The grizzly bear is not only featured on Wilderness Watch’s logo, but is a quintessential symbol of Wilderness and wildness, especially in parts of the western US and Alaska where the great bear still roams.
Grizzly bears were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1975 after being pushed nearly to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states. While progress has been made over the past 40-plus years to recover grizzly bear populations, it has been slow due to low reproductive rates and continued excessive death rates. In fact, Yellowstone and Glacier grizzly bear populations have flatlined during the last 15 years and could even be declining as result of climate change—which is eliminating key food sources—and increased deadly interactions with humans, roads, and trains.
Recently, the Trump administration attempted to remove ESA protections for grizzly bears in and around the Yellowstone Ecosystem —including deep within Wilderness areas. Efforts are afoot to remove ESA protections for grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in northwestern Montana which includes the Bob Marshall, Mission Mountains, Great Bear, Rattlesnake, and Scapegoat Wildernesses, plus the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness and the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area. Incredibly, even as grizzly bears remain protected by the ESA, the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have already developed plans for trophy hunting the great bear, including within Wilderness.
We urge you to support the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act (H.R. 2532), which ensure that grizzly bears are permanently protected regardless of whether or not the great bear remains listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Among other measures, the bill:
• Bans trophy hunting and non-discriminatory predator control measures that may result in killing grizzly bears on public lands.
• Establishes a Grizzly Bear Scientific Committee to carry out expert consultations and scientific studies specified by the Act.
• Requires federal consultation with tribes before relevant permits are issued and before any major federal action that could impact grizzly bears or their habitat.
This legislation couldn’t be more timely — not only did Wilderness Watch recently file a lawsuit to end the killing of grizzly bears at bait stations on national forest lands in Idaho and Wyoming, but a grizzly was recently seen at one such bait station in the roadless Kelly Creek drainage just north of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho. This grizzly is in the same area where the first known grizzly to inhabit the area in more than 50 years was killed by a black bear hunter in 2007.
Please raise your voice for the great bear and ask your U.S. House Rep to co-sponsor and support the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act!
Raise your voice for grizzly bears and ask your U.S. House Rep to co-sponsor and support the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act!
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