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 44
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 45
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Wild Country Dispatch
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 47
Wyoming Wildlife magazine - Backpage