POLL: Should Yellowstone’s Iconic Grizzly Bears be Stripped of Federal Protection?

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It was disappointing to say the least when it was announced earlier this summer that ’s iconic grizzly bears would be stripped of protection under the . But now, in an effort to get protection restored,multiple tribal and conservation organizations are taking the government to court.

In the U.S., there was once estimated to be 50,000 grizzly bears, but their numbers are now thought to be in the hundreds. The bears were protected under the Species Act in 1975 after they were nearly wiped out, but even with protection, they still occupy less than two percent of their historic range.

While bear numbers are still low, their former protected status has helped aid their recovery in the Greater Ecosystem, and their presence has drawn millions of people to the area who want to experience seeing them in the wild.

Unfortunately, they continue to face a number of threats. These threats range from a loss of white bark pine trees, which provide a critical food source for them before they hibernate, to genetic isolation and conflicts with humans.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) estimated their population has declined from 757 in 2014 to 695 in 2016, yet in June it was announced that they are recovered and would be stripped of federal protection under the Act.

The decision sparked controversy and serious concerns that delisting the bears and turning management over to state administrations, including Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, that are pushing to allow carnivores to be hunted again will only hurt the bear’s chance for survival even more.

Now, however, there’s hope things could change course.

Campaign groups take on the FWS

This week a coalition of tribal and conservation organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the decision to delist the .

“With grizzly deaths spiking and the population in apparent decline, the Yellowstone population needs continued protection, not a new threat of state-sponsored ,” said Earthjustice attorney Timothy Preso. “The grizzly is a major part of what makes the region in and around Yellowstone National Park so special and unique. We should not be taking a gamble with the grizzly’s future.”

Separately, WildEarth Guardians also filed suit against the FWS, arguing that prematurely stripping them of protection undermines grizzly recovery as a whole, that the agency failed to use the best available science, and challenges allowing them to be killed by trophy hunters.

“The Service failed to carry out its paramount – and mandatory – duty to ensure grizzly bears in the contiguous United States are recovered to the point at which the protections of the Endangered Species Act are no longer necessary,” said Kelly Nokes, carnivore advocate for WildEarth Guardians. “The Service’s decision is riddled with flaws, not based in science nor the law, and places this icon of all that is wild squarely in the crosshairs of once again.”

Hopefully the legal challenges will stop trophy hunters from ever setting their sights on these iconic bears, and the much-needed protection will be restored.

Take Action!

You can help show your support for grizzly bears by signing and sharing this Care2 petition urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to take action and restore the Endangered Species Act’s protection for grizzly bears.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 31 Aug 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether Yellowstone’s Iconic Grizzly Bears should be stripped of Federal Protection? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should Yellowstone's Iconic Grizzly Bears be Stripped of Federal Protection?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Barbara Statham

One the most breathtaking “wonders of the world” . Why would anyone want to destroy somewhere known for its natural beauty by killing one of its most iconic “residents”. I remember some time ago reading about a young woman who was an advocate supporter of wolves…… and she was killed prior to a presentation by some wolves when she had chosen to walk in their Conservation Park. The young women’s mother begged for the lives of the wolves saying “My daughter would not have wanted this because the Park was created for them …… not us”. I feel that Yellowstone… Read more »

Ruth Linn

Who cares? I do. But we have too many people. We won’t have anything left when this administration gets done.

Tessie Farrugia


Carol Gwynne Mellom

I mean’t NO

Isabelle Vilna


Janet Waite

My God, is NOTHING sacred anymore?! These bears and the wolves and wolverines and ETC absolutely NEED our protection.

Sói Trắng

Grizzly Bear did not thing to Kill! Save them! Wolves too!

Norma Hurt

yes absolutely.

Ingi Raikes

What a stupid question!
Of course NOT!

Evelyne Dompmartin


Jean Clelland-Morin

We are Mindlessly Proliferating our Human species, Invading the natural habitat of others and Destroying all in our path – including ourselves ! ! !

Joelle Jojo Mamour Barrier


Isabelle Fernandès

Les ours grizzly Iconic de Yellowstone devraient-ils être dépouillés de la protection fédérale?

Non (96%, 235 Votes)
Oui (4%, 11 Votes)
Ne sait pas (0%, 0 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 246

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


John Wier


Victoria Oakey

Marie Six Barbara Augsburger Bobbi Ann Evenson NO!

Victoria Oakey


Tracy Whitcomb

No Way!!!

Rikki Salty


Solem de Guzman


JD Creager

Once again a hald assed story from someone who knows nothing of the species. The speices was a plains animal. Both Native and white men pushed them to what is now. but what is not being told is part of the guessed population numbers is and was in CANADA. Where the hunting still exist and proved the much needed money for habitat. It takes money money money for habitat. But bleeding heart leaf lickers never cough up the needed money where the hunter does and has many species. Black bear, White tail deer, Elk and Proghorn are just a few… Read more »

Linda French

That is what you all say as an example excuse to make yourself feel better for liking to KILL and slaughter wildlife. No excuse for hunting grizzly bear! !

Evelyn Ball

Yes any excuse in the book for idiots like yourself to kill an animal. Why don’t you leave them alone, grab a bunch of your idiot friends and hunt each other?

Tracey Bass

av no and petition now closed xx

Carolyn Serebreny

No way!

Maggie Bear


Barry Frederick Baudains

Of course not.

Janna Werthem Davis


Lynette Lichenstein

hell no, b ut let’s see how quick they do it.

Cheryl Spring

NO NO NO!!!!

Anita Sayers



NO – do not strip these wonderful bears from Federal Protection! What is wrong with people and leaders who want to kill living animals? it is sick – once these bears are gone – they are never coming back – We need to stop catering to the evil hunters who think it is a sport to hurt and kill. It is wrong and all decent people need to take a stand and stand up for our wildlife that is getting less and less every day!

Sofie L. Forsberg

Voted “NO” and tweeted.