Two men were sentenced to jail time after killing a grizzly bear near Yellowstone. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WYOMING— The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will meet today, Nov. 30, via teleconference where they will be asked to vote to approve the revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the management and allocation of discretionary mortality of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The MOA was last updated in August 2016. The full document can be accessed here.

Data released earlier this month revealed a record number of grizzlies living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) since the U.S. Geological Survey’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team began taking count in the 1970s.

In 2020, the estimated grizzly population in GYE was around 727 animals, while this year it was reported to be closer to 1,096.

With population growth now backed by data, the discussion of whether or not grizzlies should remain under Endangered Species protections grows complicated.

In September 2021, Governor Mark Gordon announced that the State of Wyoming would petition the federal government to delist grizzlies from federal protections.

The Governor argued that following 46 years and more than $52 million in investment from Wyoming, grizzly bears, by all measures, have been fully recovered since 2003.

“The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear has met and exceeded all scientific benchmarks for recovery,” Governor Gordon said in a press conference on Sept. 16, 2021.

The open session will begin at 2 p.m. Members of the public may participate by calling 877-278-2734, PIN: 624268. The agenda is available on the commission website.

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Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.