Western states effort to delist grizzlies, wolves, gets Congressional hearing

The Western wildlife experts testifying before Congress confirmed the recovery of grizzly bears and wolves, and cautioned against transferring control to states where legislators might disregard science-based management plans.

At issue were two congressional bills to remove grizzly bears from the endangered species list in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. A third bill delisted the gray wolves. All three excluded the actions from judicial review. The hearing was livestreamed.

“While each of these bills is unique, they share the common thread of circumventing the scientific processes currently underway,” said Steven Guertin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy director for policy.

“We believe that the administrative processes prescribed by the ESA and the Administrative Procedures Act, including public participation is the best path for adding or removing species from the Endangered Species Act,” he said. “These processes under the law ensure that the integrity of the important goals of the ESA envisioned by Congress 50 years ago are maintained.”

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