U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) questioned Shannon Estenoz, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks of the Department of Interior, about the Greater Yellowstone Area grizzly bear population.
During the hearing, Senator Lummis noted that “one of the great success stories of the Endangered Species Act since it was enacted is grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration, and the Trump Administration all agreed that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population has recovered and should be delisted.”
Senator Lummis asked Estenoz whether the Yellowstone area grizzly should be delisted. Estenoz agreed that the Yellowstone area grizzly “is doing very, very well,” and noted that “it’s really important for folks to feel supported and listened to and that we have the right tools in the toolbox to help folks live and exist with a recovering predator species, and state management and state expertise as I said before is absolutely central to this approach.” Estenoz said if she is confirmed she will prioritize working with communities to “recover,” or delist, predators in particular.
Senator Lummis previously introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act of 2021, which would remove grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species List and shift management of the grizzlies to wildlife scientists in the states. She also wrote to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asking her to follow the science and delist grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Northern Continental Divide.
To watch the video of her Estenoz questioning, click here.