The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced its proposal to remove the Yellowstone area grizzly bear from the endangered species list.
In his announcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe called the plan a triumph.
“This population of bears has increased by more than 500% since efforts to conserve the bear began in 1981 from as few as 136 bears to probably over 1000 today.”
But some scientists say those estimates are wrong and there’s only about 700 bears around Yellowstone. And Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle says he’s worried Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will open a season on grizzlies for trophy game hunting.
“It’s the largest terrestrial predator in the lower 48 states,” he says. “And I think this era of killing animals for their heads and hides and for bragging rights is really fading.”
The Wildlife Service says they’ll hold a 60 day comment period following today’s announcement.