WYOMING — During a meeting today, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission addressed the court’s concerns to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The Commission approved a revised tri-state Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the management and allocation of discretionary mortality of grizzly bears in the GYE.
“Wyoming has worked collaboratively with Idaho and Montana to make these updates,” said Rick King, chief of wildlife for Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The revised MOA recognizes the expanding number of grizzly bears that have grown beyond the edges of the bear’s biological and socially suitable range. With refined population estimates, data shows the population numbers more than 1,000 bears, far beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered, viable population. The revisions also include an explicit commitment to grizzly bear’s long-term genetic health and will provide for translocation of bears into the population, as needed, to maintain genetic diversity.
Following the meeting, Governor Gordon backed the approval of the Tri-State Memorandum of Agreement for Grizzly Bear Management in a public statement.
“Today’s action by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is a crucial step in Wyoming’s efforts to regain management of grizzly bears,” said Gordon. “The updated Memorandum of Agreement between Idaho and Montana continues a long tradition of working together with our sister states. This approval reaffirms Wyoming’s vow and commitment to long-term grizzly bear conservation and underscores the fact that wildlife management is best placed in the hands of states, not the federal government.”
The MOA will still need approval from Idaho and Montana through their respective Commissions and directors before Wyoming files a delisting petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.