Wyoming formally petitions for removal of federal grizzly protections

Nicole Pollack Casper Star-Tribune

Wyoming has officially asked for grizzly bears to be removed from the endangered species list.

Gov. Mark Gordon, backed by the fellow grizzly states of Idaho and Montana, on Tuesday submitted a petition for delisting to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The petition argues that the species is fully recovered in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and should be returned to state management — in Wyoming’s case, the state Game and Fish Department.

The Fish and Wildlife Service now has 90 days to determine whether to conduct a comprehensive status review of the species. It will then have 12 months from receipt of the petition to complete the status review and issue a recommendation.

“Wyoming has invested more than $52 million and dedicated countless hours of Game and Fish expertise to reach this point,” Gordon said in a statement. “We’re optimistic the Service will view the petition favorably, and we look forward to working with them on delisting.”

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte also filed a petition with the Fish and Wildlife Service last month, calling for the delisting of the Northern Continental Divide grizzlies — a population separate from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) bears.

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