Feds Agree To Update Grizzly Bear Status Review

Dec 12, 2019

Credit Public Domain

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its lower 48 grizzly bear status review by March 31, 2021.

In June, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on two claims. The first was to update the 1993 grizzly bear recovery plan and the second was to review the bears status in the lower 48. The last status report was completed in 2011 and the feds previously said they would update it every five years.

Santarsiere with the environmental group​ behind the June lawsuit said she hopes the new review will address recommendations that were made in the 2011 status report.

"They also recommended looking at other areas outside the Northern Rockies for potential reintroduction and recovery of grizzly bears where suitable habitat still exist," she said.

Santarsiere also added that this is only a partial win since there has been no conversation about the second claim the group filed against the feds.

"That 2011 status report, Fish and Wildlife Service admitted that the 1993 recovery plan is outdated, does not rely on the best available science or data that we have. And so they committed to updating the recovery plan and said they were working on it," said Santarsiere.

As far as Santarsiere said she knows, there has been no progress made on updating the recovery plan, and that claim will mostly likely go to court. She said she's hopeful the 2021 updated status review will show whether the federal government has seriously looked at reintroducing grizzly bears outside of the Northern Rockies.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.