On May 1, the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone will lose their status as a “threatened species” protected by the Endangered Species Act.

They were one of the first animals listed — way back in 1975. Conservation groups have already given the USFWS a 60-day notice that they will be sued if they delist.

Story in the Casper Star Tribune. Grizzlies lose ‘threatened’ status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.

Much progress has been made in recovering the grizzly, but all habitat trends (food and space to roam) have turned negative. I won’t recount these threats again here. I have done it so many times already.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Grizzlies in the Yellowstone area to lose ESA protection on Tuesday

  1. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    These same “negative” trends in habitat quantity/quality apply across the board to a whole range of species and entire classes of species, like forest-interior songbirds in the East, bog turtles in the East, native fish in the Rio Grande, pronghorn in southeastern New Mexico, pygmy owls in Arizona, brook trout in Pennsylvania and New York …

  2. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    And this proposal to take out barred owls that have moved into spotted owl habitat in the Pacific Northwest — habitat fragmented by logging — is an especially telling indicator that a lot of things have been badly messed up. It was the logging and subsequent fragmentation that made conditions right for barred owl range expansion.

  3. avatar MikeH says:

    One thing that has to be taken into account is the massive increase of illegal ORV trails on national forest and BLM lands. This can’t bode well for a sustained grizzly recovery into roadless areas of it’s former range.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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